I usually shy away from meet and greet type things, but I'm feeling giddy so why not?
I should start with my username. Gatewaysysop is actually an homage to my now long dormant dial-up board, "The Gateway BBS". I was involved in the BBS scene in Tucson from about it's high point in the very early 90s and rode the wave all the way to the end. I was an active member of both FidoNet and LinearNet, if anyone here even remembers those. In my hay day, I even offered email through a FidoNet gateway set up with another board and pulled file and message distributions (echos) from both networks on a nightly basis. My main schtick though was a supply of quality door games (ahh yes, Tradewars, L.O.R.D., Usurper and so many others).
Unfortunately things didn't last and as the early 90's became the mid 90s and then some, BBS'ing was already well on the decline. I kept my promise to keep my system up until the hardware gave out, which it eventually did. By that time, I was one of the only dial-up boards left in the area and the *last* member of FidoNet and LinearNet in all of Tucson.
With BBS'ing pretty much dead, at least the dial-ups, I switched gears to an interest I had picked up while running my board. My favorite types of games had been MUD-like, for lack of a better term. One in particular, which I still have the final version of, was called "Axe and Fang" and was the best looking (keyword: looking) door-game MUD I had ever seen. The gameplay was okay but it constantly got out of synch and had quirky limitations. The OLC was quite good however, and I'm surprised I haven't seen it emulated elsewhere. I had enjoyed building new areas for the game and wanted to try my hand at something more feature rich and stable. To that end, I checked out quite a few MUD servers and eventually came upon SMAUG. Yep, the unsupported version.
Fortunately I was pointed to the FUSS distribution (then at Mudplanet) by Xerves before I spent too much time with SMAUG 1.4a. Things pretty much snowballed from there and now I find myself developing my MUD as off and on whenever I get the itch. I am not an experienced C programmer, but I've done other programming with the help of many good people in the community I've been able to fill in the gaps and expand my understanding tremendously.
In case anyone is curious about my real life, I actually just finished my M.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics about a year ago. The main focus of my studies was theoretical and applied econometrics and as such I found employment building statistical credit scoring models for a major credit card company.
My day to day work there consists almost exclusively of programming in SAS (anyone else ever used it?). There are often unique and challenging problems to deal with when working with real world data, which believe it or not makes for pretty enjoyable work.
So anyway, that's me in very long winded nutshell. Enjoy!