I've made several very good
friends this way who I've never met in person. In particular, I've spent a
lot of time chatting back and forth with my sensei, Hideaki Yabuki from Tokyo, Japan.
His Mindstorms username is Joda (Japanese transliteration of 'Yoda') --
there's a profile of him here. Hideaki
is a brilliant designer -- I still haven't seen a grabber I like as much as Cyber Arm II. He's even tried to teach me Japanese so that I could understand the Japanese
Mindstorms fan sites. Alas, at this writing the only written Japanese I have completely
mastered is the katakana for 'rego' (Japanese transliteration of 'LEGO'), but
that's my fault for not paying better attention to Hideaki's instructions.
In real life I work as...
an archaeological conservator at the Field Museum
in Chicago, conserving the archaeological metals in the
I do a fair amount of programming (Visual Basic, Java, C++, C#) for custom data analysis and also
act as the (FileMaker) database expert for the conservation section.
Prior to this I worked as a consultant
Environmental Conservator (nothing to do with saving the whales) --
I spend largish chunks of other people's money designing and installing real-time
data acquisition systems to figure out why a historic building is falling apart,
or whether it's going to fall apart in the near future, and, if so, what to do
about it. This was a great way to get to see the best of US architecture up
close and personal. Projects in the US include: Independence Hall, Philadelphia
PA (ironic, since I'm British) and George Washington's mansion, Mount Vernon,
VA (also pretty ironic), and Minnesota State Capitol (no detectable irony here).