Who Is This Guy, Anyhow?
Yes, the name "tyconium stent" is a nom-de-plume, and yes, the author of this website goes by some other nom now and then. But why would I tell you?
After graduating from college in 1981, I worked for a long time in Colorado Springs as an electrical engineer and then software engineer at what is now a division of a really-really-big, aerospace/defense company. (No names -- wouldn't want to embarrass them). In October 1997, my wife and I moved to Utah with her company, but I continued working long-distance with the same old division; I traveled A Whole Lot back to the Springs. Eventually that got to be too much hassle for me and my teammates, so we mutually terminated the arrangement in July 1998.
At that point, I officially became a self-employed, independent, software consultant. So far I have primarily dealt with the programming of electronic toys. In February 1999 we moved to Nevada, again with my wife's job, and I continued the contractor work. Hey, toys are fun!
Always the exploring type, I took a day job in April 1999 as a software engineer at the #3 "gaming" manufacturer -- you know, video poker/slot machines ... toys for grownups! I got to program a new multi-"hand" (just seems like a hand) video poker game that was demonstrated at the September gaming conference in Las Vegas, in 1999. Oooh boy, what pressure; Super Bonus Poker was actually approved by the regulators in March and June 2000; and then it finally made it onto casino floors (e.g., Barleys Casino in Henderson, 5 Aug 2000) ... where it flopped.
Still, over the previous winter I had moved on to an interesting video slot game (Hot Hot Hot). It went to the regulators, and appeared at the annual show in Fall 2000. Since the U.S. military acts as its own regulator, one branch of the service (AF) had already purchased both of these games for installation at overseas recreation centers.
Since that time, I've worked on a newer machine (EVO), where I've been implemented for the security-enhanced BIOS, general architecture, and the initial video slot games; since then I have been in charge of all game development on this platform, along with individual games themselves. Don't nobody think I'm just a manager!! The new platform went to the regulators with a prototype Cash Encounters game in Spring 2001; my own Popeye wide-area-progressive game went out in June and was running in its first tribal casino on Labor Day 2001 (most popular game ever at that casino) and many jurisdictions since then [first Popeye jackpot hit on 04/03/02 for almost $230,000. Now the Andy Capp is starting to show up on casino floors worldwide. Several more games are in development; of course being the team lead means that I now spend too much time on administrative B.S. rather than on games. The next generation of Evo games are called Hybrids; they have actual reel spinners and video screens; I developed the first title (Ray Charles America the Beautiful) and others (Popeye and Double Bonus Line). Later Evo projects include Pearly Gates and Sunset Beach. You can check out many of these games (and the other projects) here.
In May 2002, I deemed Evo development to be a mainstream product and 'allowed' the team to transfer into the standard video development team, while I took the new position of Evo 2+ leader. Our mission is to evolve the capabilities and other -abilities of the Evo platform into top-of-the-line video slot machines. My team of 6 has developed some Evo 2 games (I won't bother with the technical aspects of what makes them better than Evo, but they are), and is now starting Evo 3 which will be a drastic upgrade in platform capabilities, such that we can rid ourselves of much legacy maintenance pain, and help our future game (and machine) development proceed in a much more modular and maintainable manner. This new architecture rocks! ( whew!! how many buzzwords did i use there?? )
On the contractor front, I've created, and now revamped, a simple website for a paying customer. However, because the regular job's workload was enough, I let my last toy jobs be the "Car Seat Dashboard with Remote Control" (started in June 1999, and then revamped a couple times the next several months; it became a big hit when it came out in August 2000) and the Rescue Heros talking action figures. These must be the most complex toys ever created from 4-bit microcontrollers; I hope you have been fortunate enough to experience them. Ironically, a revamped FDNY fireman action figure has become quite popular since the unfortunate events of 9/11.
I have been the webmaster for my college class website since spring 2000 (we had a reunion in June 2001), and I am the head advisor for the local chapter of my fraternity -- hopefully one of the kids will take up the webmaster job there.
If you've been following this website for the past few years, you've seen that I enjoy learning web stuff. So far it's been fun. Maybe it'll turn into a lucrative career path; "ornot," as my dry-humored freshman roommate used to say. I hope he's wrong, since I now consult on website development.
This picture is how the State of Nevada knows me; luckily I'm not holding a placard with an eight digit number across the bottom. Of course, the standard side mugshot would have revealed the ponytail that I wore for almost two years, until late July 2000.
On that note, [B sharp, eh?], I leave you with this aphorism: Please be sure you are always remembering to ~~~ eschew obfuscation ~~~. Isn't it?
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