I was born in 1979 in the second largest city of Austria, Graz. After one year I was diagnosed a Retinoblastoma and received several medical treatments (like a two year Chemotherapy). Nevertheless, due to errors in medical treatment I finally lost my already deminished eye-sight completely at the age of 7. These days, I am 100% blind.
I visited the Odilien Institut Graz for 8 years, a special school for blind and visually impaired individuals. Although I have to admit that I learned valuable things there, I would not make this choice consciously again. I experienced the complete opposite directly afterwards, when I visited the BORG Monsbergergasse Graz, a "normal" school without any dedication to teaching the blind in particular. I used a laptop to attend school and do my homework, and it worked out very well.
I finished school with a "Matura" specialized in Informatics. Thanks to all the people which supported me during my school days as "integrated" student, I really owe you a lot.
In 1998/99 I participated in the EU project BiQ [Blind in Qualification], a one year project aimed at taking standardized courses in network administration and related topics based on the same criteria sighted people had at that time. The project was fun, although we certainly had some difficulties which were mostly due to the fact that all this had never been done before, at least not to our knowledge at that time.
Part of this project also was a three month internship period which I was fortunately able to do at the Zentraler Informatikdienst der Technischen Universität Graz which is currently my employer. You can have a look at my ZID homepage if you're interested in learning about some of my activities at work. I am mostly working as a Linux system administrator, specialized in administrating High-performance Linux clusters.
In 2001, I participated in a medical experiment which had as its primary objective to identify the regions of the human brain which are being utilized when a blind individual is reading tactile braille. As a small reward for the endeavour, I received a digital high-resolution scan of my brain which was recorded during I was reading braille with my fingers. You can look at theMRI image (1536x1280). It was recorded using Magnetic-Resonance-Imaging (RMI) at a magnetism level of about 3 tesla, which is pretty much above the normal medical usage level of this imaging technology, but still in the harmless range. I had the opportunity to physically experience the strength of the magnetic field in the room by walking in with a screwdriver in one hand. I have to admit that I barely experienced anything that aww-striking yet.
My personal interests are the art of computer Programming, music and traveling, all of which are documented on this site. I'm also interested in Free Software development in general, in particular The Debian Project of which I'm a member since August 2002.
Since summer 2006, I got infected with the mightily dangerous travel-virus! We went two months to visit Ecuador and Peru. You can have a look at the Ecuador/Peru 2006 photo album if you care to see the things I didn't see! :-)
If you want to get in touch with me, have a look at my contact page.