Back at school I really wanted to be a veterinarian, but then I found out you had stick your hands in cows and stuff. Plus, it's a bugger to spell.
Casting dictionary to the winds, I decided to write for computer magazines instead. Freelancing was great -- not only did people send me free toys to play with, but I also got paid for writing about how much fun it was playing with them. Being a full-time staff writer is exactly the opposite. All the best toys get sent to freelancers, and you have to think up other stuff to write about every single day.
Luckily, I had a bunch of A-levels burning a hole in my pocket, so I ran away to university, spending terms in a darkroom, and vacations porting an operating system to a rack-mounted microcontroller later used to feed counting rats and slam LandRover doors until they fell off.
Three years later I escaped with a fine collection of college crockery and a BA in computer science. After a further five years of pedants pointing out that it ought to be a BSc, I should probably get round to 'phoning technical support to ask them to send me my free upgrade to an MA.
Meanwhile I was being held prisoner in a stately home, writing device drivers for an assortment of scanners, video capture cards and other stuff with wires. By complete chance my voice was used as the default outgoing message on the answering-machine software included with a fax-modem card that the company had developed.
This trip of the tongue condemned me to a lifetime of producing promotional video voice-over recording, so I slipped the leash and ran away to London to write Direct3D games. After six months working in a fabulous Thameside studio, the daily three-hour cross-town commute started to grate, so I booked a berth aboard Starship Titanic.
Eighteen months of Camden and Covent Garden coffees later, I decided it was time to play with things with wires again, so when I'm not at TDV, I'm busy writing device drivers ...