HOW IT STARTED
I started Megaphat back in 1998. I was a professional programmer working with various technologies. I grew tired of "consulting firms" which were nothing more than employment agencies capitalizing on the tech boom giving programmers less than 30% of a contract hourly-rate. So I put my feelers out and started something that became very fulfilling. Companies started calling looking for coders and techs to come in and consult with them. They've exhausted resources and wasted time with the "consulting firms" who were sending them college students with 1 year of computer science under their belt and paying top dollar for imported workers who sit at a desk coding out of a book. What was previously projected as a 2 year contract, we closed in 3 months. I hired coders I've met on jobs. I made NO promises and we've made in 6 months what others aspired to make in 2 years. Not just in terms of money, but developing new tech. The only mistake we made was we never patented. Why? Who knew you could patent software back then? Before 1998 was a different story however.
The money in the early 90's was financial application development but my education was electrical engineering. How could I find peace within myself knowing that I am working in the strictest of verticals without any growth for my passion? Sure the money was fantastic (really fantastic) but the hours were long and you're basically writing code to crunch numbers for financial institutions. From Citibank, Chase, AIG, Deutche, and a few more but the list just goes on and on. I was a hired gun, a contractor. I longed for more so I eventually found myself looking for contracts thast suited my passion. I came across some work in Manahattan which was pushing new tech. At first it was all this new MultiMedia development. This was a completely new field in software sso it was really fun, but I soon discovered it was mainly geared toward those who have a passion for visual arts. Still these people were great and through connecting with them, I was able to hook up with some head hunters who got me some killer contracts with some amazing evolving tech. I was introduced to some really cool people and they showed me a new level of technology that I thought was a complete game changer, and it was. I try to stay in touch with many people from my past but to be honest there are so many great people and it's really hard so if you're out there and wonder whatever happpened to me, just me a line and let me know how things are going.
I know I drift off topic at times, sorry. Since starting Megaphat, I found myself working alongside hardware manufacturers from telecom to network equipment. I really liked the telecom stuff but I found that I was designing IVR systems that were less turnkey and more static. This brought me down the road to working with Cisco technologies. I loved it for what it was and hated it for what it lacked. Simply put, scripting ability. Whether TCL, Java, Bash, doesn't matter it could NOT do it. At least not in IOS 12 and below. So instead I wrote a bunch of SNMP tools to provide the automation I was looking for. It worked well but it wasn't native to the IOS. Cisco didn't think much of outside developers giving them suggestions, especially independent ones like me so of course any suggestions were brushed aside.
Now follow me for a few, this goes back a bit further. I started in CB radios when I was 8 years old and at 9 I took my first Ham radio exam with the Narrows Radio Group. They met down by Korvettes (afterwards known as Ceasar's Bay). We ALL went to Millie's CB-Stop on 17th Avenue for any big work, repairs or whatever you need. As the years went on, I grew closer to technology as I integrated the evolving world of personal computers into my radio world. For over 10 years I was heavily into the Ham/RF stuff and I even focused my college education on it. As life catches up with you, you find that you're not really doing with your life what you thought you would be doing. Firewalls in the early 90's were weak, port-blocking devices. As time went on, I saw that NAT became popular but still as you performed port address translations, you still needed to have access lists. Sure there were plenty of evolving firewall solutions but what caught my eye the most was m0n0wall. A Unix BSD-based system which was hard as hell! As I was just getting used to it, along comes the fork, pfSense. This blew my mind! Easier to install, more configurable and more options. I became glued to it immediately! I was building computers just to interconnect them with pfSense.
For a moment in the late 1990's I saw a possible evolution. While I was neck-deep in my Cisco networking world after transitioning from security development (now it's called DevOps) I saw a paper describing wireless Ethernet. Over the next few years I put all my spare time into learning as much as possible about these evolving technologies and the key companies developing them. I put small investments into buying equipment, going out in public with car batteries and laptops just to see how well these products faired. Over time, I've learned which manufacturer products I prefer.
Between my networking background, wireless background and programming background, I feel more comfortable with the direction things have gone. I sometimes get told that I am like an older person who refuses to change their point of view on the technology I recommend. I get that, I really do - but, when I hear these things and ask "so what do you recommend?", the answers are less impressive than I thought they would be. Their thoughts are based only on personal exposure to something new they knew little about only because of something fancy they saw, read or was told about. But when it comes right down to it, I prefer straightforward simplicity. I've found that customers do as well.
So now I live in the burbs with my family, a repurposed sat dish on the roof for GOES reception, a micro-rotator mounted Yagi for SDR and shortwave, 15' ground plane for 72cm and currently designing a license-free 5.8Ghz ISM bands wireless network operating at 500Mbps to cover 360 degrees for anyone within line of sight who wants to jump on. I will host a server and it will be similar to the old BBS days at first. It will be an under-net type of network and hoping to offer gateway services to the main Internet if it grows.
On my main page you'll find the personal projects I am working on. I may not have them all listed right now but I prefer to list only the items which I have finished. Now I feel compelled to say something from the start. I have seen many people make a personal site all about them. They tell you about their achievements, degrees, certifications, copyrights, patents, really more about their freedom to brag about their greatness. I put Megaphat in the front and center because Megaphat is NOTHING without those who I work with. I've met some incredible people in my life. From the Fatsiborg (who's a bit Cynical) to Spook(ACH), it is because of them that I have the strength to keep going. There are so many more in between but as I already said, I've met so many people who have helped me, inspired me and led me to where I am now that I would probably end up creating a new page just to thank them all. Instead I've been told many, many times, just publish your work. Well, my work isn't all that impressive (in my opinion) but I'm a the point now (3rd month of self quarantine from COVID-19) that I figure, why not. Slowly but surely I am putting things up.
Many of the projects are pput together with the help of others and we're all really happy working together. We spend a lot of time brainstorming, testing and designing. Once we realize what we built, we now put it up online for all to enjoy. Just like Steven Gould who built "Cleanup!" (shoutout to the mad genius), we too wouldn't mind a little help from anyone who thinks we've helped them. If you're into that, visit the "Help Out" link. Other than that, keep a lookout for new stuff. If you're looking for commercial/professional help why not give Megaphat Networks a call (yes shameless plug).