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About Me

The Condensed History of iaNett

A Short True Story

Revised February 2013

It all began in the spring of 1998; I was 21 years old and providence had provided accomodation rent-free, allowing me to spend days honing my programming skills without interruption. I had only recently graduated from high school, and I had no desire to pursue academia: I was free from obligations and full of energy and enthusiasm and I wanted nothing more than to sink my teeth into a challenge of insurmountable proportions.

In retrospect, I can now see that this reckless decision shaped my life more than I could have imagined at the time, and with foolhardy abandon I took it upon myself to solve the first major challenge I stumbled upon.

In the late 90's, search engines were inelegant, cumbersome and difficult to use; and few people were skilled enough to persuade one of these tools to actually divulge a useable answer. More often than not, one had to resort to trying the same query on multiple search engines. This was about the time that the so-called "meta search engines" began to gain popularity, due to their ability to sift the most useful data from a large number of different search engines into some meaningful context and present them to the user.

I quickly realized that what was needed was a better search engine than what was currently available: one that could index a greater amount of the internet, and more frequently; and to be able to search this data quickly and more accurately. To summarize the problem seemed trivial, but to actually create a solution proved to be a monumental undertaking. Nonetheless, I decided I was going to take on this project, and see it through.

So despite the warm and cheerful early summer weather, I spent my days locked away in a dark subterranean room building the first prototype. Working for ten to fifteen hours at a stretch, I worked from late afternoon until long after the dawn the following morning. Throughout all of this, I quickly learnt many of the programming techniques necessary for implementing search software; in many ways I felt privileged that I could learn what I needed at my own pace and ensure that I had a solid understanding of the principles that I needed to progress.

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