Who am I?

Hi, I'm Alex, welcome to my little place on the net! I currently run my own software company (Aperte), and in my few hours of spare time I have been known to mingle in a few little free/open source projects. In 2006 I graduated in AI (MSc) at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, in 2008 I graduated in Computer Science (MSc). I now live in Alphen aan den Rijn together with my girlfriend Lisanne and our two dogs Djuna and Jazz.

(cue old ugly foto from Debconf 2004)

Alextreme.org is a typical blog about my life: what I ate for dinner last night (lasagna), how many cups of coffee I drink to wake up (3+) and what kind of weather it is today (sunny, 25C). It also contains projects I'm working on, my opinions and thoughts and an occasional tutorial.

hacker emblem


I was born in May '82 in Hoofddorp, son of a primary-school gymnastics teacher and a consultant/security/computer professional. In 1984, we emigrated to New Zealand, and lived for about 9 years in various locations in Auckland. 2 years old, and I'd seen both sides of the world! In 1993 we returned to the Netherlands and I've lived there ever since. My childhood has been relatively uneventful, I was a kid always preferring the security of his own little PC over the chaotic, crazy outside world. A little problem solver, I was until my late teens always fond of math and logic puzzles. A creator, I've always been someone who prefers to make order out of chaos.

From high school, I went to the HvA Computer Sciences in Amsterdam. It was quite practical and I have had a lot of useful experiences from my two years there, but I was overpowered and under fueled.

In the second year, I also enrolled at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, Artificial Intelligence. Why AI? I humbly must admit that I only had a vague idea about it when I started it. For all I know, it could have been Physics, or Philosophy (I seriously considered those and other options). It was one of those turning points in life, although I only slowly recognized it. It has been an interesting gamble, and AI has held me captive more and more. Not to say I don't like coding, I follow nearly all CS courses, hopping around at leisure. CS is interesting, but I am passionate about AI, more for its diversity and impossible goals than anything else.


My first computer experiences when I was barely a few years old were with the first Macintosh:
, the first consumer computer with a GUI. I grew up in a world of 300x240 graphics, wordprocessing, dragging your floppy to the trash and, naturally, plenty of computer games. Reckon I was about 7 when I discovered zBasic which I did tinker quite a bit in, but never could get to the fancy graphics of the Mac. From that time onward, I've always been judging programming languages by their toolkits: If it didn't allow me to make pretty UI's, I wouldn't like it. Okay, that's an exageration as I mostly work from consoles, terminals and emacs these days. Dad did introduce me to Pascal, which probably was a bit too complicated for me at that time. Never did like Pascal, sorry dad :-)

What I had been playing around with was Hypercard, a great low-barrier way to get into programming. Apple has since discontinued it (a number of times), but looking back it was HTML plus a bit of flash in an era where Win3.1 only just was released. Only problem was that it wasn't networked. Apple never was that into networking. Pity.

But this was all a very long time ago. At the moment I'm a typical Linux user/developer and into C, Python and Django. Morphix is a project I founded in early 2003 which had a decent following for a time, but as interests drifted away from Linux Live CDs so did mine.

All in all, I do what I think is interesting and always enjoy a good challenge.

cheers from a happy hacker!