"I'm a firm believer that you can accomplish anything you want to in life. Sure, we're all
born with special talents, but if you're
truly passionate about something, you
have boundless potential."
Jason "Windminstral" Kraus heads up biz dev and is one of the owners here at J!NX.
The most amazing part about my position at J!NX is that the majority of what I do involves extensions of things that I loved doing as a kid and am somehow lucky enough to continue doing as an adult. Essentially, I evolved from a small, nocturnal creature living in a dark corner of my mom's basement (an area strewn with random Atari parts, worn-out programming books, and dismembered motherboards), and developed into a techno-gaming entrepreneur. When I crawled out to go to college, I decided to pursue a degree in Computer Science and Engineering.
I didn't really want to be an engineer, I just wanted to greatly expand my knowledge of computers. Throughout my younger years, I recall staring up at the stars in awe and dreaming about the vastness of space. This desire to know more about our place in the universe compelled me to opt-out of many core classes at college and acquire a number of science-related subjects instead. The astronomy fascination stems from my immovable belief that life exists and thrives outside of our tiny planet. Even today, I often find myself looking up to the sky and whispering: "I'm not afraid for you to take me; I'm afraid of where you're going to put your probe."
- I don’t have the best memory in the world, so I use email and Superfly as additional storage devices.
- I love my wiener. He’s pretty annoying in the morning because he always wants out of the covers, but after I let him out to go pee, he comes right back in and snuggles with me. Honestly, life would be 50% as good if dogs were not around. I love all animals, except annoying devil birds that sit outside my window and torment me.
- In college, instead of taking my required classes for a Computer Science & Engineering Degree, I took a bunch of Astronomy classes. It blows my mind thinking about how something could just poof into existence, explode, and then form our universe as we know it now.
- I hate to sleep or the thought of having to sleep. I’ll do whatever necessary to stay awake as long as I can.
- My favorite time of the day is when I get to spend time with my kids. It’s like playing with miniature versions of me and the best part is that I get to tell them what to do.
- My daughter and my wife are the most beautiful women in the world. Now that’s a fact.
- Sometimes when I play ping pong (AKA Table Tennis) I actually feel like I’m in the matrix. I swear some of the shots I’ve hit felt like someone else was doing all of the work and that I could actually feel the ball slowing down. It’s really weird and freaks me out.
- I was born a PvPer. I occasionally like to PvE, if it’s the first time through, but the randomness of PvPing really lures me in. Seriously though, I just like to pwns me some nubs. There’s nothing better than killing the same eleven year old or some really old person over and over.
- Meridian 59 has to be my all time favorite MMO. Jinx and I spent many hours schooling people in the ways of how to properly assassinate someone in town then run to the nearest dungeon to log out for a few hours while their entire crew camps your spawning spot.
- Might & Magic and Bards Tale are my favorite RPGs. I recently found out that Jinx and Shotput (friend of J!NX that changes his alias almost daily now) did a bunch of content in BT without me when we played as kids. It was a rule that we’d never make forward progress without all of us being there. It took them like 20 years to tell me.
- I am terrible at organizing things, but I know where everything is at. If it wasn’t for the search tool in Outlook and in Windows, I’d be in trouble though.
- I’m an outdoorsy type of person. I feel at peace being in the middle of a forest with miles of trees between me and civilization. If I fell in the woods with no one around me would I hear myself fall?
- When I was a kid, I used to own my own BBS with ZER0 DAY WAREZ!!!1!!1!!. You had to be l33t to make it as a member. I can still hear my mom screaming at me to get off the modem.
- For my own personal gain and after beating games without cheats, I used to hack them to see what cool things I could unlock. This is where the majority of my high school/college years went.
- The best part about playing D&D when I was a kid was the thought of how awesome my Monk could be if I was DM, forever. I used to spend hours going through manuals and doing mock fights with monsters with my high level Monk. In reality, I don’t think my Monk ever made it past level 3. Jinx, Skydog and Shotput were evil DMs.
- Some of my MOST favorite things to do, in order, non-computer/gaming/geek related: mountain bike riding (x-country and downhill), hiking, snowboarding/skiing, tennis, ping pong, fly fishing, jumping out of trees, building forts (inside and outside), food fights, leaving airports.
- Some of my LEAST favorite things to do: think about booking a plane ticket, booking a plane ticket, going to the airport, going through security at an airport, buying Dramamine (motion sickness med), taking Dramamine, becoming a zombie from Dramamine, getting on the plane, taxing, taking off on a plane, turbulence, turbulence, turbulence, being cramped on an airplane, thinking about it crashing, turbulence, turbulence, turbulence, crappy food, landing, Dramamine wearing off 12 hours later.
- Until recently, I had no idea I was a pinball fanatic. I treated myself to a Lord of the Rings pinball machine and have been possessed by it since the day it arrived. My high score is 257 million with 5-ball, which I’m not sure if that is any good, but the game lasted ~45 minutes. I’ve also turned into a pinball repairman technician, plumber's butt and all. I learned a good lesson on what wires not to touch.
- Favorite brand outside of J!NX is FOX. Check them out here: www.FoxHead.com.
- I’m psycho obsessed with Lord of the Rings. My son’s middle name is Strider and I have a mountain of LOTR collectibles. I’ve always loved his books, but it wasn’t until Peter Jackson’s masterpieces came out when the real problems surfaced. Mostly, it had to do with the hordes of collectible stuff that beckoned me after each movie came out. Tolkien was a pure genius; Einstein level IMO. I really wish someone would make a children’s version of the hobbit so I could read it to my kids at night. Someone get on that!
- R.A. Salvatore is right up there with Tolkien in my eyes. He’s created mythical figures that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Drizzt, Artemis Entreri and Ghost are amongst my favorites.
- I’m a Madden fan fo shizzle and have been playing it since 1998. It’s probably the only sports game I play nowadays.
- I get my Lost on, Office on, Entourage on, Heroes on, and Prison Break on… that’s pretty much it for TV. Best SCI-FI show on TV ever, hands down, is Firefly. Best mini-series had to be Band of Brothers. Best childhood cartoon had to be G I Joe with Dungeons & Dragons in a close 2nd.
- I believe that intelligent alien life exists outside of this planet. I also believe that it’s quite possible our universe is no bigger than the size of a pinhead and Ronald McDonald is one of the scariest clowns I’ve ever seen. Anything is possible.
- Favorite band right now is Incubus and I have no idea why I’m fascinated with them. Besides Incubus, I like Harry Connick Jr., Prince (older stuff), Linkin Park, Clutch, and Ministry. Oh, Midnight Oil too… “How do we sleep while our beds are burning”.
- Technology is great and all, but I hate having more than one device for people to contact me. The thought of it makes me want to rip my skin off and turn inside out.
- I get severe motion sickness when playing FPS games. I sometimes wear a patch over my bad eye and also a $200 watch that shocks me just so I can get a few rounds in. The more realistic games get the harder it is for me to play them. I’ll challenge anyone to a game of Duke Nukem, with our without both eyes open. Yeah, that just happened!
- I love TCGs / CCGs, board games & miniatures. I spent a couple years of my life playing Magic the Gathering and used to sleep with my “Juzam Djinn” deck next to me. Also, you can’t open a closet in my house without a board game falling out of it.
- The thrill and urgency of RTS games is like having one’s cake and eating it too. Command and Conquer: Generals, StarCraft, Lord of the Rings - Battle for Middle Earth 2, and Warcraft III are amongst my favorites. ACHIEVEMENT: I recently beat LOTR on brutal mode - only moments away from getting pillaged to death by the computer. Sauron FTW!
On The Web
My Daily links I visit:
- Digg Science
- Digg Gaming
- Digg Tech
- Google Sci/Tech
- Google Biz News
- Astronomy Picture of the Day