About me, this site and the name "herzbube"

About me

My name is Patrick Näf Moser (né Patrick Näf, but that is another story). I live in central Switzerland, near Lucerne, with my wife and no kids, cat nor dog. I earn my living in varying jobs in the computer software business. My personal interests, in no particular order, are computers, reading books, playing games and travelling.

Work

I no longer publish a detailed CV on this website because keeping it up-to-date is more trouble than it is worth. A couple of notes about my education, previous jobs and experience should be enough, if you need more information please contact me by e-mail.

I graduated from the WIS/HWV (IT school of economics) in 1993 as "Wirtschaftsinformatiker HF". After additional education at the HSLU (formerly HTA Lucerne), for which I wrote final papers in 2003 and 2007, I now hold the enormously titled degree "Master of Advanced Studies Hochschule Luzern in Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie". I prefer "MAS ICT" ☺. In 2018 I successfully completed a CAS Web Engineering at the FFHS.

Since I started my professional life in 1993, I have worked - in this order - as a UNIX system administrator, MS Access database application developer, software testing engineer, C++ software engineer and application manager (aka 3rd level customer support). In February 2011 I started my second stint as a C++ software engineer, this time for the company Sage Schweiz AG. This is what I am still doing today. In recent years, though, C++ has been largely replaced with C#/.NET as my major field of work.

Play

One of my big and neverending computer projects is my self-hosting Linux project. In July 2003 I bought a fixed IP address, some cheap PC hardware and started the project of hosting my own Internet and Intranet services. Apart from the bare maintenance tasks, which at least keep my Unix shell skills honed, this project never ceases to provide me with fresh ideas and insights of how things can be done. I am quite proud of the fact that over the years I have learned how to do DNS, LDAP, SMTP/IMAP including a robust anti-spam system, a multi-vhost web server, the CMS you are currently viewing, and a number of other productive end-user services such as CalDAV and CardDAV. I keep all documentation in my wiki.

Some of the Intranet services that the self-hosting project provides (version control, bugtracker), are consumed by my efforts as a programmer. Most of the time the results of this second passion of mine are not visible to the public, as I like to do a bit of hacking "here and there". Those things that have survived can be found on my software projects page, or on GitHub. I am also moderately active on Stack Overflow.

When I do other things that are not computer-ish (it happens :-), I often read a book. Most of the books I read these days are from the Science Fiction genre, although I have been reading fantasy, horror and mystery stories alongside SF since my early teens. I mostly read for entertainment, currently I prefer older stuff from the 1940-1970ies. I also try to get a vague overview over the history of SF, but I have no real scholarly interest in the field. Although English is not my first language, I almost exclusively read my books in English.

Besides computers and books, I have a keen interest in playing all kinds of games. In the past I have had spasms of playing computer games, role-playing games, play-by-mail games, and collectible card games (especially "Magic the Gathering"; I still own an indecent amount of cards for that game). Nowadays I usually prefer friendly and relaxed board and card games in the style of "The Settlers of Catan" and "Carcassonne", although I cannot deny that occasionally I also have been spotted roaming the World of Warcraft and, more recently, exploring the semi-fictional galaxy of Elite: Dangerous.

About this site

As you may already have noticed, the blog that forms the front of the web site does not sport many news items. This is OK, after all the main purpose of the herzbube.ch web site is to give my activities as a programmer a home. The page that lists software projects has all the details.

English is the standard language on my website. Even though it takes me much longer to write articles in English, by this I hope to improve my language skills. As a "side-effect", it should also make my website more accessible to the general world population :-) If you are a native English speaker and would like to comment on an article or passage that is particularly painful to read, please don't hesitate to do so.

About my Internet handle "herzbube"

"herzbube" is a German word that refers to the Jack of hearts card in a deck of playing cards. In the case of my Internet handle, though, I prefer the alternative term Knave of hearts, because I connect "herzbube" with the Knave of Hearts character in the book "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". When I feel whimsical, I sometimes use this email signature:

The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts,
All on a summer day:
The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts,
And took them quite away!

For those with an excessive interest in my person ☺, here is my recollection of how I came by the name.

If I remember correctly, I started using the nickname "herzbube" in a play-by-mail game named "Poesiemeister". That game must have taken place around 1990, i.e. shortly after I entered my twenties. At the time, I believe, the name simply sounded funny so I chose it without much thought. Later, I found myself using the name on other occasions, the most important of which undoubtedly was the name of my account in the electronic bulletin board system (BBS) Chaos Box. For a few precious years I called the Chaos Box my second home, where people knew and greeted me as "Herzbube 102" (hence you will sometimes catch me using the handle "herzbube102", if in an online system the simple name is already taken). I started to associate more and more with the name "herzbube" until it virtually became my second identity. During this time, I believe, in the back of my mind I also started to grope about for a meaning for the name. Somehow I finally made the connection to "Alice in Wonderland".

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