Norm's Homemade Laser Show
My email: 
legato@videotron.ca


Last update:
April 25, 2009
 


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General information about me:

Born on January 20th, 1969 in Gatineau (formerly Hull), Quebec, Canada.  French speaking but also fluent written and spoken English.  No children, never married.   I became a tech nut at about 8 when I saw Star Wars in 1977.  That day, my passion for lasers was to be sealed in my spirit forever.  I remember what I liked the most was the rapid sweeping sound they made.   That led me to hang around at RadioShack after school to have the chance to play with a little Moog synthesizer they sold back then, until I programmed the sound I dreamed of replicating.  An I was very successful at it!   Funnily enough, spending countless hours fiddling with the knobs of this synthesizer finally and logically led to another passion: music.  I played accordion for 4 years, and Tenor Saxophone for 5 years.   But at age 15 I really decided to switch and study piano seriously, only by myself.  My favorite groups/performers/composers are Supertramp, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Billy Joel, Deep Purple, Yes, J.S. Bach, Beethoven, The Carpenters, Huriah Heep, and many more.  But I hate Heavy Metal, country western and opera!    Another side effect of hanging around at RadioShack for so long was my encounter with computers.  That was about in 1980, with the TRS-80 model II 16K, and later the Color Computer, which had 1K or 4K of ram...  There, I learned the "basics" of programming (pun not intended) and fell in love with the excitement and feeling of power it gave me.  Imagine a 10 year old kid controlling a $10000 mysterious machine - wow!  Needless to say that the clients were impressed too.  No wonder the store manager let me stay there until closure at 9pm.   I was free publicity for them.  At one point, they even installed me with a desk full  of equipment at the store's entrance to make a real show of me!  Then my dad finally decided to buy one for home so I could work on it 26 hours a day and become like a junkie.   A bit later at age 14, I discovered another passion - electronics.   That led to the decision of studying this science at College de l'Outaouais in Gatineau, where I graduated in 1994.  After that, I got a job in the R&D department of PlantCML, writing software for the development of 911, mobile radio communication, and air traffic control systems.   Our latest project was the Washington DC's new 911 system.  See and read how they got from "worst to first" on these links:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-09-19-emergency-services_x.htm
http://www.octo.dc.gov/octo/site/default.asp (see the webcam)
http://articles.news.aol.com/news/_a/dc-revamps-emergency-services/20060920080709990034


To see more of what I do, just scroll down through the pages below... and have fun!
Norm


For the curious, here's a few pics of myself in the lab.  Also, other interests I have.


Silly moments...



You can almost touch it ...  dont'cha even think about it !!!



Ok, I admit it... I do look like a proud father !


(outdated)

My new and improved lab setup : 99.9% more space !!!
(not hard to beat when you start from zero)

Parts... literally tons of them.  Air compressor on left has been quite useful this weekend (Apr 18, 2005) for drilling in concrete and building shelves and more workspace.  I was getting claustrophobic !!!



Hardware section.  Drill press, and 12" metal shear (cool!)



Looks like junk to most people, but so valuable to me.  I have been collecting scrap since I was 12.  Now I keep only what's really worth the trouble.  You wouldn't believe all the weird stuff I have in there.



More junk as "normal people" call it.  One day, I will finish the sorting.  I calculated that if I start now, it will take me about 2.45 eternities.



A more global view of my den.  Even the dryer becomes a work bench most of the time.



UPDATED - November 1, 2006

My new lab setup - NOW WE'RE TALKING!

Will be much more pleasant to work in this environment.


What else do I do?

Music:  I play piano, and synthesizer and sing.  Been doing this since age 15.  Played professionally for 5 years.


This is my home studio, where I like to create my own original music.


Now we're talking.  Nice compact and efficient setup, with nice new goodies.  I was long due for an upgrade of my system.  I still had ISA cards and other old crap.  Now all USB and Firewire cool devices.  Brand new set of speakers helped too.

 

I like to create art, 3D graphics has been a passion since 1995.  Here is a few of my artwork:


My fingerprint


Fractals, a real fascination.



An exhibition I did in 2002.
 


As you can see, I'm pretty obsessed with motorcycles!

 

Speed Bike

Suzuki GSX-R 750, 2001  (Updated May 24, 2008)
I completely changed all fairings to get an exclusive racing look.
Never seen one like it in over a year.


Motocross

Another way to remove stress.  Or...to change its flavor at least !!!

 

My beloved Yamaha YZ250 two stroke motocross.  Just came back from a 3 hour trip in the woods with a friend at my cottage.

FUN!!!

Trying to hurt myself in a sand pit, jumping higher ...

 

...and higher...

 

Until... Ouch!  Disaster strikes!

On that photo, it was the last millisecond that my right ankle was happy.  Since then it's been hurting.  You should have seen that crash!  Wish I had a video.



So I decided to buy something less dangerous:  the wonderful Kawasaki KLR650

Fun to ride, from the highway down to the deep trails.


Fresh new paint job.


And for the winter time, nothing like the MachZ 780

Nice sunset in Chicoutimi, Quebec - 2001


 

And my little friend - Touti

Unfortunately, he's long gone...  I miss him.  We used to go to bars and dance together all night - really !


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