My name is Alberto Gonz├ílez Palomo (two surnames), and I'm from Toledo, Spain. In despite of its splendorous cultural past, nowadays it's quite a sterile ground for any scientific endeavours, which made me go seek broader horizonts somewhere else.
I've worked as carpenter, which is how I got the money to buy my first owned computer, which I later had to sell to buy some pieces I combined with others lent by a friend to build the one with which I got my first job as programmer. I was doing my military service (Infantry instructor, grade Corporal) during the morning and afternoon, and in the evening I wrote the software, although I designed and drafted in paper the most difficult parts during several field maneuvers we did, far from headquarters.
As I have little formal education, most of what I know is the result of self-teaching, English included. Learning on your own has the good side of giving you a good endurance for difficult problems in undocumented areas, but the downside is that you keep many voids in your knowledge. I've been thinking of doing universitary studies to solve this defficiency for some years now, and one of these decades I'll really do it. Really!
During the little time I spent in the Spanish universitary system I did quite a lot of things. I was founder member of the Astronomy club in the Physics faculty of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and member of the directive board of the Disk├│bolo computing club in the Informatics faculty. It was the people at the Physics student association AFU who gave me my first Linux user account, my first email address, and taught me how to use them. I'll be always grateful to them for that.
Right now I'm working part-time as research assistant at the Universt├Ąt des Saarlandes and the DFKI (Deutsches Forschungszentrum f├╝r K├╝nstliche Intelligenz) in Saarbr├╝cken, which pays just enough to live and continue working on my own projects in my spare time, and also gives me the opportunity to meet interesting people and travel from time to time, although on most occasions I have to pay the travel tickets from my own money. But hey! Better burn those Euros while I can still enjoy it!