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My name is Tanzil. I am an amateur coder, with a habit of jumping into things way over my head, and hacking away at them till I can finally thank god wrangle them enough to make what I had originally set out to do.

Coding, which I started when I was about 11, would fill my mind with a profound sense of wonder, being able to make these lifeless assemblages of electrified silicon and metal come alive under my fingers and follow my instructions.

From exploring glitches in games, which built up to making mods for Minecraft, which spiraled into apps, libraries and games in a few languages, I’ve been exploring the world of technology ever since I could get my hands on a computer. And loving every second of it.

My Hobbies

Besides this, writing is also one of my hobbies, ironically having grown more when I no longer had English as a subject in school anymore. I’ve come to realize its something about the written word, how it can capture wispy feelings and misty, vague emotions too hard to express by voice, it grounds me.

Oh and yes of course, gaming. Lots and lots of video games. My love for them is what started this journey into the world of tech, after all.

Titanfall 2 is my favorite game of all time, a game I’ve sunk more days and clocked more hours into it than is most likely healthy, while Minecraft is the game I’d say has influenced me the most, as the creative freedom it gave me, even all those years ago on the Pocket Edition, a name it doesn’t even use now, is not unlike what I feel when I code, and is also probably the reason I love it so much. Funnily enough, the basics of circuitry I also actually learned from Minecraft, while trying to hone my skills in the game’s mechanics.


In the Beginning

I’ve been fascinated by technology since as long as I can remember. How all of those 1s and 0s come together and make things that affect us all so so much is something that’s confounded me since that first day, all those years ago when I got my GameBoy.

I still vividly remember, I would play Spiderman or Pokemon or Super Mario on it, the first console I ever had, and I wouldn’t reboot the game if glitches or bugs happened, I’d push it and see how far I could take it. How deep into this realm of 1s and 0s I could venture this time around before being yanked back.

Aut cum scuto aut in scuto

One way or the other

It was a forbidden place of untold magic to me, the world behind the proverbial curtains, if only sealed off by near impenetrable walls of undecipherable code. It felt mystical, it reeked of change, of mystery, of untold and unimaginable wonders, of adventure and a life filled to the brim with impossibilities morphing into everyday occurrences. But by far its most important attribute though, to me at least, was that it was real.

And that, has actually been what has driven me all these years, the fact that, unlike Harry Potter or Mistborn or Percy Jackson, the magic wouldn’t end when I decided to stop reading, when I inevitably had to stop playing, and it wasn’t confined to the world within the pages or the screen either.

No, it was real, it existed in this world, drove much of what its inhabitants used, and most importantly, maybe not soon but with time and practice, I could learn to wield some of it too.

Once more,

Unto The Glitch

< / >

Per aspera ad astra

Through hardships, to the stars

Each time I ventured into these glitches, the few I could manage to find at all that is, I felt like Miles Morales, donning my mask and diving into cyberspace.

I never could get very far, to the credit of the developers, but each time I got a little better at triggering the bugs, got a little farther, dove a little deeper, seen a few more distorted polygons. And that was enough encouragement to try again harder the next time.

The code may have been undecipherable to me then, the levels nigh unbreakable, and the only tool at my disposal the power to reboot the game and try again, but damned if I wasn’t going to find cracks in it somehow and finesse my way in.

Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe

Whatever it takes

It was hard, mainly because the developers of that time didn’t have the luxury of being able to update their games after it hit shelves, so basically all but the most obscure of bugs were caught when testing.

Combined with the fact that the games had unique save systems that I didn’t quite understand at the time (hey, in my defense, they used big words like “Autosave” and “Overwrite save file”, which might as well have been Ancient Egyptian to 6 year old me) so whenever I got to that part of the levels, I had one shot to trigger the bug before I had to start the game all over again.

It was tedious, long work, but never did it seize to amaze me, and never was it not worth the trouble.

Et Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est

And knowledge itself, is power

I also vividly remember, looking around at all of the electronics surrounding me, things we more often than not take for granted, from the television in the living room to the oven in the kitchen, and the endless sense of bewilderment and wonder that would consume my mind when trying to understand or predict how they worked (and later on when I would take them apart to see for myself).

Of course, I could never get far before reassembling it would become impossible for me and I would have to deal with the fact that I had just broken perfectly good technology by trying to look inside it.

My parents, bless them, would never mind of course. If this was the price to pay to help me foster a curious mind, then by god they were going to happily pay it ten times over.

Still, the pseudo high risk of this activity - the ever present chance of the appliance breaking entirely - I engaged in was, in hindsight, what really got drove me to learn about technology, specifically its more unforgiving part, hardware.

You see, when I’d already broken 3 appliances in as many days, no matter how much my parents said it was fine, the pressure was of course on to make sure the 4th didn’t break as well. And riskier still, unlike the computer code I attempted to write, there was no undo button here to reverse my mistakes.

Sine Qua Non

The indispensable reason why

And so, driven by a feverish requirement, my hands soon became nimble enough to take apart and reliably be able to put back together quite a lot of things, from remote controlled cars and helicopters to flashlights and blenders and even part of an oven once.

Understanding the inner workings of things (particularly electronics), or at least trying to, has always been one of my passions, ever since I can remember, sometimes even to a flaw. I am, however, glad to say that, in coding however, this has been a boon unlike any other.

Learning about computers, both hardware and software, wasn’t always an easy or even rewarding process, particularly near the beginning, when nearly every aspect of it was overwhelming.

But in those times, with my patience waning and frustration taking hold, my burning desire to truly get how the computer I was researching those very things on worked, why it worked, and how I may make it do something else, that was what kept me going.

For, only if I truly understood this system of systems could I start moulding it, start wielding some of the magic that made it up, some of the magic that had captivated me since the first time I got my hands on a computer, start making it follow my directions, turning my ideas into reality, giving life to my thoughts.

Per inānem in scrūtātione īnfīnī

Through the void in search of the infinite

It has been years, since I wrote that first line of JSON for my Minecraft mod, and years more since I’ve loaded up a game on my Gameboy. But that feeling of magic, that essence of the unknown beckoning me, and most of all, that belief, that through practice and effort, this magic would come to be familiar and would allow me to imbue things with it, that has never waned.

I’ve learned much about the intricacies of technology over the years, the layers upon layers upon webs of carefully crafted hardware and software that intertwine and build on top of (or sometimes below!) each other, but the internet has yet to give up more than a bit of its mysteries, but I was hooked from that day all those years ago re-running levels just to explore the glitches, and everyday I try and coax it to give up just a little bit more.