Sticking within the Catholic school system, I next attended St. Francis de Sales High School, where I participated in yearbook and debate and played lots of D&D, then graduated as Salutatorian with the class of 1989.
I applied for early admission to two colleges—Harvard and the University of Chicago—was accepted at both, and decided to attend Chicago. During Orientation Week I met my future wife who lived two doors down from me in the dorm. In order to save money, I took advantage of AP credits and finished my undergraduate degree in Physics in 3 years.
Since my girlfriend still had an extra year to go, and since I was debating going to graduate school, I signed on with the U of C Physics Department as a Research Assistant, which gave me the opportunity to travel to CERN and work on the OPAL Particle Detector, for which I developed firmware and diagnostic software.
From there, we moved to New York City where I worked as a Mac programmer at the Cornell University Medical College. Our experience of NYC was that it was awesome for 6 months, neutral for the next 6 months, and we were dying to escape for the final 6 months. Just not our scene.
Instead we moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where I worked at LucasArts Entertainment Company on video games. When I grew tired of that, I moved on to Connectix, where I developed software emulation technology on the Mac and Windows.