About Me

Don Fountain

Don Fountain

My name is Don Fountain, I’m 46 years old, and I’ve been neck deep in computers since I was 9. My first computer was a Vic-20, and because there weren’t any games for it, I wrote my own version of Space Invaders in Basic, using Peek and Poke to put ASCII graphics directly into video memory with a simple for/next loop to poll the keyboard for keypresses. That started a life-long affair with computers and programming, through a series of computers that included a Commodore 64, a Color Computer 2 (what I really cut my teeth on as far as programming and electronics), and finally an IBM XT running at 8Mhz that had a turbo button for it to run at 10Mhz.

This was last updated on 9/11/2014, and I realized today that I had to tack two years on to my age above.  My first article for this blog was in July of 2012, and I didn’t even think this would be of any interest to anyone but me.  Now it’s two years later, I get around 25,000 unique visitors to the blog per month, and still refuse to put any ads whatsoever on my blog and allow it to run through pure donations.  For a while in 2014, I was quite sick, and the site languished without updates or anything, but I hope that has changed, I hope beginning next month, I will be posting an article every two weeks.

Everyone have a great year, and continue reading for a little more boring information about me.

Education and Life Experiences

Through my life I’ve had a huge range of jobs and experience, and I currently have 8 vocational certificates, 2 Associate’s Degrees, a Bachelor’s Degree, and will finish my Master’s Degree this year. I hold a number of certifications as well, including CompTIA’s A+, Linux +, Network+, and Cloud Essentials, full certification from cPanel University for cPanel/WHM, and a number of minor certifications.  I’ve been a horticulturist, programmer, am an ordained minister, was an executive chef for 4 years, worked in Alaska doing IT on the pipeline, a construction foreman, was the Director of Training at the largest private hosting company in the US, and was COO of a small offshore hosting company for a couple of years.

When I was 13-15, I met a kind, older gentleman that worked for Texas Instruments that took me under his wing, so to speak, and was my biggest influence as far as computers.  He had a garage full of what we would call “maker” stuff nowadays, but I just saw as a treasure trove of circuit boards, chips, multimeters, oscillscopes, and other throwaways from the TI laboratories.  He taught me electronics design, and also let me log on to one of the Unix mainframes at TI via a 300 baud modem and program every night and learn systems administration.

Currently, I work as a Senior Hosted Solution Administrator for Hosting.com, an Enterprise level hosting company that builds and operates high-performance clouds for business-critical applications. To put it shortly, I’m an education junkie, am a builder personality, and sort of have ADHD with my jobs.  You can also view my LinkedIn profile here: Donald Fountain, LinkedIn Profile.

Current Focus

My latest fascination is with cloud computing, and while building a home ESXi lab, I found that there was very little information on how to build a lab out of consumer grade products, that would give you Enterprise level performance (my ESXi cluster originally had 32 cores, 128GB of RAM, 2 x 24-port GB switches, 2 x Juniper SSG5 firewalls, a F5 BigIP load balancer, a 3000VA UPS, and cost me <$2,000, but has grown quite a bit larger now and is partially colocated in a data center in Philadelphia). Last year, I also added two custom built SANs that provide me with around 40TB of usable storage and allow me to create highly available iSCSI targets.  After much research, and several months of putting together several builds that worked flawlessly, I decided to put this site together to not only chronicle my journey, but to provide that information for others who want to build their own setups.

My Life and Family

My basement is my man cave, and I’ve framed out two rooms: one is a server room where my server rack is and all the network cables from the house also drop, and the other is my electronics workroom.  I’m also an electronics tinkerer, and have an electronics workroom in my basement.  There are several Raspberry Pis (this has grown to over a dozen this year, all doing various things), a couple of Arduino boards (this has also grown to over a dozen), and way too much electronic equipment.  My wife is a wonderful, and very patient woman, btw 🙂

Currently, I live in a small town in Delaware, have a beautiful wife and son, a Plott Hound named Buddy that is also my diabetic service dog, and I bake and sell organic artisan bread at several Delaware Farmer’s Markets during the spring and summer seasons on the weekends.  My top two selling breads are Sweet Potato-Pumpkin Smash mini-loaves and Chipotle Cheddar Bread.  We are also in the process of purchasing 15-20 acres in the mountains of Virginia, and will be building a house (with a raised floor, small data center room attached with capacity for around 10 racks), which I plan to retire to in 6 years or so.  This year, I took my Cloud Consulting business and expanded it into a cloud hosting company, and this has been keeping me quite busy, as it’s been successful.

Feel free to leave any comments or ask me any questions.  I’d be happy to share any knowledge that I happen to have, and you can visit my LinkedIn profile below.

LinkedIn Profile, Donald Fountain

LinkedIn Profile: Don Fountain