SpotLight on mikemtp
mikemtp Started folding on 7/26/05
He has 208,286 points
Lets meet mikemtp...............
mikemtp is another folder with a great sense of humor, as you will soon see.
He won third place in the Add-A-Box contest and has contributed a considerable
amount to the Plan-A-Box prize list.
Where do you live mikemtp?
I live in Chesapeake,VA with my wife of 12 years, Shannon and 7 year old son
Phillip. My wife and I were stationed on the same ship in the Navy and met on
deployment, the mighty USS Puget Sound (it was a repair ship). After that, I
was stationed on board the USS Briscoe and USS Laboon. During our Navy days,
we were lucky enough to stay in the Hampton Roads* area (*Formerly known as the
Tidewater region, made up of the cities of the southeast area of Virginia).
Mike is 35 years old and loving it - you can tell by the smile.
I'm originally from New Orleans (N'awlins, for those in the know). Couldn't really
find any direction after high school, and the Navy recruiter promised me the
opportunity to see the world, make money for college, blah, blah, blah. Yeah,
I fell for it, for 15 years. I'm glad I did though, wouldn't be where I
am today without him.
Was your first home in New Orleans badly impacted by the flooding?
Actually, only one nephew and one niece's homes took water damage, all the
others only had some wind damage. The levees in the suburbs kept up pretty
well. But things down there are pretty bad. Some of the best paying employers
right now are actually the fast food joints, just can't get people in to work.
Other than my brother, nephew, and great nephew (who were at work), all of my
family made it out and were safe, thank _____ (insert deity of choice).
Flooding and N'awlins go hand in hand, decent storm=flooding. It's going to be
a long time before that area is anything close to what it once was. But you
have to admire the spirit of N'awlins, the first businesses open after
What got you started folding?
I read about Folding@Home in MaximumPC and used it to burn-in PC's that I
built, but never really got into it. My mother-in-law found out she had a
mutated gene that increased a womans chance of getting breast cancer to 87% and
ovarian cancer to 40%. Even worse, this gene is hereditary. Recently, we
found out that my wife didn't get that mutation, but two of her sisters did. The
oldest of the two that have it just had a beautiful baby girl. I've lost people
I loved to cancer:
Bother-in-law/Godfather - lung cancer
Nephew - Eweing's sarcoma (he had the 50th documented case in the US)
One of my best friends - leukemia
And others have survived:
Mother-in-law - breast cancer TWICE
Grandfather - testicular (was worried if "it" would still work....GO GRAMPS!)
So I guess you could say I really started folding for selfish reasons. Then I
started thinking about the people I tend to at work with these horrible
diseases, and I had what recovering alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity.
It gives me a way to help others around the clock, instead of just during
working hours. It gives me a better excuse to keep building machines, and the
competition keeps me going as well.
Where are you employed?
I'm a paramedic with the Virginia Beach Dept. of EMS. It's a really interesting
hybrid as there are only 31 career medics augmenting the 10 individual volunteer rescue
squads, which serve as the primary response for the 425,000+ citizens, and
millions of tourists. Virginia Beach has the largest volunteer rescue
organization in the world. Ever since the first time I saw Johnny and Roy in
Emergency! at the age of five, I knew that I wanted to be a medic. I had
volunteered with Davis Corner Volunteer Rescue in the Beach since '97. While I
was waiting to get out of the Navy with a bad knee, the openings were posted. I
went from serving my country, to serving on a local level. (If anyone living in
the Hampton Roads area is interested in volunteering, PM me). I really love
being a medic. It's not too often you get a chance to do what you wanted since
you were a kid. Only problem is, nobody really asks me how my day went at the
dinner table anymore. I guess I share a little too much.
Public safety is kind of the family trade. Both of my brothers were into
firefighting (career and volley), which I did briefly. One is a captain in
Kenner,LA and was on the job during Katrina. He worked a week straight before
relief showed up. My nephew was a paramedic for awhile and is now the EMS
department administrator at West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero,LA. My
great nephew is a paramedic, working at the same hospital. They were also on
the job during Katrina.
Left to Right - Brother Harry (Kenner FD Capt), brother Jim (3rd Dist. Vol. FD Capt. Retired),
our Pops (also a Jim, may he rest in peace) and me at 19 as a volly FF (yes, that's a mullet).
Do you get much time between runs to read MaximumPC or whatever?
There usually isn't too much time between calls, as station chores, equipment
check-off/maintenance, and training can pretty much fill a shift. But when I do
get a few minutes of down time, of course I read a little MaxPC. Sometimes
we'll pop in a DVD, but that usually brings the next run. Other things that
bring the next run:
Saying the "Q" word (quiet), or the "S" word (slow).
Trying to sit down to eat.
Not using the bathroom as soon as you can. ("I'll wait", is a disaster waiting
And of course, looking at the clock/your watch close to shift change.
Have you gotten any other paramedics interested in folding? They seem like
a group that would understand why it could be very important.
The majority of the medics, both career and volunteer, that I've talked to
about folding have started. I always point them to 11108, but using my user
name is always optional. I actually encourage them to pick one out for
themselves so they can monitor their own progress, but most go with mine since
I got them to start. Some are skeptical at first, others dive right in. It kind
of helps that I'm the "geek" of the group. "Need to get rid of that
spyware/virus/those kazaa appz? Upgrade memory/video card/hard drive/software?
Sure, I'll be glad to help, and have I got a deal for you!"
What other hobbies or interests do you pursue when not folding.
I collect Code3 fire trucks and GI Joes, those are split between fire/rescue
and military style. I only collect the 12 inch types, I am an adult y'know!
And I couldn't be a rescue geek without collecting Emergency! toys and such.
I even have the lunch box with a thermos!
I also like playing shooters, on PC or PS2 <gasp!>. I'm not as avid about it
as AL, but it's a good way to relieve stress after a long day. Nothing says
relief like a clean head shot with no mess to clean up after!
There's always the movies (Kevin Smith is the man!) and books. The last book
I read was "The Last Men Out" by Tom Downey. It's a history of FDNY's Rescue 2.
Anybody else catching the recurring theme here?
How did you learn about computers?
When I saw my first Commodore64 in K-Mart, I thought that was the coolest
thing ever. We didn't really have the income for one, so I got my fix on friends PCs.
When the Navy went "paperless" I started to learn more (besides Solitaire) out of
necessity. My in-laws were the ones that really got me interested. My father- in-law
kept up with the hardware, and my mom-in-law does web design for a local HMO. I bought
my first PC from a local company, it was a P2-400, 64Mb RAM, 4Gb HDD. Truly cutting
edge! After a couple of upgrades through them at what I thought were fair prices,
I saw MaximumPC on a news stand. Clouds parted and
the light shone down on me. I decided right then, that I was going to do it on my
own after that! My upgrades were mine until '03, when I built my first PC.
Built at least a dozen since then. Some for friends/family, some just because.
Now mostly for folding!
What hardware are you currently running?
My main rig is an Athlon X2 4200+, 2Gb OCZ Platinum, MSI K8N Neo4 Platimum, XFX
7800GT, 2x 250Gb MaxLineIII HDDs, NEC3540A and HP 640i Lightscribe burners,
Mitsumi floppy/card reader, Audigy2 ZS in a Kingwin KT-424 case. Logitech MX
duo, Creative 5.1 speakers, and a 19" LCD round it out.
For folders? I have 1x P4 2.8 HT (wife's), 3x P4 3.0 HT, A64 3000+, AthlonXP
3200+ (son's), Emachines M6811 lappie, a 2.0 Celeron lappie, and a Mac Mini.
All have 1Gb RAM. Will be adding another P4 3.0 and A64 3800+ to the mix soon!
Thinking of going the server route with the P4 (can't believe I've gotten this
far without one), and using the A64 as a replacement for my son's gamer.
I use a D-Link DI-634 wireless router and 8 port gigabit switch to keep
everything connected. Eventually, I'm going to have the house completely
Do you build your own computers today?
Of course! There's nothing like the feeling of accomplishment with that first
(successful) boot after putting in your time, sweat, and sometimes blood
(no tears here, Mary!). I've done builds for friends and family, situated to
their needs. Whenever someone talks about buying a new PC, I ask them what
they're looking for, and do a competitive workup. Sometimes I win, sometimes not.
At least they end up knowing a little more, and might ask me for their next one!
Do you overclock any machines?
My first ever build was an AthlonXP 2500 OC'd to 2.2Ghz. But that was kind of
easy. I play around with an OC after a build to see how stable I can get it,
then I put it back to stock. I usually end up selling some of my builds for a
significant discount (provided they continue to fold, of course), and most of
the people I sell to don't fit into the "enthusiast" area.
What are the main things you use your computers for today?
My main rig is mainly for gaming, shooters from the original Doom to
Call of Duty 2. Most of the everyday stuff I do on the Celly lappie in my den.
Sometimes I take the Emachines lappie to work (if it's a "slow" station) to
fill time. The Mac is a great little platform to learn Mac OSX. It's a decent
performer (but a slow folder), I'm starting to dabble with Adobe and Macromedia
apps on it. The P4 2.8 is my wife's, and the XP 3200+ is my son's. The only thing
in common for all? FOLDING!!!
What Broadband provider do you use - are you happy with their service?
I've been with Cox since it was Cox@Home. I've never had a problem with the service,
and they're constantly upgrading speeds around here. I can't remember the last time
they had an outage, maybe during hurricane Isabel in 2003. It was their people that
told me I needed a new modem before mine had the chance to go paws up. Now if they
would only do something about their cable prices....
What do you like most about Folding and the MaximumPC forum.
With folding, it's possible to do your own thing, and still be part of a team
working towards a final goal. All you need is a PC (or Mac) and you're set!
We're working to cure some of the most horrible diseases on the planet, in and
of itself, how is that NOT worth it? The competition is fun, watching it unfold
on the forums is even better. I like that no one takes it personal when someone
else is coming up on them, but encourages them to keep running with it. It
really helps facilitate my building addiction, too.
As for the Forums, there's a wealth of information in there. Tips to boost
production, troubleshooting help, and all things folding. I don't think there's
been a time when I didn't find an answer to any question I've had. And of
course, we can't forget our very own entertainment: Team Monkey's quest to rule
the world, Monsterbuilder's tales of Ratzilla, and of course, Al being,.....
What are your future folding plans?
Immediate plans are to be in the Top 50 before years end, which puts HeadSpin in
my sights (don't worry about that little red dot HS, you won't see it too
long!). Eventually playing catch up with n0b0dykn0ws,...and passing him! After
that, I just hope to hold off david.l.moore a little while, that guy scares me!
I'm just glad he's on our side! All the while, talking up more people about
folding (or as it's become affectionately labeled around here "the gospel
according to Pande") and Team MaximumPC.
mikemtp thanks for agreeing to do this SpotLight.
You do a great job folding, support every contest and are a regular forum contributor.
We all appreciate your dedication.
*As originally posted by gsmitheman