I was born in Reykjavík, Iceland in 1973. For more about the family, see the FamilyTree.


I lived in Valais, Switzerland for a few years, then we moved to Argovia, Switzerland. Spent a year in Windhoek, Namibia (called South West Africa at the time, with Apartheid in full swing), went to a German speaking kindergarden there. Came back to Switzerland, went to kindergarden, one year of primary school. Then we moved to Lisbon, Portugal. Stayed there for 5½ years until 7th grade, came back to Switzerland. Spent two years in Switzerland, then I was off to Bangkok, Thailand. Went to the International School there, and got a high school diploma after two years. Came back to Switzerland, finished the Swiss school system in another 1½ years. Then I had 8 months off. I worked at a big local company during this time for meager pay (by Swiss standards). This was when I learnt coding for a living – especially SQL. Then I started my studies in biology. After two years I specialized in neurology (insect navigation) as a major and computer science (new artificial intelligence) as a minor. I finished after another two years with a diploma in zoology.


1998-04-01 – Started to work as a System Engineer for a small company founded by the old crew from my pre-university days. While I was studying, they did a management buy-out and started their own. Work included programming using Centura (the IDE and language formaly called SQL Windows which came with database by Gupta), lots of ER diagrams and SQL. I had already made clear that I preferred earning lots of money and work only part-time.

1999-01-11 Richard Stallman added my sql.el to GnuEmacs. My first official contribution to the GNU project. More files followed eventually, and I continue to work on Emacs sporadically.

2000-10 – Started to teach Oracle Performance Tuning at a Fachhochschule in Switzerland ( for one day a week (20%). At the same time I reduced my regular work load to 80%. Lecture notes, exams, and solutions are available from my old website[1].

2001-04 – The semester having ended, I decided to keep my regular work load at 80%. I had fridays off.

2001-05 – Started the Emacs Wiki at

2001-10 – Taught one semester of Oracle Performance Tuning again, for one day a week. Work load was back to 100%.

2001-11 – Started to work for a web portal project written in Java (J2EE) based on a framework two in our company wrote. It was loosely based on Struts, but not exactly the same.

2002-04 – The semester having ended, I work load went back to 80%. Fridays off!

2002-09 – I decided to reduce my work load even more. Now I am down to 60%.


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