Jason Kottke
Founder, Kottke.org; Fmr. Web Designer

What sparked your interest in technology?

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Kottke started tinkering with primitive computers when he was still a kid.

Jason Kottke

Jason Kottke is a blogger and former web designer. Educated at Coe College, Kottke began his career as a web designer in 1986. He worked on design projects for companies as diverse as Charles Schwab, Target, and the University of Minnesota. He designed the now-ubiquitous typeface Silkscreen in 1999, which has since been adopted by Adobe, MTV and Volvo. He has served on the Advisory Board for SXSW Interactive since 2000. In 2005, he announced he had left his web design job to work on his blog full-time. The site is now supported by paid advertisements. Kottke lives in New York City.



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Question: When did technology spark your interest?


Jason Kottke: My parents got divorced when I was about 10.  And I lived with my mom, but I would spend the weekends and like one day a week with my dad . . . every other weekend and one day a week with my dad.  And he had a computer.  He had an 80-80, which is like the very early sort of IBM-compatible PC.  It was manufactured by a company named Columbia, which is, you know, probably went out of business two seconds after we bought the computer.  And I think right around that time or maybe before that we had a TI-99, which was a Texas Instruments thing you could buy at Radio Shack.  And you know we had computers in school and stuff too.  But that was really like I could play around with, you know, programming things in Basic on the computer and programming . . .  They had Basic on the TI-99 as well, and played some games and things like that.  And that’s really where the interest, you know, kind of began.

It was just sort of this endless world, I guess.  You could . . . you could just explore as much as you wanted.  You could . . . you could write a program, you know, within the confines of what the computer was capable of.  You could write a program to do anything, and you just had to figure out how to do it.  And that was, you know, the fun part for me.  I liked figuring out how to do things.


Recorded on: 10/9/07