Personal info

Tor Lillqvist (tml)

I was born in 1959 in Vaasa. As a child I lived in Jakobstad (Pietarsaari). After school I studied at the Helsinki University of Technology.

I hadn't even touched a computer before entering the University, but quickly became obsessed by them. First I used Basic on the HP2000 (and that Basic was really basic... one letter + one digit variable names, no procedures, etc).

Next I learned Fortran, Simula, and APL. The computer we used was the DECSystem-20, with the PDP-10 processor. I hacked some DEC-20 Macro Assembler (hrroi a, [asciz "Hello, world"]; psout). The PDP-10 was a quite nice orthogoal architecture. Then I enjoyed playing Zork a lot, and used the original TECO Emacs. I even wrote some code in the, eh, interesting TECO Emacs language.

I first met UNIX and C in the form of Version 6 from Bell Labs (with the users dmr and ken still in the passwd file) on a Soviet-made PDP-11 clone called SM4.

At my first computer-related job around 1980 I programmed in Microsoft (!) Fortran on a Radio Shack TRS-80. Ouch!

In 1983 I spent a year at the City of Oulu Health Department doing my alternative to military service (siviilipalvelu, civiltjänst), whatever it's called in English. I worked with FAS, an obscure language once popular with the government computing centre in Finland and their customers (cities, municipalities). I also hacked a little in PDP-11 assembler just for fun.

In 1984 I started working at VTT. First I did programming in Pascal on an HP1000, which was a 16-bit (with some 32-bit features in later models) minicomputer, but not at all as elegant as the PDP-11. After some years we finally moved to UNIX on HP PA-RISC machines. Java, C and C++ are nowadays my main languages. I also enjoy writing Scheme and GNU Emacs Lisp. The more I use Java, the more I like it, and the more I dislike C++.

In December 1998 I finally decided it was time to try some other job, and accepted a job offer at Tellabs here in Finland.

In January 2005 I started working at Novell as Senior Software Engineer. I will work on Open Source software, i.e. more or less doing what I have done in my spare time until now.

Until 1996 I had at home only a terminal (first a HP2622, then a VT220) and modem, no computer. My first PC was a P150, and my second (and still current) is a P3-450. Yes, it would definitely be time to upgrade.

I have earlier enjoyed playing adventure games a lot, and my favourites in that genre have been Myst, Riven, Zork Nemesis and Obsidian. Also flight simulators like Fly! are cool. But lately I haven't had much time for games. Plus, my home machine is rather underpowered by today's standards, so no modern games would run on it with acceptable performance anyway.

During my school days I was of the quiet, nerdy type. I read a book per day, more or less, and had no social life to speak of. When I left my childhood home and went to study it was quite a relief and I enjoyed partying and going out. I never could understand those fellow students who visited their parents every other weekend. For me, three or four times per year was more than enough.

In the 1983--1985 timeframe I was heavily into the gothic style, with hair dyed black. I wore make-up, black nailpolish, etc at night when partying. (I have later noticed that I looked quite like Robert Smith from The Cure, but that wasn't intentional.) This had a very positive effect on my success with girls. I met my wife-to-be, Taina, in 1984. Our son, Niklas, was born in 1990.

I am a widower. Taina died of cancer in November 1995.

I then met Leena in 1996. We have been together since and have a daughter, Ebba, who was born in 2001. We finally married in 2011. We live in Viikki in Helsinki.

As you might guess from my name, my mother tongue is Swedish. I am however quite bilingual (Swedish and Finnish).