Who am I?

I have three pictures of myself available. Me standing (gif or jpg) and me in the front of my computer (gif or jpg). There's also the old picture from summer 1991, only as jpg. I think they look dumb, but that's the normal way to feel about any picture of yourself, right? :-)
First, my real name is Mikko Hänninen. Wizard is my nickname, which has been in use (with derivatives of Wizzu, Wiz, and so on) by most of my friends since 1990 or so... It originated from my first BBS handle, though that was even more years ago. (Around 1985? I can't even remember exactly when it was. A long time ago, anyway.)


Well, let's begin from the beginning. I was born on 15th March, 1974. (So I'm 20 years old as I write this, Nov-94.) My birthplace is Vantaa, near Helsinki. After that I've lived for two years in Zambia (though my recollections of that time are dim, given that I was 7 months old when our family moved there) and a year in Vienna, Austria. I lived most of my childhood, my teenage years and even years after that in a house in Kylmälä, a very small village not too far away from Helsinki, 35 kilometers or 21 miles. I moved out to my own apartment in the beginning of Oct'98 (at the age of 24).

I graduated from upper secondary school (high school is the common term) the spring of '94. After that I got accepted in the Helsinki University of Technology in the department of electrical engineering. Though I'm planning to reapply, as my interests lie more in computer science. Wish me luck. :-)

I spent half of years 1994 and 1995 doing my military service. I didn't go to the army though. Instead I worked at the Metsähovi Radio Research Station as what the dictionary calls a "conscientious objector"; instead of military service, I did work that is supposedly good for the society in other ways. (After I left they decided not to actively maintain the web pages; that's why some of the links don't work and they still list me as the webmaster.) After that year of service I also got a summer job there.

Current Activities

I have started studying at the Helsinki University of Technology in the fall of 1995. In May 1998 I started working at Ideal Product Data as an application engineer.

Some Miscellaneous Facts

Things get added here as I come up with them.. Just in case you didn't (or couldn't!) look at my picture, some physical descriptions too.

I consider myself a hacker -- not in the sense that it's used in the media commonly, rathern that how it is described at the linked document. It's amazing how almost everything described there seems to fit my personality.

If you would like to know what I'm interested in, read my hobby page.

Pet hates

What my friends think

I asked a few friends of mine to write something about me, because you're never the best person to describe yourself. Thanks for your words, my friends.

This is what Mikki wrote (sometime 1997):

Wiz asked me to write about him for his homepage.
I, being myself, the fool, said yes.
I decided right up front that if I am to write about someone, I am not going to lie, nor am I going to dance around the subject, or otherwise mince words to make sure no one gets offended. I'm not here to do that; nor should any writer catch himself doing that. It is my intention to write about him, the way I see him, the way I know him, in good and in bad, and let the reader draw his or her own conclusions. I believe that this is the way he prefers it.
I must admit that I'm at something of a loss here. It's hard to define someone. It's always harder than you think, and after all this time I should not be surprised when I find myself in this state, but that's life for you. No, I can't tell you what he's like. How could I possibly do that without either appearing mean, or ending up saying nothing worth a damn, or without getting far to sidetracked into meaningless details?
It is easy to say that someone is like that, or someone is like this, but in the end, you're either describing something that only exists in your own mind, or something that may in itself be accurate, but gives a rather twisted and biased view of that person -- whether in good or bad.
Hence, I will not attempt to define him.
I will say this, though: He's my friend, and in good or bad, I've always been able to count on him, despite the fact that he sometimes manages to annoy me quite a bit -- and, more importantly, despite the fact that I often manage to annoy HIM quite a bit.
That, I believe, is enough. At least in my book, that goes a long way.
That's all.

This is what Barb Suvanto wrote (8th Nov 1998):

Wizzu... what can one say about a Finnish wizard? Plenty! I first met Wizzu because of irc, and notice I did not say ON irc. I was somewhat of a newbie to dalnet, and there was something I wanted to bring to the attention of the people in charge. I proceeded to write a very long email and mass-mail it to about 10 people who's addresses I got from the dalnet homepage, Wizzu's being one of them.
Little did I know that there is a *protocol* for doing this type of thing, and I had broken almost every rule there was, lol! Yet Wizzu was still kind enough to reply. I got a very long email back from him, explaining the *rules* of netiquette... and how I had broken a great number of them, hehehe! But this began our email friendship.
In the following months I got to know someone who is very intelligent, especially about computers and the internet. He despises wasted bandwidth, lol, and will tell you in a minute if he thinks you have done this! I have not yet met him in real life, but I am guessing he is similar in person to how he is on the computer... very organized and very busy!
Previously I mentioned how kind he was in answering my email, but that only begins to cover his kindness. My new parents-in-laws are Finnish, and speak no english... I speak no finnish. When they were coming to the US for their first visit, I badly wanted to say some things to them in a letter. Wizzu was kind enough to translate a very personal letter to them for me. To this day, I don't think he realizes how much that meant to me... thanks again!!!
So many other times he has helped me too, whether it be finding mp3's or taking a look at something I had on the web. Whatever, I had only to ask, and Wizzu was there to help in any way he could. Sometimes that help was just offering a listening ear as I worked through a frustration. The thing that always amazes me about him, is that no matter how busy he is, he always finds time to be a good friend!
Of course there is plenty more I could write about him, but then Wizzu would have to give me the wasted bandwidth speech again, hehehe. Suffice it to say I think he is intelligent, kind, the best IRCop there is, an all around GREAT guy! I can't wait to someday meet him in person!!! :)

This is what Sue Bridehead wrote (11th Nov 1998):

Mikko is a friendly, intelligent guy with great taste in music.

This is what Tommy Jensen wrote (11th Nov 1998):

Mikko is a cool dude!! He's often helped me in a lot of different situations, be it computer related, or even when dealing with feelings. I appreciate that.
Maybe he's a bit slow on the studying! ;) - but I dunno if that's a bad thing...

I really can't say anything bad about Mikko, I think. He's a really nice guy. That's pretty much how I'd descibe him; a nice and helpful and caring guy.

This is what Scot wrote (12th Nov 1998):

What do I know about Mikko?
Mikko is a Wizard. I know. He turned me into a newt. But I got better...
He speaks a terribly complex, infinitely disagreeable language... but I speak English too, so that's not so clever.
He lives in an appartment with no phone line, but he does have his priorities straight... he has a direct ethernet connection to a computer network in his apartement building.
He trades with folks from Malasia for posters and news about a band from Ireland.
He should buy a new camera, since he is terribly disappointed when his pictures of his favorite band (see immediately above) come back to him out of focus, for no reason he can discern.
Point six: There is no point six.
Point seven: See point six.
He harpoons large bottles of cola in their natural habitat, and does so fearlessly.
He flies fighter jets without leaving his home (but psychic jet pilots are a NATO secret, so don't put this on the web site...)
He is extremely tall for a short man, which is not surprising, since he has been contradicting people since 1937, several decades before he was born.
Finally, he seems to get along with me. Which is the thing that makes me think he's *really* strange.

Portrait of Wizzu

Finally, Jilli wrote a portrait of me, sometime early 1998.

So, if you want to know something else, go ahead and ask from me in email. Or better yet, talk to me on IRC. Here's how to contact me.
Back to my home page.