Papousek’s boyish tinkering becomes his life pursuit
From kindergarten to college, Tony Papousek has been transfixed by technology.
“I’m a person who likes to tinker and make stuff, taking input and having output,” said Papousek, a senior journalism major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
In kindergarten, his teacher let the class “go wild” disassembling old electronics like VCRs, which might not have been the best idea, Papousek said.
“Some electronics have some really big capacitors that’ll shock the heck out of someone if you hit them the wrong way,” he said.
In junior high, he built his own computers to fuel a self-described obsession with them. While his parents slept, he ran homemade Ethernet cables throughout the house, getting internet access without their knowledge. Learn how he did it.
Soon, Papousek became “The Guy” to fix computers in his hometown of Clarkson, and he realized he could make a living with his skills.
But when he started studying computer engineering at the university, he couldn’t stand it.
“It was very conceptual – not actually making stuff,” he said.
Papousek changed majors and started tinkering again. Then, he realized he didn’t hate computer science; he just wanted to make stuff with it.
Now, Papousek wants to work in application engineering, which is kind of like tinkering.
“At a very, very basic level, an application does something,” he said. “You give it input; it gives you output.”