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chconline

Woo I'm 18. Here's chc's life story.

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Here's the real deal: Unless I told you, or know me in real life, I'm really not 25, 30, 40, 50, or even 60 like someone guessed :P I was born on May 21, 1990, so it makes me 18 years old today. I'm Jonathan Kwan, a high school student, known online as chconline, owner and editor in cheif of online tech publication APH Networks.

 

I was born in Hong Kong to both native Hong Kong parents. At that age, I did not have any memories of this city; me and my parents came to Canada in November 1991 -- when I was approximately 1.5 years old. We lived in Vancouver until 1996, where my parents weren't particularly well off in all those years because of my parent's unemployment and my dad was still getting his Master's Degree at that time. The rest of the family was not in a really good economic state either. We didn't have much money; we couldn't even afford much luxuries and at some point we had to buy those $1 for a box of bananas in the bargain bin because the supermarket can't sell those in that condition. What we did have was a house to live in (There's no credit lines back then), and lots of time together as a family. My parents loved me and made sure I was on the right track at all times. By the way, that's not achievement-wise as you would think most Chinese parents are -- my parents have always let me to be myself and they didn't focus much on my academic achievement, all they wanted was a happy and good kid.

 

My memories of Vancouver weren't particularly strong because at that age I did not really understand the concept of money, and though we may be poor economically we were rich in love and happy as a family together. I loved car trips when I was a kid (Hey, gas was like 40 cents a liter back then), and they would occasionally take me around to whatever place I liked. Whenever they had some money, they would buy me some toys (But not necessarily to an extent of spoiling), which $10 for a diecast models weren't cheap at all for our financial situation at that time. We also had an Intel 386 computer running MS DOS that we bought new in 1992, which we used until I was in Grade 6. I wasn't really much of a computer geek, but I did use it from time to time. I spent most of my time as a kid playing with toys, drawing, nothing really electronically controlled or inclined -- we had TV but I wasn't really into it to be honest.

 

In 1996 we moved to Edmonton, Alberta. I transferred schools in the middle of the school year in kindergarten. I was in that elementary school until the end of Grade 6. For the first couple years, while I was liked by most adults for being a "good" kid, being the only child -- my parents wanted another kid, but it was unfortunate that it did not happen -- I had to admit I was socially inept to an extent. I was incapable of establishing friendly relationships with my friends, and both my parents and teachers tried to help me to no avail. I wasn't particularly bright but I did understand a lot of things from a critical perception. At that point, without the social life I did not really enjoy school much. When I was in Grade 3, something hit me and I came to Christ, out of will, and not out of desperation -- it wasn't because of the good stuff I have done, because I understood that I was not a good person -- I was only one who only cared about myself. I was selfish and I was a sinner. I repented and accepted Jesus into my life, and from that day on my life has changed forever.

 

Being a socially inept person, I've opened up not only from the inside but also on the outside -- suddenly I understood that the world was not really about me (I never had the concept of that, but somehow out of nature I acted in that way) and that I cared about others and made lots of friends. Even at that age I began to understand and was no longer socially incapable -- I made lots of friends that are in contact with me even until today. ty8131990 is one of them :P

 

A little on the story, Grade 6 was the time that we finally bought a computer to replace the old MS DOS computer we had since 1992. It was a Pentium III that ran Windows ME (It was flawless, no joke) and I began my love for computers. Ok, I was mostly into games, but didn't all kids start off that way? Need for Speed, Simcity, etc! Brings back the memories.

 

Moving into Junior High in Grade 7 to Grade 9, everything had the turn for the better. I was doing extremely well in school, despite the fact my parents never really paid any attention in that area, and we moved into a larger house after the slight economic recession after 9/11. Speaking of which, I actually bought a 17" LCD when I was in Grade 7 out of my savings, yes I am an early adopter :D Anyways, before we were in a townhouse. A while later my parents bought a new 03 Honda Odyssey after trading in the previous '99 Odyssey that we have even until today. I had a lot of friends, and we were no longer in the same situation that we were in back when we were in Vancouver. In Grade 9, after years of suffering with the Pentium III 600MHz I finally had a choice and in 2004, without much previous hardware experience, I ordered all my parts and built my very own first computer. It wasn't particularly well done, but as I gained experience and tuned it it was an excellent machine that I used until the end of 2006. I sold off the parts in 2007. You know who you are that got the parts :P

 

As I approached High School, many of my friends came to the same one and I adapted very quickly and made a lot of new friends. I was still doing really well academically, but something that really relates to what most of you know me for also happens at this point. Let's go back a little bit -- in August that year APH Networks was radically transformed into what you know as today -- you can see in some of the first pages we published based on the timestamp. I've always enjoyed reading hardware reviews, and I began writing some amateur reviews as well. I remember that I bought a Creative Muvo N200 off eBay, and I reviewed it and it had a picture of Pure Energy batteries in there. I though, hey, since I'm displaying that picture anyways, let's get the company to sponsor me some Pure Energy Rechargeable Alkalines. So I contacted them and they actually replied and sent me the batteries with a new charger! I was really excited, and I was like, hey, let's make it a review too. So I reviewed the Pure Energy XL Rechargeable Alkalines as my first step into professional reviewing, and my approach for unbiased, factual, and in depth reviews to the best of my ability. The review is still on APH Networks to this day.

 

That was when I was 15 years old.

 

Later on, I thought it may be a fun game as I contacted many companies for opportunities in working together in this regard. 70% of companies do not reply to my emails, but for those 30% that do, I began working with large companies like Logitech and the such which was very exciting in my opinion. I know what I was capable of in reviewing, so I only obtained products based on my ability -- so no motherboards and the such at this point. I did research tons in this area, and in November 2006 -- 1 year after I started reviewing, and gained many opportunities of working with some of the most well known peripheral and hardware manufacturers in this world -- I started on core computer hardware. As much as you want to believe, my first reviewed motherboard was not Asus, but rather it's an abit. The Asus motherboard came a few days later haha.

 

Back in July 2006, I also started a game hosting company that acted as a premium Counter-Strike: Source server provider. With shc-boomer (Kenneth), my long time childhood friend, we were thinking -- let's just start a game hosting company so we can make enough money to cover the dedicated server cost and host our own server for free. That was the plan, but at that time neither of us had any experience in Windows Server 2003 and only some minor experience in Source Dedicated servers. After a month of research, we launched the company in August 2006 as Link in Box Internet Services with one rented server. At the end of the month, we only lost $24, surprisingly.

 

As a premium game server provider, we focused on excellent support -- so I actually took some school hours in the computer lab to answer support tickets, which was not much of a problem. It did take us time to setup the servers and get used to Windows Server 2003, and due to the lack of experience sometimes we had to spend 8 hours to work on a problem or wake up 1 in the morning to work. But we did make some money, and I was quite happy with my business achievement despite the fact I had no prior experience in business or network/server administration. By the way, my parents didn't care at all of what I was doing, they trusted me enough with a credit card to pay server fees so I can pay them back at the end of the month. My reviewing business continued to flourish as I worked with many companies I never would imagine I would work with ever before.

 

During the beginning of 2007 we moved to Calgary, Alberta. We bought a house in December 2006, where our entirely family agreed on this purchase and the possession date was in January 2007. To be honest, I did not want to come to Calgary at all, I missed my friends in Edmonton. By February 2007, my parents have moved here to Calgary and I was still in Edmonton with a close family friend. I swapped all the review sample shipments to our new address in Calgary, where I visited every weekend as I took the Greyhound bus down on Friday night and came back to Edmonton Sunday evening. It was a hard time, but I was generally happy -- I contemplated whether I should come to Calgary for Grade 12 or not, but eventually I saw the work of God and I decided that I am coming down once the school year ends. The last day I stepped out of McNally Composite High School in Edmonton as a student was June 26, 2007 10:26AM. I read my cell phone clock. :P

 

In Calgary, I went to Westside Calgary Chinese Alliance church where I met a lot of great new friends from the first time I attended Fellowship Friday night in January 2007 -- one of the biggest reasons why I decided to come down, because most of them goes to Sir Winston Churchill High School and it's an excellent school that I wanted to get into as well. It was not until May 2007 that I decided to come down here, which was sort of past registration date -- not to mention that in the Tuscany neighborhood in Calgary was not designated to go to SWC. Fortunately, I was in IB and after talking to my IB coordinator in Edmonton who was great friends with the one at SWC in Calgary, it didn't take me too long before I got accepted. I didn't want to continue full IB since it was too much work in my opinion, so they actually let me into English and Social IB only. I am more of a science kind of guy, but those work too -- I am still doing fairly well in those courses.

 

In July 2007, under the encouragement of my parents I bought my first car -- a brand new '07 Honda Civic LX 4 door 5spd manual as you still see me posting the pics around :P I never really wasted money on 'small' things in my life, I mainly invested in big things -- such as when I was in Grade 7, I bought a 17" LCD, in Grade 9, I bought a new computer and a 20" Dell 2005FPW, and after Grade 11 I bought a car :thumbsup: I financed it, and I can afford that couple hundred bucks a month for the car. Mainly I pay for my own cell phone bills and stuff too, by the way.

 

As of now, I had to be honest -- I am not a particularly bright guy, I didn't do super well in school, and in fact I'm just an average teenager (But I don't game at all, despite all my better-than-average computers). Outside, I walk around just like any high school students, studying when necessary, hanging out with friends occasionally, and the only time I actually show off is when I'm online :P I'm happy to have loving parents and grandparents, thankful that I have lots of great friends, and I'm extremely excited to continue in life to see what God has in store for me. Hope you enjoyed my brief life story :P

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Great story. I can relate very much to when your parents moved here, although I was born here. Parents had to live with another family just to be able to survive.

 

My parents are very typical Asian/Chinese, and of course pushing me at academics. Also the good old comparison to other Asian/Chinese kids.

 

 

You're well ahead of many 18yr olds at this point in your life. Not many buy a car before they are 18, unless their parents are well off. Congrats! Keep doing what you're doing :thumbsup:

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Great story, and it's fun to know who I'm talking with!

 

What I retain from that is anyone could build his life the way he want it to be... Keep up the good work :thumbsup:

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dude.... i thought you were some 28 year old nerd with no life and no friends... only cos you'd never tell me your age and you'd annoy me with your grammar skills on msn.

 

g'd to know ur not..

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