Who is this George Hooper Anyway?

George 2009 Corvette
Me Brutus Chewy My Ship

Who am I?     Why Make an FFE Page?     What am I Doing Now?

Who am I?
    I'm you're basic tall, dark, and hansome American! I'm single, height 5ft 11in, weight 165 lbs, dark hair, brown eyes. I have a voice that can melt your heart, and a laugh that makes a good day out of a bad one. I see everything, miss nothing, listen to what people have to say, and am very sensitive to the needs of others. I am optimistic, seek out the good in everyone I meet, and do not believe that the means justifies the end. My I.O. is 144, which means nothing as I forget more than I remember! Yep, that's me!

    After a tour in the U.S. Navy as a Machinist Mate, I went to school and graduated from Long Beach City College in California with an Associate Degree, major Electronics, and minor in English. During my college years, I worked at several radio communication shops in the Los Angeles area, and eventually became a mobile telephone service manager. I've installed communications and security equipment for personalities as Marlon Brando, Stevie Wonder, and others. I've found that most of the personalities that I've met are just normal people living in extrordinary circumstances.

    Upon graduating, I went to work for Collins-Rockwell in Newport Beach, CA, as an electronic technician. My division produced communication systems for the U.S. military. Later I transferred to Rockwell Semiconductors, who were currently producing IC chips for the Atari 2600 game console. Needless to say I became very 'well informed' in Atari games! I became the 'unofficial' beta tester for new releases. Basically that means management asked me to do it, but I did not get any additional money for it. I was thrilled anyway!

    When the game console sales took a plunge in the late 1980's, Rockwell Semiconductors expanded their factory production into computer systems, specifically networking and modem hardware, as well as specialty hardware for the military. One of the more interesting positions I held was Emergency Response Team Manager, involving dealing with crisis issues to protect the safety of personnel and equipment. This entailed working with some of the most deadly gas and chemical products on the planet. There wasn't a HazMat team anywhere that knew more about it than us! I also worked a total of 17 years for them, at all positions of Technician , Supervisor, and finally as an Equipment Support Engineer.

    In 1997 I relocated from Los Angeles, CA, to Louisville, KY. I entered the IT Technology field working for GE Capital Information Systems where I installed, serviced, and updated hundreds of PCs, Servers, and Printers all across the USA. That was pretty cool flying to some distant city every week for two years! I collected a lot of refrigerator magnets from all the cities that I visited. After the GE contracts were completed, I worked for TEK Systems servicing computer hardware in three local states. Not as much fun as getting on a plane every week, but still something new to fix with every call. After that I decided something more permanent and local was needed, so I went to work for Strategic Technology Solutions (who later changed their name to ESI Technology Advisors) located in Louisville, KY (Why is it everyone I work for has an exremely long name?). Here I found the perfect combination of people, talent, resources, and team spirit to make work a passion instead of just a job.

    But the economy problems hit the information industry and eventually ESI closed. In 2007 I went freelance per servicing Dell and IBM computers and printers across three states. The money was good but the work wasn't steady. More computer techs were also out there competing with me which only dropped the income. Finally I thought, "I have an electronics degree...Let's use it!".

    So in 2009 I went with Bee Electronics which services TVs, professional audio (stage and studio), two-way radio, etc. I was a Samsung Field Service Engineer in the Louisville, KY and surrounding areas. Samsung also rated me in the top five percent of their Field Engineers nationally. Unfortunately Bee closed in 2012 thus I retired.

    More than you wanted to know, huh!

    All those years I was also at home drawing graphics, and creating animations on the computers of the time. I went on to freelance as a computer graphic artist for awhile, and did many graphic designs including logos, web pages, and game GUI artwork for various companies. I also donate my webmaster services to a local church, free of charge.

    My hobbies include building computer systems, flying Blade mini-helicopters around the shop, playing in my Roland MIDI Recording Studio, browsing the web, and Amateur radio communications. My licenses include a FCC General Class Radiotelephone, and an Extra Class Amateur Radio . My callsign is KD6G.

    Of course, my purpose in life is to meet people wherever I go. My motto is, "Life is about making a positive differance in the people you meet along the way". I also maintain the Frontier First Encounters Art Page and a few others.

Why make an FFE Page?
    I'm the biggest fan of the Elite games there ever was! I have played every version of the game on the IBM PC, Amiga, Commodore 64, and emulations from other platforms. I still enjoy them now, as I did the when I booted up the game on that first day...long, long ago. Being an electronics technician, and a computer whiz, it was only natural to eventually post a web site on the Internet dedicated to the games. It's hard to believe that the first Elite game debuted 39 years ago|!

    A friend of mine and I used to play the Commodore 64 Elite in 1985 as a multi-player version! This was long before people knew about the Internet, and calling some remote BBS was the norm. We bought two games, had two computers, two telephones, and one conversation. Each of us would play the game independently, and converse about what just occured over the telephone. We were so in synch, that we could patrol the same system space together! I could almost see my friend's ship in my left viewscreen!

    As both of us were technicians, we went deeply into the coding, and learned all the tricks and features of the games. Our different viewpoints also added to the knowledge base. Simple things like I prefer the 'standard' joystick, and he prefers the 'fighter' type, made a big difference in our approach.

    From these beginnings started the affection I have had for the Elite games over the years. Once the game was played, I still wanted more. I started hacking a few ships, and off I went on a grand tour of the universe in Frontier Elite II . It was like getting a brand new game to play all over again! I continued these detailed investigations with the Frontier First Encounters version. Thus I have amassed years of work and enjoyment from the Elite games.

    It just gets better! Along comes Compuserve, and the first attempt of what is now known as a newsgroup, for the Elite games. Then came the Internet, and a little newsgroup called alt.fan.elite . I now converse with players from all over the world, who are just as involved with the Elite games as I. Many players were also looking for additional information on the games. That started my postings to Elite sites on the web. I have done graphics and hacks for Babak's FFE Page, graphics and info files for Jades FFE Site, and designed a graphic interface for The Elite Ring . I worked closely with Steve Critchlow, an excellent programmer, in discovering all the secrets in most of the Elite games.

    Finally the day came, when I took the plunge, and posted my own Frontier First Encounters Art Page. Being a graphic artist, I wanted to enhance the playing of the game by creating never before seen artwork in the games. I wanted a theme which would be different from the current Elite pages on the web. In that way my page would enhance, not replace, the information already available on the net. Since my humble beginnings, the page has greatly expanded, with more goodies for ALL the game versions added every month. After 25 years, there seems to be no end to the mystique of the Elite games!

    I also decided long ago to keep the website lo-rez as it accurately reflects the graphics of the time period. The games were DOS and didn't even work in Windows (It was being worked on but that's another story). Thus I wanted the website to reflect what the player will see should he find an ancient computer to play them on, or what they will see running the modified versions on the latest PCs.

    The Frontier First Encounters Art Page is my pride and joy. It was created out of love for the games, and not for fame, fortune, or any other trappings of our society. It is also my personal salute to Ian Bell and David Braben, the authors of Elite, and again to David, who went on to create the sequels. Legalities and industry problems not withstanding, they are two extrordinary individuals who once had a vision of what a great game should be. They should be very proud of what they have accomplished. Finally, I dedicated the site to my wife and son, who died in a horrible tradegy in 1997. By doing my best for the site, I think they would be proud of my work. With that kind of motivation, there is no limit to just how good the Frontier First Encounters Art Page will become...

What am I doing Now?
    I'm doing professional still/video photography as Hooplah Productions in the Louisville area. I did pro photography many years ago and even worked with Rocky Gunn, a famous wedding photographer, in Los Angeles. Thanks to my contacts I just started with a high-end wedding and word-of-mouth will only keep the assignments coming in. Later I'm off to Atlanta to meet up with another pro to expand our business together. After that I'm heading for a beach and margueritas with those silly umbrellas in the glass. My associate in the business loves Florida so maybe North Beach...The problem is that he doesn't fit too well in my late model corvette unless I have the top down!

    When I'm not working, I'm in the studio playing the keyboards. I finally completed a CD compiled of tunes that I play called Rainy Day Jazz. Maybe someday I'll put it on a website. I'm all about the 7th chords as they are the romantic notes in music. Play these with passion and every gal will love you...as well as a few guys (not)!.

    Recently I've started playing Freelancer Multiplayer on the Freelancer Universe. It is a lot of fun and I get to meet lots of new friends as well as old acquaintances from years past.

    Unfortunately I just ended a relationship with a woman who really messed me up for a year. Thus I'm am still healing wounds before I take the plunge again. Meanwhile Brutus the German Shepherd, Chewy (as in Chew-toy for Brutus), family and friends are there to help me move on.

    As for Elite, I co-authored Pocket PC Elite with John Welch, an excellent C+ programmer in the U.K. With the advent of 400Mhz RISC processors for PDAs, the introduction of the Compaq Ipaq PDA realised the possibility of porting the game of Elite to a handheld device. Thus Jon and I created the "definitive" version of Elite on the PDA. There is not a better version of the game, as it is even better than the original. You can see our results at Pocket PC Elite.

    Unfortunately we cound not get all the copyright holders to agree to a release of this great game for the Windows CE PDAs. Darn those British guys! They could be making millions if they weren't so picky about who gets what! It is a real shame as this professional version finally brought Elite into the 21st century!

Best Wishes:  To Jeannie. The best person I ever met on this planet, and who is always about what is right and good in this world. She will live in my heart always.

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Original artwork, enhancements, and page design by Hooplah Productions  ©1998.