I never met Mike Stoodt. I don't know him, I don't know what he thought when he laid down at night, but I think I know what Mike stood for.
What I know about Mike consists of what I've learned about him from his friends, who are now my friends. What I admire about Mike is that he went out and learned. He earned being smart, he was proficient at something, and people would seek his counsel. Mike grew up in a different computer age than I did, and age where "homebrew" was a big word, and the Altair 8800 was blinking in humid rooms everywhere, waiting to be figured out.
At some point, Mike probably spent fourteen hours trying to get some code output the way he wanted - not because he needed the code, not because he was bored. It was because he was trying to understand. Talking to computers in a way that I cannot, and don't want to quite frankly, but this is what I find very noble, he didn't quit, there was always something new to learn.
I have two mental images of Mike, both of them are the photos at this website. The power of the human brain is that we can animate these pictures in the mind, and I can imagine Mike smiling and relaxing after figuring out a complex programming endeavor.
I was late to the party, not only for never meeting Mike despite having three mutual friends with him for seven years, but also in terms of computers as well. My first computers were Apple IIe machines. I drew lines using LOGO and shot arrows at buffalo in Oregon Trail (three kills in the entire year of fourth grade, 1988.) Mike didn't always have YouTube, or Google, or all of these other sites that a fair amount of adults and children alike think have always existed.
I cannot pretend to have been part of the Golden Age of Computers, because I'm not old enough to have been, I can only read about history, learn it, learn from it, and know that Mike was spearheading a project somewhere, consisting of ten people, or just one.
To sum up how Mike seemed to have harnessed his true hobby, from everything I've been told over the last seven years is a quote I use periodically, and whether or not it applies here or even makes sense at all is up to Mike and Mike alone:
"Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes." - E. W. Dijkstra