I was born Doran Lynn Barton on April 26, 1972, in Salt Lake City, Utah. My parents, William and Karen Barton, were both born and raised in the Salt Lake valley. My father was a businessman with a strong interest in local politics. My mother had worked at a bank when I was born but when I was three years old she and her brother started a restaurant called The Oaken Bucket.
I grew up in a small town called Granger, on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley and attended elementary, junior high, and high school there. My father's great-grandfather settled in Granger in the late 1800s and my parents ended up owning a liberal amount of land which my father had partially inherited. On the land were two houses: ours and a house my great-grandfather had built. My parents had converted that house into a duplex and rented it. In addition to the houses there was a large barn, a big garden, and a huge field. Our family raised cows, horses, sheep, rabbits, pigeons, and chickens.
To the south was a huge alfalfa field. The nearest home in that direction was about 1/3 mile away. By the time I was 12-years old, the field had been subdivided into building lots and just about all the lots had home on them. This was typical of the growth Granger and other nearby towns were experiencing. In 1980, Granger incorporated with two other towns to become West Valley City.
When I was a child, I wanted to be a meteorologist when I grew up. When the evening news was on television and the weather report was being done, I would run into the other room and grab an encyclopedia with a map in it and run back to the TV so I could emulate the weatherman pointing at the weather map.
In time, I got a variety of weather recording instruments such as thermometers, rain guages, and barometers. I even got to meet my favorite weatherman, Mark Eubank, who got to know me on a first name basis. Mr. Eubank got me enrolled in the Intermountain Weather Network and I would submit daily weather reports.
I was a late talker (I didn't talk until I was close to three years old) and my mother suspected I had a hearing loss. She expressed her concerns to my doctors. The doctors would ask me to repeat phrases like "hot dog" and "ice cream" and after I did they told my mother her suspicions were unfounded.
When I was five years old, however, one ear-nose-throat doctor had the novel idea of putting me inside a booth where I could not see who was talking to me. This time, when they asked me to repeat words for them I was unable to repeat their words because I could not read their lips. Further testing revealed I had a 45 to 65 decibel loss in both ears. I was fitted with hearing aids to help compensate for my hearing loss. Over the years I’ve worn a variety of hearing aids and now wear digital aids and get by very well.
I became interested in computers when I was nine years old. I took two BASIC programming classes at that time- one on Commodore VIC 20s and one on Atari 8-bit computers (Atari 800/400). When I was 11, my parents purchased an Atari 800 computer for me. Using this computer, I taught myself how to program in BASIC and how to create simple computer graphics.
When I hit the more turbulent of my teenage years, my interest in computers took a back seat to my interest in music. From the time I was 13 until I was 17, a lot of my spare time was spent playing, composing, and recording music.
My friends and I wanted badly to be in a band, but only a couple of us had any real instruments. So, instead we dreamed. We had album covers designed long before any real songs were written. But, nonetheless, it was fun.
In 1989, I moved to Cache Valley, Utah and lived with my sister in Hyrum. There I completed high school at Mountain Crest High School and started taking classes at Utah State University during my senior year of high school.
Approximately three quarters into school, a friend introduced me to the school's VAX system, which handled all the student and faculty electronic mail and was, for most on-campus users, the school's link to the Internet. I picked up VAX/VMS almost instantaneously and became a source of VAX/VMS information for other students. In my sophomore year, I decided to write a manual for the VAX system since USU's computer services office admitted to not have the time or the money to spend on producing better documentation for their system. Since that time, I have developed an ongoing interest in technical writing.
I occasionally took breaks from school to apply the skills I have learned in the real world. For six months in 1992, I taught classes on Unix, C programming, networking, and data communications for a company called Datawise, in Salt Lake City. During the Spring and Summer of 1993, I worked for Saddleman, Inc. in Logan, as a Unix system administrator. During that summer I began teaching at Bridgerland ATC as an instructor of computer-related classes. During the Spring of 1994, I worked at Spillman Data Systems, in Logan. From the Spring of 1994 until the Fall of 1994, I was the MIS manager at Vertical Technologies, in Sandy, Utah. Then, I was working at DOD Electronics in Sandy- doing Unix system administration and database programming.
After all that time in the real world (which I used to pay back all my debts), I was ready to go back to school and again persue my bachelors degree.
During the time I was working in Salt Lake City, I married Christine Nielsen
Christine and I met during the Winter of 1994. We met online. She and I found ourselves in a group chat session on the VMS system at Utah State University. Eventually everyone in the chat session left except me and Christine. We exchanged some of the typical get-to-know-you-isms common of electronic communication ("So... Just how wild are you? Ever toilet papered a house?") and then continued to send e-mail to each other over the next six weeks.
After sending e-mail for a while, we finally met in person
on campus. It was an uncomfortable meeting because Christine was
in the middle of studying for a biology exam and wasn't up to
meeting new, strange men and I... well, I just couldn't get over
On our first date, I picked up Christine after her math class was over and we went down to a small italian restaurant in Logan called La Patiserrie for lunch. We both had Ravioli. During our lunch, I discovered that her grandparents lived in Hyrum- right across the street from my sister. Because I lived with my sister while in high school, I had gotten to know Christine's grandparents well. In fact, we discovered I knew more about the goings-on in her family than she did!
Christine and I got married on December 16, 1994. Then, in September of 1995, she moved back to Logan with me and resumed her education at USU as a computer science major. She has always been a diligent student and graduated in March 1998 with a bachelor degree.
In May 1998, Christine and I bought a house in Hyrum, Utah for the purpose of investing our money instead of throwing it away in rent. This new home included two bedrooms, one bathroom, a two car garage, a spacious kitchen, vaulted ceilings, and a full unfinished basement.
We went to work immediately on finishing the basement and fixing up the yard. I had a sprinkler system and sod in the front yard before October and used my framing, sheetrocking, and painting skills to furnish us an office in the basement by January 1999. During the Summer of 1999, I extended the sprinkling system into the backyard and put in a yard and fencing.
On 31 August 1998, my wife and I had the unique pleasure of meeting our first child, Maya Louise, who has caused us every emotion possible since then.
From July 1998 until April 2000, I worked at Sorenson Vision, Inc. as their webmaster. In April 2000, Sorenson Vision was split into four companies and I chose to go to Sorenson Media, Inc. as their Internet Systems Manager. I left Sorenson Media in July 2000 to take my company, Iodynamics, full time.
In December 2000, our second daughter - Lucy Marie - was born.
In Spring 2002, I was awarded a degree of Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Utah State University.
In August 2002, I accepted a position as a senior software engineer for About.com in their Web Services division in Orem, Utah and began planning to move our family to the Salt Lake/Orem area.
In early April 2003, a decision was made in the New York offices of About, Inc. to eliminate the project I was working on and my position. I was laid off and went back to doing Iodynamics full time and kept an eye open for other opportunities.
We had our house in Hyrum on the market for several months by this time and considered taking it off the selling block since I didn’t have a job in Orem any longer. However, the first offer came in the week after I was laid off. We decided to pursue the sale and go ahead and make the move to the Salt Lake Valley.
Times were a little rough and money was tight. We looked at several apartments but in the end, we were offered space in Christine’s brother Jay’s house in Sandy, UT. We had a lot of fun with Jay and his wife Jennie, but within a few months, their marriage began to have problems and we seemed caught in the middle.
In August 2003, Christine and I met our son, Eli Doran Barton. Shortly after, in December, we moved into a home of our own in Riverton, UT. The home was a repossession and while we got a killer deal on the house, we had to put a lot of work into it to make it inhabitable.