WAY BEFORE the internet was mainstream, Dylan O'Donnell was online exploring an infinitely smaller internet as a teenager using his computer and dial-up modem.
It was then the self-confessed "technology geek" was bitten by a bug that has shaped his life since.
"I have always been a nerd since way back, since playing with the Commodore 64 and the Vic 20 and the Amstrad," he said.
"Before the internet really became popular I was using a modem and early IBM PC."
"When the first Apple Mac came out I got that and it's been basically a lifelong addiction since then."
From trawling the internet as a teen, to lining up and buying Ballina's first iPhone5 sold last month, Mr O'Donnell has made a career for himself in IT.
After studying for a bachelor's degree in information technology and a master's degree in the same at Charles Sturt University, Mr O'Donnell went on to establish his own IT company DNA Digital, employing five people in his office at Ballina.
The 33-year-old said the increase in electronics as a commodity throughout his life had contributed to his obsession with technology.
"There has been an increase in electronics as a commodity, whereas perhaps our parents had television which is a very one-way kind of entertainment, gadgets and electronics became a very interactive form of entertainment. "You see that with kids today, they are absolutely glued to their parents' mobile phone or tablet and they are swiping and they are pinching the screen. That kind of engagement and interaction is something that is indicative of our generation."
While completing his master's degree, Mr O'Donnell said he developed a piano tutorial iPhone application as part of the degree.
"I wrote a simple piano tuition game which would call out notes and you had to play them on this virtual piano on the phone," he said. "It came out when the iPhone app store was launched and I ended up selling thousands of copies which more than paid for what it cost."
While he hopes for more groundbreaking new technology or gadgets, Mr O'Donnell isn't holding his breath. "I can't see that any of the companies are doing anything innovative at the moment, they seem to be plateauing," he said.