Backdrifter is the personal website of myself, Jared Hanson. It is my online home, a place where I can express my ideas, record my activites, and expand my creativity.


I am 28 years old, living and working in Berkeley, California. Berkeley is a fantastic city, with friendly people and an abundance of cultural diversity. The presence of UC Berkeley provides a university atmosphere, where people are free-thinking and independently minded. At the same time, the city's stance against large corporate chains fosters a sense of community not found in many other places.

A large part of who I am is also infused with midwestern ideals and traditions. I was born and raised in the small town of Madison, South Dakota. I lived there until attending college at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in Rapid City, South Dakota, where I graduated with a degree in Computer Engineering in 2003.

Many people will tell you that there are a lot of differences between Berkeley and South Dakota. While that is true in many respects, there are also a great deal of similarities that people don't recognize, simply by not having the opportunity to live in and experience both places. I'm fortunate in being able to draw from both ends of the spectrum.


I am employed as a software engineer at Aspera, a small technology start-up. Aspera develops breakthrough data transport technologies that enable high-speed data transfer with optimal throughput and bandwidth utilization. Built on IP networking protocols and open standards, Aspera's solutions also allow precise rate control and offer built-in security.

Additionally, I operate my own small venture, Helixent Technologies. I founded Helixent as a company under which to develop and release side projects that I work on during my spare time.


My passion for technology and desire for knowledge leads me to spend a great deal of time tinkering with hardware and software outside of the work environment. I enjoy reading about and experimenting with the latest technologies and keeping pace with the rapid evolution of the industry as a whole.

I keep my horizons broad, and can often be found reading a book or listening to music, often both simultaneously. I make it a point to support live music, and frequently go to concerts in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. I also like watching movies at the local, independent theaters.

For relaxation and exercise, I prefer being outdoors. The bay area has numerous parks that afford a retreat from the city for hiking and appreciating nature. The state also has incredible areas like Big Sur and Lake Tahoe that are great for camping and skiing or snowboarding. In a more urban setting, I enjoy riding a bicycle, my preferred form of transportation.