I have been intrigued by all things electronic since a very young age. Even before I started grade school, I can remember taking apart my brothers' AFX cars to see how they worked, and modding the electrical contacts on the underside of the cars, in the trigger throttles, and on the track to make the cars go faster. I would pull apart transistor radios, walkie-talkies, old calculators, you name it. I found it interesting and fun, and still do today, although now I'm ripping apart notebooks, netbooks, graphics cards and the like.
Few things got put back together properly back then, but over time I got more adept at understanding the inner-workings of many electronic devices. Soon I was able to not only reassemble things correctly, but to repair and modify them as well. Through trial and error I taught myself to solder, to use a multimeter, and to identify and replace marginal components in many different devices. In high school I got a bit of "formal" training by taking a semi-advanced electronics class, and even got a part-time job at Radio Shack, but by that point I already had the basics down pat.
It turns out I have a lot in common with one of my idols, Steve "Woz" Wozniak, co-founder of Apple. I'm finally getting around to reading Steve's autobiography iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It and can closely relate to many of the stories he tells in the book. He too had an ingrained curiosity of electronics and taught himself many of the same things I did when he was young. Of course, while I was making simple solder connections Woz was designing advanced logic circuits and TV Jammers, but I can still totally relate to the sense of accomplishment Woz writes about after completing a particularly difficult project.
Woz's Signature On A Limited Edition Apple II GS: The System Still Works To This Day