The first real computer I tried to program was a TRS-80. I became a fixture at the local Radio Shack, where every Saturday I would ride my bike to downtown Longview, Texas loaded with my cassettes to save my work. That was a lot of fun until the owner found out and started unplugging the computer on me.
That was some time ago. In between then and now, I received a Bachelors degree in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. Helped make phone calls go through a little better at Bell-Northern Research. Assisted researchers and users around the world during my stint at Convex SuperComputers. Jumped on the Internet bubble with Onramp Technologies and Verio. Learned way more than I ever thought I would know about being self employed.
I believe I owe all of this to my dad. He only ever managed to get a GED, but I never saw him run into a problem that he couldn’t fix. Didn’t really matter if it was mechanical or electrical. He wouldn’t stop util it was solved. If he didn’t have the right tools, he would go get them. His “tools” were not always physical things. If he needed to know it, he found someone to teach him. Just because he didn’t know something, didn’t stop him from fixing the problem.
The biggest thrill I receive out of all of the work I do is seeing my work in use. Seeing a project that I worked being used, and the users are happy. I don’t know how it could get any better.
As passionate as I am about technology, you might happen to see me checking my air reserves at 60 feet, whooping up a mean “free-range” fruit cake, doing pre-show table magic at the improv, or making a nice piece of wood into a lot of sawdust so my wife will have potting bench for her plants.