I became interested in programming at the age of 5. My father bought a ti-99/4a computer and I would spend hours typing in lines of code to do what today would be extremely simple, like making a dot bounce around the screen. My father worked at Digital Equipment Corporation and I was lucky enough to go to work with him every now and then and even change out some RAM boards that were enormous and very sensitive to static.
We bought a modem that was 1200 baud and took hours to download simple things like a document or picture. Everything I learned was out of a book since the internet had barely started, but I was able to write enough code to get it to play happy birthday.
As I grew up, I eventually got a job and earned enough to buy my own first PC, a Packard Bell. At the time, it was the best on the market with 8MB of RAM and a 75mhz Pentium processor. I installed my own phone line and setup the machine as a phone system that would answer and record calls for me.
From there, the internet started to grow and I started learning web page design. That was around the time Geocities and AOL were the biggest brands known.
I spent the next decade learning as much as I could while moving from company to company and getting a taste for different pieces are hardware and software in each organization. I’ve learned about switches, routers, phone systems, servers, virtualization and have developed software not only for websites, but also for small home projects to turn on and off lights or emulate an old game system. I have learned how to make apps on iOS and Android (just for fun) and many other things that didn’t seem like they would ever be possible when thinking about the time spent on the ti-99.
I am married now and have a son and can’t wait to see what new and exciting things will be coming during his lifetime. I still believe we are just scratching the surface of where we will be able to go with new technology.