From the Archives – Evolution of a network guy Part 1

I published this several years ago, and was lost on a previous blog.  I found it while archiving things tonight and figured it was time to re-post and update in the end.

My buddy Greg Sowell recently wrote an article on his Blog about the “evolution of an I.T. guy.  It was on of the best articles I have read in a long time.  It inspired me to write this article. I am thinking this will probably be a 3 or 4 part article on my history in the computer/I.T. field.

My mom bought me my first computer, a Texas Instruments TI-994a when I was about 7 years old.  We had very little money but she managed to get her hands on one. I had a game called Parsec which I would play for hours on a small black and white tv screen. .  Her and I would spend hours taking turns on this game.  Those times are one of my most cherished memories I have.

From there I graduated to a Commodore 64.  My best Friend Shawn Hackett and I would spend hours drooling over the newest games at Hills department store.  We would also spend hours copying games from other people and users groups.  During that time 5 ¼” floppy disks would be passed around user groups to trade games between the members.  Games like Druid, Wasteland, Whirlybird, and Jet Set Willy would have an immense influence on our young lives.  To this day they were so much a part we still joke about the humor and enjoyment we received from the games.

The commodore would stick with us until around 1992-93.  This is the time I received my driver’s license.  One night I was on Purdue campus just exploring around and came across a computer lab.  No one questioned my being there so I just sat down at an Apple Macintosh. On the desktop was an icon labeled Netscape Navigator 1.0beta.  Little did I know clicking on that icon was a life changing experience.  In front of me popped up something called a search engine.  I started typing in things I was interested in.  Anything from Star Trek to weapons to cars.  I remember sitting there that first night for hours seeing all this information at my fingertips.  I would spend all my free time going to that computer lab. I would spend my time printing off tons of things and taking them home to read.  This was one of those moments in life where you reach a higher level of consciousness.  When I actually enrolled at Purdue I was able to gain several “shell accounts”.  This opened up the doors to things like ytalk, html coding,  and shell scripts.  All of my free time was still spent in the ever-changing computer labs in the basements of various buildings.

It was during this time my dad helped me buy my first Apple Performa.  It was running Macintosh OS 7.0 and had a 14.4 baud modem.  I immediately signed up for dial-up Internet.  I was one of their first Macintosh users which expanded my understanding because I had to do things very few others were doing.  It was during this time I found the world of IRC.  This chat system spawned many long lasting friendships I still have to this today.

One day I saw a posting for a job opening at TCTC.  Little did I know this was about to change my entire life…

Stay Tuned for Part 2