"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." - Confucius
Can you remember saving information on an audio tape or a 5 1/4" floppy drive? Not only can I remember it, I remember dreaming about getting a computer that could do that! The first computer I laid my hands on was a friends' Radio Shack TRS-80. This early model, circa late 70's, required the user to save any typed-in programs to audio tape. Often, but not always, it was possible to load the program back into the machine! Many times, an hour of coding went for naught because it was unrecoverable later. My first program, written in a very primitive BASIC, was a program to slowly plot line segments to form a rectangular spiral and output this to the display. My next BASIC program was a primitive address book database. These two projects were enough to cast my future in a computer-related enterprise.
As a bleeding-edge hobbiest, my experiences with CPM and Apple systems helped expand my knowledge base and fanned the flames of my excitement with the new technologies. During the 80s, my career gradually morphed from owning and operating a construction business to one providing computer training and support. I created ManData Technical Services in the mid 1980s with the goal of providing support and training to local small businesses. On-site tutoring included sessions on the popular WordPerfect 4.2 and 5.1 and Lotus 1-2-3 applications, all DOS-based business tools. Software supported at the time was all DOS-based, too, and local area network systems were taking shape. Every advancement in the technology was exciting and stirred my imagination.
Today, the excitement for me is exactly the same, but computers and applications are now in everyone's living rooms, cars, offices and pockets. People depend on them for their livelihoods, information, entertainment, and social interactions. Groundbreaking applications seem to pop up weekly and new ways of doing old things are the norm.
My passion - "working" with computers - provided the foundation for a successful business. My early experiences with hardware, software design, and the rapid advances in computer technologies prepared me for the subsequent decades of innovation and change.
The best part about this "job", though, is working with great people - my clients - and doing my part to make their businesses run smoothly and efficiently.