4/30/2019

Early Adopter to Technology, before IT was Mainstream

I remember the first time hearing about a new computer operating system.  My father who worked for IBM, mentioned something about having multiple windows open same time, can flip back and forth.  Seemed a bit odd, after working with PC-DOS since 1983.  They called it OS/2.

I also remember attending COMDEX, a vendor driven technology conference, my father had an extra pass, working for IBM in Atlanta.  The conference was exceptionally large, with vendors lined up from end to end of a conference building.  The one thing that stood out, because it was so wild and new at the time, was a version of Paint Shop.

Hundreds of people gathered around, while a guy with headphones and mic spoke about this cool new product.  You could see on the monitors, he had a picture, spliced off part and copied another, saved.  For those growing up on DOS, having such graphics was cool in itself, but the ability to lop off pieces of a picture and later, change colors, etc. was amazing.

Now a days you can do that one handed with a smart phone.  Back then, it was revolutionary.

It was around that time, I signed up for a computer class in Atlanta.  The class taught three products, Paradox (database), Quatro Pro (spreadsheet) and Word Perfect (document writer).  The instructor worked at Equifax during the day and taught at night.  That was the first time I learned of Copy-Paste.

I was living in a cheap apartment with a roommate and worked for a finance company.  We played tennis after work a few times per week in downtown Buckhead, at one of those mansions with a tennis court in the backyard.  One of the other players was a software developer and he would talk about the latest trends going on at the time.

I was moving towards working in IT, as software was not common career back then and since I'd worked with computers since age 12 or 13 with DOS, Basic, etc. it seemed like the way to go.  Except they had a downsizing at work, and I was offered a position back in Florida, so I moved.  I remember hearing on the radio during the drive down, it was the day Windows 95 was released officially.

After attending a c++ class at the community college, I was working in the IT department of a major bank, writing Crystal Reports, programming Visual Basic and Oracle.  We had a hundred people working on a project, the reports were always last to be discussed during our meetings.

Suffice to say, getting into IT was not a linear path.  Writing code was considered for geeks when I started out.  Now, computers are part of every job regardless.  Being that my father wrote code pre-assembly, on punch cards at IBM, its only seems like a natural fit to have a career in IT.  Just solving the same problems with newer technology.

And so it goes~!