About Me

Hi. Thank you for being curious about me. I am an ordinary human traveling through an ordinary life.

I was born in 1957, year of the Frisbee, Sputnik, the first dot matrix printer, the first optical image scanner, What’s Opera, Doc?, the first episode of Leave It to Beaver, and the final episode of I Love Lucy.

My age might prompt some people to stop reading. That’s okay. Someone once quipped, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, age doesn’t matter.” Or in another way, “The size of the dog in the fight is not as important as the size of the fight in the dog.”

My first "job" was delivering newspapers. I earned about $60 per month, an incredible amount for a 12-year old.

In my first computer science class I typed on a big clunky teletype and saved the program on punch cards. In 1982 I wrote lesson plans and job aids on an Apple IIe with dual floppy drives.

My first personal computer was a Commodore 64 with a 1541 floppy disk drive in 1982. My monitor was the living room TV through an A/B switch. I taught myself BASIC and delved into the underground world of Zork. My final Zork map was about a dozen sheets of paper taped together. I scored all 300 points.

Soon thereafter was a course in Pascal learning structured programming and learning never again to use the goto command. I pretty much have forgotten everything about BASIC and Pascal.

My second computer was an Amiga 1000 in 1986, one of the original press runs with the Mitch paw print. I added an external 10 MB (yes, MB!) SCSI disk drive with a case as big as a shoe box. I managed a local user group newsletter using Professional Page, Professional Draw, WordPerfect, Deluxe Paint III, and a Pacific Page PostScript emulator on an HP IIP laser printer. I connected to online bulletin board systems (BBSs).

My first Unix exposure was in 1986 using vi in a C programming class. I remember little about C and while I can still use the editors, never really liked vi(m).

In 1990 came an Amiga 3000. I added a PC Bridgeboard and an A-Max II classic Mac emulator.

In 1991 I bought an 80486 PC with 16 MB of RAM. I had a CompuServe account. I installed Windows for Workgroups and the Norton Desktop. I added copies of FrameMaker and WordPerfect for DOS. With FrameMaker I managed a Society for Technical Communication (STC) chapter newsletter. I began my journey into technical writing. For more than two decades my primary professional background was technical writing, mostly procedure writing.

I taught personal computer classes at a local tech college. Along the way I became “the person” who is asked for computer help. Starting with the Amiga and 486 I became familiar with the command line.

My first home network used a crossover cable to link the 486 to a new Pentium I running NT4. The new system was an Internet gateway for the 486. Some years later came routers, switches, and additional computers on the network.

I became aware of Linux in the late 1990s and have been using Linux based systems since 2001. In 2004 I began using Slackware Linux as my preferred distro. Around 2008 or 2009 I migrated fully from Windows. To this day I use Slackware at home. Professionally I am familiar with Debian, Proxmox, and CentOS.

Pretty much all during my computer years I have had a soft spot for non technical users.

I live in a rural area. I am not a city person. When I am not writing and tinkering with computers, I sit on the front porch, talk to and photograph wildlife, read, occasionally watch a movie, and do most of the domestic things other humans do.

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Skills and Experience