I started in my early days with Basic on a Wang computer, and then an Apple ][ Plus. It had two 5 1/4″ diskette drives, so it was pretty cool. Hard drives weren’t yet invented. I did some cool things, and learned the basics of computer animation. Later, I had an IBM Portable, equivalent to a PC-XT. It also had 2 diskette drives, but I retrofit it with a 12MB Shutgart hard disk. It has a 9″ amber monitor built in. I still have that system in my closet. I mean, I spent $3000 on it, so why would I ever get rid of it? It got me through college, and using Magic Window for my word processor was AWESOME. The sound of dot-matrix printer was familiar late at night the day before I turned in my reports. I also used Double DOS or Software Carousel to perform task switching, because in the days of DOS, there was no multitasking. And of course Side Kick was always waiting in the background for utility tasks, although, again, only one task would run at a time.
I have always been so curious and interested that I did a lot of self study. In the early days before the Internet, there were magazines which included code to try. it involved a lot typing, but that’s how things went, because it was still just a hobby.
Working for Orange County colleges and training companies, I would setup classrooms or labs consisting of dozens of systems, including Novell Windows servers and workstations. Anyone who has done this know how tedious it gets, moving from one machine to the next, pressing “Next.” Utilities such as Ghost would have, but still ended up doing repetitive tasks… repeatedly. I always looked for a way to automate, so I learned scripting.
It began with batch files – Windows wasn’t yet invented. Nor was the Internet. I programmed in Basic, Pascal and even assembly code, for fun and for utility. I learned networking from Novell, and wired the campus using COAX Ethernet and Token-Ring.
In college, I formally learned programming techniques, and how operating systems work.