So, we have a Dell desktop computer with a large non-touch screen running Microsoft Windows. You can see the large monitor in the background. In the foreground you can see my Microsoft Surface tablet computer that I take with me when I travel so that I can continue to work on my novels and also to download/edit my travel photos. To the right is my Apple iPad II that is already years old but still working admirably. Finally, on the left, you can see my Apple iPhone 6.
All four devices get daily workouts. All four devices are on automatic update for both their operating systems and their apps. Hopefully, I can stay current with what is going on in the world and the blog-o-sphere (if that is a real word).
Personal History with Computers:
My first computer experience was in 1966 at New York University at their uptown campus. 25 high school students were invited to spend the summer at NYU to learn about and experiment with the campus IBM 360 computer. This was the year that the The Trofgs hit “Wild Thing” was so popular over the summer. It seemed appropriate for our group. After learning the FORTRAN computer language and how to enter our punch card programs into the computer, we were given free reign each evening when the university was not using the machine. We had a great summer.
My next computer experience occurred in 1969 at the University of Rochester when I took a course on Computer Compiling Techniques. Again, I enjoyed the experience, but did not pursue a career in the field. After all, I was studying for a degree in Astrophysics.
After graduating college, I went into the elevator business. The company I was working for was using their own computer controllers to maximize the efficiency of their elevator operations in large skyscrapers around the country, but I was only selling them, not working on them. This phase of my life lasted only three years. I was getting bored with sales and wanted to do more with my life. So, I started an MBA program at Boston University during the evenings. While there, I had the opportunity to take a battery of job interest tests. Guess what? Every result showed that I should be in the computer business as a computer software designer. Why fight city hall?
I sent out my resume to 16 of the top national computer firms and hoped for the best. I got one positive response and it was from Electronic Data Systems. The company was started and run by Ross Perot (of Presidential Independent Candidate fame in 1992). There I learned to program IBM mainframe computers in both COBOL and IBM Assembler languages. I then moved to Plano, Texas and maintained several of the computer systems used to run their client’s Medicare programs.
With one more intermediate job after EDS, I became an independent computer consultant for the next 24 years. I had contracts with many large companies. Most of the contracts were developing software to run their medical claims processing systems.
At one point, I became a computer re-seller with AST Research. I would sell and set up computer networks at small businesses. I would set up their backup procedures, hand hold them when necessary, and replace any equipment that got outdated or broke down.
I may honestly say that I was a computer software/hardware expert for most of my life. There are hundreds of stories I could tell about my escapades. However, I will limit myself to just one story. I met my wife Alice while consulting at Paid Prescriptions in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.
Now it is 23 years since we got married and I have retired from the industry. I don’t stay current with mainframe computers anymore, but I do use my computers every day for writing, blogging, gathering news, connecting with friends on Facebook and email, and playing a few games.
My next purchase will probably be an Apple Mac desktop that I can use for post processing of my photographs. We will just have to wait and see.
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