I didn't come to computing until much later. I got my first (used) computer in 1994. It ran some version of DOS--I don't even know which one. I guess it was a 386. At that point I had no interest or curiosity about it and I never even cracked open the case to look inside. I don't even know how much Ram it had. That is hard for me to believe now.
Locally we have an organization called Seattle Community Network
, and it was free
to go online with it using a dialup. It was all text--that's how I went online. It is still text based. You could stay on for 45 minutes before you would get bumped off, but then you could just redial and get back on again.
So....I did that for 4 years. I had no interest in getting into the GUI. Mostly I just wanted the word processing and to be able to research the web in text.
Then in 1998, I got my first GUI Windoze--Win '98: a PII 266 with 64mgs of Ram. And I discovered I could draw on the computer! I went to school for art in the long time ago, and that was my hook. I started going to school for computers and computer graphics.
Also....I had an awful time with Win '98 and a very aversive experience with my computer vendor where I took the machine to their shop and they charged me $160 and fixed nothing. I had reinstalled the Operating System, and I didn't know how to install a driver for the modem. So....they gave me a "tech" who didn't know how to install the driver either. He couldn't ID the old modem so as to get the driver for it, so they charged me for a new modem....and his time at not knowing what the hell he was doing! He installed two drivers so when I went online, I would get kicked off about every 10 minutes because of a software conflict. I was completely furious--I wanted to take that g-damned machine and hurl it through their plate glass window! I felt that way for a couple of years. I hate being helpless and stupid.
But instead of throwing it through their window....I got even and learned how to fix it myself.
I took a hardware class and before I knew it, I was building computers about every 6 months. I got the bug for it for awhile.
And while in school for computers, I met jerrypenguin in a Cisco class.
The more I got into it, the more I liked all of it.
But...I got to it rather late so I never worked in the field. Nonetheless, I had so much fun with it--I had a blast. I never intended to go where I did with it, but it grabbed me like a wave.
Since I never messed with the old stuff or cracked the case on my first machine, I did have some curiosity about it later on. So....I found some old ones in thrift stores for $1-5 each and went into the guts: lots of fun. I once got a hold of a 75mhz machine and put Win '95 on it and went online with it on broadband. That was hilarious. That old box performed as if it was on steroids.
But anyway....Jerry was into it from much much farther into the past than I was by decades. He really is one of the "original nerds."
We often went to the University of Washington Surplus Properties store for used parts and on one of those forays, a couple students from the University paper there called him that in an article they wrote.