Hi ya'll

Guess that tells you where I'm from - South Carolina - I'm a rebel by blood - my great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather fought in the revolution and my great, great, great grandfather fought in the War Between the States. I'm a full-blooded Scot and hard-headed as my ancestors.

I used to be a Geek at USC Computer Services Department - Systems Guy on a 370/168 running Hasp - that may or may not tell you how old I am :rolleyes: Being a 19-year-old mind in an old body has it's rewards and drawbacks as you might imagine.

I've lived all over the world and helped start up (sales/marketing) two companies in our collective world in the 80's - Microsoft and Novell. Since then I've run my own company in Silicon Valley for ten years and worked in the wireless infrastructure market in Europe and Africa (lived in Barcelona, Spain) for the last 9 years. I've just moved my family back to the US and...we're back in SC.

In the middle of all of this, I'm an amatuer archaeologist, elected member of The Explorer's Club of NYC, mountain climber, diver, 1000 meter target shooter and cartridge designer and reloader, poet, and general want to do everything before I kick off nut.

However, I've forgotten most of what I know about technical computer stuff and much of it isn't applicable. I just use them now but would like to get caught up in most of this stuff you guys are talking about.

I have 5 computers networked together on a simple net with a Linksys wireless g router hooked to Roadrunner. I'm working on two notebooks because they're the fastest puters I have and the rest are scattered through the house for my wife and two kids. Two of them have a Spanish version of W2K so that's a challenge for me at times. The change from my DSL provider in Spain to Roadrunner here has produced a few problems that I'm trying to fix.

I look forward to participating as much as I can, given that I still have to work for a living, and welcome any input from anybody. So far I've met a few of you through a couple of problem-solving sessions and I like what I see. I appreciate what you guys are trying to do here and am happy to be a part of it. I don't know how much I can contribute to the general knowledge base but will do what I can...you guys are pretty smart from what I've seen.


12 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by zeroth

Hey, welcome aboard!

I always like hearing people's "back in the day..." stories. Feel free to chime in at any time!


OK, OK you guys, don't give me that grief...

But I do have some good stories - as the years pass they accumulate...

Most of my life has just been luck, some good, some bad. I was looking in the newspaper one day for a job and ran across an ad for an obscure company in Washington State. Not many people had heard of it but I just happened to have a couple of computers and was one of a few people around that knew computers and could sell something (kind of like brushing your teeth while chewing gum). When I went to work for Microsoft, there were just 40 people working there. Job didn't pay much at first. I got lucky when we came out with MS-DOS. But who could have predicted what has happened...

Same with Spain. I met my wife over the internet and we exchanged email for two years before I went over to meet her. I know, it's a modern love story - but we got married and had two kids. We made a deal that we would live there for 5 years (stayed a little longer) and then move back here, which we just did at the end of the year.

But along with good things like this, there's been a lot of BS as well, let me tell ya!!



I had some shares...but I spend quite easily. In fact, somehow I end up spending at the same level as my income, no matter what that is at the time...


I dream about the possiblities often. Maybe one day I'll write a book about those times and make it that way...uh, well, I had better do it soon, no?


Hi everyone,

Maybe its still not too late. Did you have anthing to do with the development of windows. Can you create or able to create a windows type os. What was you job at microsoft??

Richard West


Respect for the MS-DOS bit. Perhaps you should try a Life Coach book - How to suceed in Information Business. Certainly sounds like you've got a lot of experiences to draw from.

Perhaps a sticky for similar claims to fame might provide equally intresting reading.


Unfortunately, no, Richard. MartyMcFly got it right, I was at Microsoft when MSDOS came out. As the Intro subject says, "I USED to be a Geek". I used my early talents to get into sales/marketing, where the $ is. I can't program anymore, lost the interest and the skills and didn't keep up. And I wasn't part of the technical team - I was responsible for marketing the stuff...

I will tell you a good story about windows though. And I know where you are coming from on wanting a new O/S. Somebody did that already, though - LInux...

Most of you will not even remember CPM, no? Well, it was written by a guy down in Monterey, CA and did very well until Bill and his cronies stole it to write DOS. Yes, I'm not kidding, if you look at CPM and then look at DOS you will see where that C:\> came from. Yep, it's exactly the same and it's still there. And there starts all the problems you have today with Windows.

As an old systems programmer, I know that there are always bugs in software, you can't get rid of them. At first writing, those responsible try to find them all, back when I was a programmer running programs from punch cards we had to submit programs for testing one day and get the printouts back the next, there weren't any monitors and instant gratification. Anyway, the bugs are never completely fixed, the programs just get to working in spite of the bugs, but some of them are there - the guys just found the ones that caused problems and worked around those that didn't cause problems. But they are always there and can come back and BYTE you at the most inopportune times.

Well, that's what's happening today. Windows has, as its base, DOS, which was derived from CPM back when Microcomputers were still simple. Every interation of Windows just builds on the previous, with all the bugs all the way back into the 1970's.

Until somebody realizes the truth, which will never happen, that this complicated mess we call windows really isn't necessary except to the bottom line of Microsoft and the thousands of companies that feed off their achievments, we're stuff with it. Want an example of what I'm saying??

Take Word, for an example. Most of us use it. How many of you use more than 5% of its features. I've been using computers for 30+ years and writing for more than that in many ways. I don't use more that 5% of it. If I had kept one of those z80 computers or the like, along with that windows, whatever it was, and the original Word, I would be just as well of without putting up with all this new Windows stuff, without needing all the graphics, without all the hassles of virus and spyware, etc. I'm talking about just for word processing, now, don't jump on me. But that computer would have still been working perfectly as a word processor. Of course, it would probably not be fixable if I had a problem, but you get my message here.

Very few of us need all the features of these machines we have. But you have to remember, when you are griping about Microsoft, that we are the ones that asked them for the pretty graphics, etc. And they gave us what we wanted. And by buying their package, we are the ones responsible for the behemoth.

So before going out and slaying the dragon, think about what it gave you.

And Marty's right, I should write a book about all this stuff. But I'm still working for a living and don't have time... What can I say

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