From: Ethan Dicks <>
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2005 15:38:48 +0000

> Nico de Jong wrote:
> > It could be interesting to know the age"spread" of thist list
> > contributors, and how long we've had the computer virus under
> > our skin.

Born in 1966, started with 4K chicklet-keyboard PETs at the downtown
public library in 1977 (none of my schools to that point could ever
afford a computer). Had a friend with a Quest Elf around the same
time frame, so jumped from 100% BASIC to mixed assembler/BASIC pretty
early on. Saved up half the money for a PET 2001N-32K (still have it)
in 1979. Got first computer job at 15, programming a prototype C-64
(s/n P00002008) for Bruce & James Software, "Wordvision 64" demo.
They went on to release Wordvision for the PC before going bankrupt.
Wrote kids games published by Reader's Digest Software until that
company folded when Reader's Digest terminated their kids software
line. Picked up a PDP-8/L at the Dayton Hamvention, in the meantime,
starting a long association with DEC computers. Turned that
association into a career with Software Results Corp, making
HASP/3780/SNA COMBOARD protocol engines based on the MC68000, first as
hardware technician, later as System Manager, finally as lead
programmer. Got my first taste of UNIX there, in 1984. After a few
minutes on a VAX-11/750 w/2MB of RAM and 2xRK07 (28MB) running 4.1BSD
(that I now have in my quonset hut), I *knew* that UNIX had a future.
I've spent the past 20 years doing UNIX and VMS administration and
programming to different degrees at different places. Started
dabbling in Linux with the 0.9 kernels, whenever they added native
(non-patched) SCSI support. Did first Slackare install in mid-1992
from a huge stack of numbered floppies.

Just got back from a year at the South Pole running a neutrino
telescope (AMANDA) for the University of Wisconsin, that depends on
two dozen Linux machines, and a dozen VME crates to collect, archive,
and forward gigs of data per hour. It's been one of my favorite jobs
of all time, not just because of the location, but because I got to
use all of my admin and electronics skills I've been building for my
entire career.
Received on Sat Feb 26 2005 - 15:39:00 GMT

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