I was having a conversation with someone the other day, and had the realization I have had passion for technology from a very young age and I told the story of where I started which I thought I might share here.
My understanding is around Grade 2 or 3 I packed up all my toys to put into a garage sale, in order to buy my first computer. Wasn’t enough to buy an Apple IIe, however I did have enough to get a clone of the IIe known as the Laser 128. I recall learning to program in Basic at that time, in fact at one point I created a disk to show off to my dads friend that pretended to take over his computer, spinning up the disk drive turning on lights playing music etc. Turns out he got a little freaked out. In hindsight now working in IT I can see why he was a little freaked out even though it was harmless. I also spent many hours typing in Hexadecimal from magazines (I wish I still had them but I believe it may have been called Compute) to get games onto the computer was such a sense of accomplishment when I could get it to work. You don’t know the hours it takes to get a working game or program on a computer this way.
At one point a friend and I decided to write Sierra (remember them? Kings quest etc) to find out what language they write their games in. Turns out they were pleased to get the letter nevertheless and understandably they did not want to share any proprietary information. This is where the passion started.
Through these younger years, I recall helping support teachers, clubs such as Cubs, Scouts, 4H with teaching computers.
When we get to the early 90’s I believe this would have been around my grade 9 year, I ran a few different bulletin board systems. The most memorable being a Robo Board FX, by the name of Absolute Future. I recall upgrading this computer so many times, such things as upgrading Memory (The fun of DIP switches doing this) and Multiple modems, adding Multiple CD Roms. It was so exciting at this time to have people logging in and playing games, downloading files off the 2 CD Roms that, at that time a huge amount of information available. The ability to have 3 people on the system at once what a concept. Towards the end of running the BBS Internet was slowly coming out, and I was able to gain access to FutureNET and Usenet at that time which I brought into the BBS I recall it would take up a phone line for hours to update the groups people were subscribed to. I had help from a user that had asked if he could help out with the board you can see his involvement here: https://justinjackson.ca/bbs In fact I was able to find an old add.
-=Absolute Future BBS=-
Call us today for:
Over 700 megs of files!
FutureNet and UseNet messaging!
Local area messaging
The best in doors (some programmed by the SysOp!)
Full access to every user!
And so much more!
This brings me to the High School Years, in which I believe I still ran the BBS. At this time I recall doing Computers 10, 20, and 30 in one Semester. Here I am not sure what happened. Somehow I didn’t realize I had the passion for technology out of School. I had quickly moved up to a management position at the company I worked for. At some point the spark came back and I decided to go to NAIT, and take some computer courses, from there I moved on to take the MCSE courses on NT and Exchange 5.5.
Today I still have this passion for Technology Embracing and Learning as much as I can. A very large passion for virtualization exists in me today, whether it be cloud services, or on premises Most recently taking on a new role as the Edmonton VMUG Leader.