I have been a closet geek ever since getting in trouble for taking apart the family lawn mower and, uh, well, not exactly fixing it so it would run again. But I DID get the broken washing machine running again not too long after that. I remember getting my first copy of “How to Fix Damn Near Everything” by Franklynn Peterson back in 1978 and there were some other do-it-yourself books before that.
My mom gave all her kids – well, just the boys! – Commodore C=64 computers when they first came out. My sister brings this up regularly and I’m afraid that because she did not get one of these marvelous inventions to play with she has been way behind the tech curve ever since. (Update: The Commodore 64 turns 30!)
Early years on Compuserve taught me enough to know that friends don’t let friends do AOL. Through a friend I got early access to Duke University machines that were linked up to what was the beginnings of the Internet. Hacking into UNC machines soon followed, BBS‘s, the obligatory stabs at DARPA, etc. In the 80’s I was a big fan of 2600 (I know better than to link to their website here). When it became affordable to rent server space I started my own websites and provide hosting for friends and family. When Windows XP reached the end of it’s life I refused to continue down the MS road and moved to Linux which allows me to keep running old machines with great, free software (and yes, I did the Mac route, too, so hold your tongue, fanboys). I love the Open Source community and do what I can to support it – sometimes donating to developers, helping with beta testing and participating in forums and support groups. I’ve spent many hours on the phone helping friends with computer and internet issues.
I don’t write code but I know enough to be dangerous (remembering the lawn mower incident). I enjoy tinkering with software to get it to do what I want and fixing it when it breaks. Time sink. Beats watching TV, though.
Anyway – I’ll try to post useful tidbits under the tech tag along my way in hopes that they will be useful to someone. Did I tell you about the time I took my bass apart?