Getting Started: the 80's

02/06/2016 09:42 PM Comment(s)
I got started in IT back in middle school.  The technology portrayed in Star Trek TNG really grabbed my attention and gave me a vision of what is possible.  My friend Bob and I both had access to computers at home (Intel 286 based PCs) and at school (Apple II).  We really weren't impressed with the text-based UI and quickly discovered QBasic and started writing our own UI's.  Bob really pulled off some really cool stuff and put together what we called "BOSS" (Basic Operating System Screen). He was able to emulate some of the Windows 3.1 features although it ran on top of DOS.  It included cool things like mouse controls, Screen Savers, etc.  I really wanted to figure out how to make the LCARS UI portrayed in Star Trek TNG practical and got as far as emulating the visuals in QBasic.  I remember staying up late hacking away at QBasic working out the details of the UI. 

As I entered Jr. High and High School, I got involved in other extracurricular activities and got a part time job, so I ended up not spending much time with code and instead just tried to stay current with how computer technologies were changing and what was coming next. During this time, my family got online for the first time with the 56k dial up modem technology and I started exploring how webpages were generated with HTML

As a High School Junior, I decided to pursue IT as a career and applied to Indiana Technical Institute and Indiana Institute of Technology (inadvertently on my SAT).  I was accepted to both schools, but IIT (Indiana Tech) had dorms and I wanted to be able to network with other students, so Indiana Tech won out.  It was a good thing decision too, because later I learned that transferring their credits to other schools would have been quite difficult.