Wherever the Road Leads

New and Improved.

As you can see, the Blog looks a whole lot better. I hesitate to say that it was a lot of ‘work’, because to me it’s not work, it’s enjoyment. Frustrating, but fun.

I love computers. I can’t draw a stick-man on a piece of paper but on a computer, the sky is the limit. All you have to do is learn how. It’s time consuming; I can lose hours staring at a computer screen, but I’d much rather do this than chase a little white ball around a golf course.

I worked at a golf course one summer – bartending – I could have played free every day. It wasn’t until the Employee Tournament when the course was virtually shut down for the season that I hit my first ball.

I started in computers early, towards the end of DOS 5, when DOS 6 was being launched. Then along came Winnders 3.1, then Winnders 95, then 98, then the horrible Millennium Edition (ME), XP, Vista, ‘7’, and soon ‘8’. During the late 90’s, I worked for a company that built computers for Hewlett Packard. We were Contract Manufacturers who built the best and fastest computers on the production floor, but couldn’t get a decent working machine for our desks.

One of the ladies that I worked with closely was the Damage and Returns Manager. It soon dawned on me that she had enough damaged-out bits and pieces, bent or scratched that we couldn’t put into a brand-new customer computer, but that I could put together for a computer to use on my desk, replacing the green-screen monitor with the blinking white square.

HP keyboards for the Canadian market

I got a Bill of Materials, gathered up enough scratch-and-dent pieces, then went to one of the Production Managers who showed me how to put a computer together. One of the I.T. Managers gave me Windows Installation disc and a serial number from a machine that we had scrapped-out. I bought our Network Administrator lunch and he got me hooked up on the company Network.

I haven’t bought a computer since then, I build my own. And they’re fast. This Windows 7 box that I’m working on has a quad-core processor, 16 meg Ram and a 1080p Video Card. I also built a Linux box, that uses Linux as an Operating System, not Windows. The difference? Linux is free. Bill Gates wants a hundred bucks every time you turn around. I have an older Vista laptop that still comes in handy when I visit the Great White North and spend too much time – according to my Little Scottish Mother – at the Toronto Public Library using their free Wi-Fi.

Plus an Android phone with an Unlimited Data Plan. Having the internet on your phone – which is always at hand – is vital. Yes, it’s a wonderful GPS tool when driving, but how else could you learn that the familiar-looking actor on a 50-year-old, black-and-white episode of Gunsmoke, was Earl Holliman? Or that Daylight Savings Time either starts or ends this weekend. Sunday, November 4th at 2:00am, put your clocks BACK an hour, to 1:00am.

Some people pay considerable money to a Country Club for dues. I spent $5,000 at the University of Alabama on computer training and $1,300 at Atlanta’s Ledet Training to learn how to build web sites. And when I can’t figure out how to get Photoshop to do what I want, I get just as frustrated as someone who shanks a golf ball, so I figure I got my money’s worth!

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