I grew up as a budding teenager before the dot-com era, when computers weren’t too personal – yet not so big that you needed a forklift or a bunch of semis to place it in a warehouse so you could use it. I have never used punch cards or a slide ruler. My first book was actually the paper kind, made from real trees!
When I was 13 or 14, my dad bought a Commodore Vic-20 which was a computer-in-a-keyboard device with ports for video, mouse, tape drive, cartridges and sound. It had 3K of memory (most calculators have more than that now!). It had cartridges with games like Gorf. It had a tape drive where you could load things like Snacman (a Pac-Man clone) and of course, you could program it. Of course being able to program it assumed you had the ability and desire to learn how. The language of choice was either Assembly (for really hard core geeks) or BASIC (for the rest of us geeks). I learned things like SYS 64738 and POKE 53120,0 to do things like reset the computer and change colors. I became addicted to BYTE magazine and learned to program. I then took BASIC, Pascal, FORTRAN and C in high school classes.
My first job as a high school graduate was as a Junior Programmer, expanding my knowledge of C. I was also first exposed to Unix at that first job on SUN SparcStation (aka pizza box which really did look like a pizza box, go figure!).
I then went to Salta Argentina (La Mision Argentina Salta, – “la MAS mejor mision del mundo”) for two years on a mission for my church and lived Argentine culture and spoke Spanish 24/7 with very little exposure to computers. Upon returning to the USA, I learned that the Personal Computer (PC) was progressing. DOS was Microsoft’s latest operating system and games were becoming more widespread. Electronic BBS were all the rage. I went to college and became exposed to 33.6K and 54K modems. I learned Apache. In college I bought an old 8086 XT computer and programmed the graphics card to show off my trigonometry homework. I became exposed to the Internet and the World Wide Web and HTML. My dad still uses a Commodore 64 (64K of memory) for various things.
I’ve never liked spending $1000+ for a computer that would be soon outdated – especially a laptop where parts were either not upgradeable or replaceable. I hung on to laptops and desktops for years. Ask my wife!
I would like to help you save money, reduce, reuse and recycle older computers that still have lots of life in them and teach your children how things were back in the “good ol’ days”.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through this web site!
“I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God’s plan. I’ll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I’ll honor his name. I’ll do what is right. I’ll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.” Words and music: Janice Kapp Perry; b. 1938. (c) 1989 IRI For more information on the LDS church (also known as “Mormons”), please visit mormon.org
I have also delved into real estate investing and other passive income opportunities (very part-time). I have experience with Rich Dad Coaching (which I wouldn’t recommend personally, from my experience) and Dean Graziosi (also not a good experience, in my opinion) and Bigger Pockets. I would recommend anyone wanting to learn about real estate investing to look into Bigger Pockets, it is a nice community, lots of free information and very little hype (if any!). My profile there is here.
I’ve also done some freelancing on the side here and there, in my spare time. I have worked on projects on guru.com and rentacoder (now part of freelancer.com). My best experience was developing applications for free for the LDS church. It has been a while since I was involved in doing that, but I did help with the Blackberry LDS Tools and Blackberry Mormon Channel apps.
I have studied various things like HTML5 Game Development (or HTML5 Game Programming). I’ll write up something soon about my experience with that – one of my sons has been interested in learning to program like me and we’ve talked about some games, but haven’t really had time or patience yet to develop our own game(s).
I am still working on losing weight (March 2014), currently I am practicing the “Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB)” lifestyle recommended by Dr. John McDougall and Jeff Novick (Registered Dietician) and Forks Over Knives (good movie) and I recently watched the very good movie on Netflix called “Vegucated“. I am not a vegan (which can be seen as some as a “religion” or a “cult” or just “weirdos”), but I do agree with Dr. McDougall that I can call myself a “starchivore” (I love potatoes!). I have gained health by eating starches (like potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, rice, whole grains, etc.) and veggies (read up on Calorie Density here via Jeff Novick) and avoiding oils (“the fat you eat is the fat you wear” according to McDougall) and avoiding eating “anything with a face” (which are usually animal products and contain lots of saturated fats and cholesterol and other not-so-healthy things like antibiotics (which healthy animals shouldn’t need) and diseases like mad-cow and who knows what. References on problems with meat can be found here and Rip Esselstyn’s book “My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet–Plus 140 New Engine 2 Recipes” (affiliate link) and the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) document problems with meat here.
I tried low-carb diets and lost some weight on it, but my cholesterol and blood pressure numbers and overall feeling good and full of energy have worked best for me with the “whole foods plant based” eating. Plus the “very little meat” concepts fit very well within the revelation received in 1833 by the Prophet Joseph Smith which is called the “Word of Wisdom” and there’s even a community which I recently found called “ldsveg“.
- Jimmy Devenport / 29 Mar 2014