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I've been working with computers since I was in seventh grade. I actually convinced a friend to let me "baby sit" his computer while he was away on vacation. A year later, I bought one...  a TRS-80 Color Computer with 32K of RAM! It's one for the museums now. I used it to write my own version of Pac-man in BASIC and enter the local science fair. I went on to the state fair. That was 1982. After that, I learned to use DEC VAX/VMS computers and became a system administrator. I worked with IBM PCs back in the days when two floppy drives were standard. I also learned Unix and administered an 11/730 running BSD. By the time I graduated from college, I had a lot of experience. Then it was off to graduate school at the University of Maryland, working with Suns and DEC Alphas. There I learned to play NeTrek! I even worked on the encryption scheme for verifying communication between clients and servers. I didn't buy another computer for myself until 1998 when I bought a laptop so I could do schoolwork. I don't remember when I retired my TRS-80, but for a number of years I always used school accounts for email and such.

In my time I saw the blossoming of the Internet. When I was an undergraduate, we were connected to the world via the BITNet (Because It's Time Network). They hooked up to the Internet after I was an admin there. In graduate school, I remember Bill Regli touting the wonders of Mosaic and the World Wide Web. I thought it would never catch on. I guess I was mistaken in that particular case... I've learned not to judge new technology too quickly.

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