Though born in eastern Mississippi, I really didn't call any place home until my family moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. To this day, I still consider that my hometown, the place where I grew up. I lived there until I got married (yes, a girl actually liked me enough to tie the knot), then moved to New Orleans so my bride could attend law school. We decided to get out of the Big Sleazy, before it sunk even further beneath sea level, and moved to the Dallas, Texas area, where we still reside.
I have always been a geek. My parents, God bless them, read to me when I was a child, and instilled in me a love for books and knowledge. My dad is a tinkerer, and I inherited that desire from him as well. So even before personal computers became so pervasive, I would rather read than do almost anything else. My parents saw that I got out of the house once in a while, though, and I played flag football and T-ball as a youngster. I also enjoyed the usual outdoorsy childhood games such as Cowboys and Indians, and Army Men, games that today freak out whiny, fear-mongering liberals and public educators.
Middle school came, though, and I discovered computers. I learned BASIC on the infamous "Trash-80" from Tandy. That lead to more BASIC and some Turbo Pascal on Apple ][e systems, my first exposure to computers from my favorite fruit company.
My programming skills never really advanced after this. High school time was taken up by other activities, though my parents bought a used Apple ][e from one of my teachers for our use at home. I lived in AppleWorks (the original!) for my school projects, both then and into college.
I met my wife in college, and her parents bought her an old IBM 8080, with a whopping 640k of RAM, two 5.25 floppy drives, and a huge 10MB hard drive. It was running the beta of MS-DOS 5.0, and had WordPerfect plus some funky DOS games. Thus began my adventure into tinkering with computers.
When my wife entered law school, her parents upgraded us to a Magnavox (yes, they made PCs) 386SX-25, with 4MB of RAM and a 120MB hard drive. This was in 1992. We also received an Epson laser printer, which ran $700 at the time. That thing is bulletproof, and after a RAM upgrade and a new photoelectric unit, is still in use by her parents.
I was a die-hard PC geek until late 1995. I had a great PC setup, a Zeos 486DX4-100, with plenty of RAM and hard drive space, running Windows for Workgroups 3.11, and later, Windows 95. It was during this year, however, that the Macintosh caught my eye, and eventually would win my heart, computing-wise.
My first Mac was a Performa 6115CD, with a first-generation PowerPC 601 running at 66 MHz, with System 7.1, quickly updated to 7.5. The PC gradually saw less and less use, and was eventually sold. Though there are PCs in the house (my wife requires them for work, and she works at home occasionally), I personally have not looked back since going with the Macintosh. I think of all available computing platforms to consumers and business, it offers the best user experience. You can read about my current setup below.
My geek code
Yes, we computer and Internet geeks are so incredibly geeky that we even have our own code to show how geeky we are. If you'd like to churn out your own geek code, you can learn how at the Code of the Geeks site, maintained by Robert A. Hayden.
So here's my code; you'll have to use Robert's site to decipher. Come on, you didn't think I was going to just tell you?
-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
GIT/L/O d-(+)(++) s+:+ a C+++(++++) U P+ L+ !E W+++ N+ o K w--- !O M++$ V-- !PS PE++ Y+ PGP>+ t 5 X R* tv+ b+++ DI++++ D++ G e+ h--- r+++ y+++
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
Ok, ok. If you're really desperate to find out and don't want to take the time to actually read the Code of the Geeks, you can go to the Geek Decoder Page. Just copy and paste my geek code into the window.
My Hardware Setup
My home setup starts with a Power Mac G4 Cube, named Maul. It's running more than a gig of RAM and a three-partition 20 GB hard drive ("Maul," "Vader," and "Docking Bay 94"). The Cube has an internal DVD-ROM drive, and is connected to these external goodies: Zip 250 (FireWire), Jaz 1 GB, quad-speed CD burner from the super folks at APS, and a Umax SuperVista S-12 flatbed scanner. The beautiful 15" LCD Apple Studio Display is driven by the Cube's Rage 128 video card. Dead-tree jobs go to my LaserWriter 16/600 PS.
On the road, I am fortunate to have a first-generation tangerine iBook, courtesy of my employer. It's a great companion to the desktop: 96 MB of RAM, 12-gig hard drive partitioned out into four volumes, 300 MHz G3 processor, built-in 56k modem and 10/100 Ethernet. It's great for bouncing around town, and around the country, with, and using the Airport technology is about the coolest thing going. There's nothing like seeing the look on someone's face as they realize you're sitting there in the conference room surfing the web and there are no wires anywhere...
There's also a old Mac SE/30 that gets abused for various projects, the latest of which will likely be as a mail server if I can ever find a discharge tool so that when I open it up I don't kill myself on the CRT while trying to install the Asante Ethernet card I have for it. If you know where I can buy a discharge tool, please email me.
All of this is networked together, along with my wife's custom, hubby-built Wintel PC, via MacSense's X-Router Pro, which is linked to a Fujitsu DSL modem. Intego's NetBarrier, along with the X-Router's built-in NAT firewall protection, serve to keep the nasties out.
My Software Setup