...a bit about me as it relates to computers and
"single-digit years" Dad had various pre-IBM PC computers to assist
with the paperwork of his business. I would occasionally sit at the
keyboard and type in a program from a computer magazine.
Hours would be spent typing and then trying to run the program.
Invariably, the first operation would halt with an error on some line.
I'd then delve back to the code to work on the error. Some were simple "type-o's" but others weren't as easy. For
the difficult errors, I'd have to work with the logic to figure it out.
This error recovery became what I now call "my chess game" - figuring
out what is causing the issue and then achieving a resolution.
I was eleven years old I purchased a burned lawn tractor. With some
help from my wonderful parents I rebuilt the unit and started to cut
grass for customers. This would be my first taste of being
That business ran through the end of grade school, high school, and
into college. Some of the initial customers were with me through all of
This gave me direct experience in tending to client desires in addition
to the mechanics of running a business.
One fruit of this operation was
my ability to purchase a portable computer for college. It was a 38
pound Zenith Z-161 suitcase "luggable".
The purpose of the computer was to help me work on homework - writing
programs or typing papers. It saw a few upgrades and modifications
through the years before being replaced by faster systems.
spare time at
college, Northern Illinois University, was filled by working in the
residence hall computer labs. I started out as a desk clerk and quickly
moved into a new position "made for me" - Equipment Manager. The
responsibility was to keep the 100+ student computers and printers
operating. I found the experience enjoyable, both in working with the
equipment and in helping people accomplish their tasks.
the Computer Lab
graduation I opened "the Computer Lab," an off-campus hourly computer
rental business open to the public. September 13, 1992 was the
memorable first day.
The initial location was a 1000 square foot glass front retail
storefront in DeKalb Illinois. The purpose was to serve the needs of
off-campus university students.
That location was open for three years. As the third year progressed
the demand for my services shifted from hourly computer rental to
on-site computer service. The on-site service demand came about by my
physical presence on a busy road. City residents would stop in and ask
"Can you come to my house / business and fix my computers?". Yes!
the transition, the business moved from the retail storefront to an
office space. Access to hourly computer rental was provided though it
was secondary to on-site service.
This second location existed for two years. During that two year
transition I found myself spending most of my time out of the office
and servicing clients in the Rockford and DeKalb areas. The demand for
hourly computer rental to students was low enough that the location was
no longer needed.
The summer of 1997 found my sole occupation traveling to client
locations to tend to their needs. This would continue for several years
until one of my larger clients consolidated into one building. They had
need for full-time support and asked if I would transition from an
outside provider to a full time empoyee.
The decision carried a fair bit of weight as it meant closing my
well-running business and saying good-bye to many wonderful clients. It
a difficult choice, but I said yes.
My relationship with this client-turned-employer lasted a couple
years until they asked if I would consider "going back to the old way".
After several important "Yes's" in life this time I said "No Thanks".
With some flexibility at hand I decided to check an environment I've
long considered... Colorado!
Here I am, working to restart the business. I'm certain there are many
wonderful people who would enjoy my services. Sound like you? Give a
call, it'd be nice to meet you.