I used my first computer in the late 1970’s. There was a cassette tape for saving BASIC programs. When you wanted to update your work you had to rewind the tape, hit record, then enter the save command on the PC. The screen had two colors, black and green. My elementary school had two of them.

A few years after that my brother and I would go to the public library with a box of 5 1/4 Floppy discs and the latest computer game magazine. We would take turns transcribing and debugging the lines of code to play the game of the month. We also had copies of Street Fighter and Castle Wolfenstein 3D. These early experiences with computers helped me later in life as I started my career path.

I took a few computer programming classes in a community college, but dropped out as the academic learning style did not fit me. Without much direction in my life, I ended up taking a couple of hitchhiking trips. During the last one I ended up in Tucson AZ - broke and homeless I went to a Red Cross food line. While in line I overheard a conversation, one guy was talking about the best thing was to lay under a tree all day doing nothing. This hit me hard. That is not who I am! Having tried the school route I decided start working at restaurants. I would work my way up.

A few years later one of my managers saw I was good at computers and recommended I try to change careers. I applied to a few different places, coming up empty. Then one day in 1995 I walked into a record store and asked if they were hiring. The clerk said they were looking to start an online catalog to sell T-shirts. On my way home I stopped by a bookstore and bought a couple of “Teach Yourself HTML” books. Not having a computer at home I used a typewriter to get used to the format needed for HTML. I got the job. The record store went out of business a few months later, but I had learned enough to get another job building computers and setting up LAN networks.