I don't know if its an interesting story, but here's mine...
My grandfather was a really big influence. Use to play on his IBM PC (he used it for connecting to Dow Jones service via 1200 baud modem). My first real computer was an IBM PC Jr. Out grew it in about two weeks. Talked my dad into getting me a used IBM XT. In high school I generated the local region BBS list (was surprised to find out computer shops were handing it out), ran a part-time BBS (which drove my mom crazy) and after getting a 3.0+ GPA I got my own phone line and ran a full-time BBS. I created a local region FidoNet and handed it off to a local guy after graduating high school.
Had fun (without computers) after graduation, worked full-time at Papa Johns and said "F*** THIS", learned Unix and C at a local community college. Co-worker told me about the Internet, found a local ISP, applied for a job, learned HTML over night for the job, got job, worked with/learned Cisco/Solaris/Linux/WANs. After a couple years they wouldn't pay $10/hour so I went to MCI as a Network Engineer (which still maintained NSFNet, the old DARPA ARPANET, the original internet, at the time). Have worked for several startups and Fortune 500s since.
Today, I hate to say it, but I absolutely dread most IT work unless I'm doing it for my own enjoyment. But I love the challenge and stimulation of developing automated trading strategies.
Last edited by MrYou; January 27th, 2014 at 09:30 PM.
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Being raised in Silicon Valley in the 70s and 80s with an electrical engineer father presented some great experiences in the dawn of the computer age.
My dad was an engineer for then Memorex (later Unisys). He designed storage systems. He attended meetings of the now famous "Home Brew computer club". When Japanese business partners would come into town the place they always wanted to visit was the "grocery store that also sold computer/electronic components" named Frys.
He had built an IMSAI 8080 kit mini-computer, running CP/M on 8" floppies. The first program I wrote was a 42-byte keyboard driver, "written" using the 16-bit on/off switches on the front panel of our IMSAI. Attached to the IMSAI was a 300-baud modem, the kind you put the phone receiver into the two suction cups (acoustic coupler). I dialed a variety of BBSes but I can't remember the names.
We later bought a MicroVideo "Interact" computer where I learned to program BASIC so I could make my own games. This was when I was 10 yrs old. I haven't stopped programming since.
Last edited by shodson; March 1st, 2014 at 12:18 PM.
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My first exposure to computers was in the late 70's or early 80's, my 1st computer was a "Timex Sinclair (I think)" it was very small and only a tiny keyboard with primitive electronics inside..
For a monitor , It required a B&W CRT TV set !, for storage It required a cassette recorder !
My first operating system exposure, was DOS and later Basic (Windows didn't exist)... Visicalc was the spreadsheet program that I thought was so high tech. (it's a primitive version of an Excel type of spreadsheet)...
Those were very primitive days, its been fun to watch the massive advancements in computer-internet technology since then ... ( I still have a 28k modem in the basement)..
A 5 Meg hard drive was considered big and cost several $hundred dollars. Ram was measured in KB...(8k to 16k range was normal)..
I went to college in the second half of the 90's, and before that in high school I don't think anyone had ever heard of "the internet". First year I used a program called "pine" for something like email. I think the connection was using telnet. In the computer lab in the building next to where I spent most of my time there were 4 computers with black and white crt monitors with "the internet", some really basic pages for the big companies at the time I saw using Netscape. There wasn't much to do on the internet, but I remember third year using icq (it's an early messenger program, like yahoo messenger or msn messenger) a lot; I never forgot my user ID 327271. Hotmail was 2mb back then. I do remember when gmail came out with 1gb storage, that was a pretty big deal back then. Things got pretty exiting for a while with computers doubling in power every year, during the .com boom. It seemed like the moon was the next destination. Everything slowed down, and does not seem like it has progressed a lot since. Sure things have progressed but at a slower pace. I think computers have been at 3ghz for the past 10 years.... tho we keep multiplying the number of cores, but windows still comes in a 32 bit version.
Last edited by rmejia; March 1st, 2014 at 02:31 PM.