Digital Gump


I suppose my path to Geekdom began at a very early age. I played with all things electronic just as soon as I realised the power in those little holes in the wall. I used to lay traps using bare wires plugged into the wall sockets. My father was never pleased to discover them...

I later received a Commodore Vic 20 from my parents who wisely realised that computers were the wave of the future, and I'd need a surfboard. The Vic wasn't it, but it did shut me up for a few months. I don't think they ever forgave the friend of mine that hooked me on his TRS-80.

Then in junior high, my algebra instructor dared me to get onto the school computer. It was an old teletype machine with a 300 baud phone couple. A week later, I had used the system administrator's password to print out every file in the system; including some very sensitive ones, like payroll and grades. A hacker was born.

During high school I was logging in to the local BBS and hooking up with some guys in Ann Arbor. They were on the Xanadu project, funded by Apple. They were working on something called 'hypertext' which became HTML. I totally didn't get how it would be better than gopher. The multiuser BBS on a rack of Altos machines had me more fascinated.

After getting out of high school, I spent two and a half years programming computers. I self trained through four languages (see my resume). And burnt out in 86. I took a short break from computers altogether, but my skills in them eventually lead me back.

Back in 85, I had started writing my own role-playing game with a friend. By 87, our little company was about ready to start on publication. I asked around, and most publishers were using Macintoshes, so I got one. I've been hooked ever since. (In fact, I'm typing this on one now) Unfortunately, my partner and I started to lose touch shortly after, so the initial project was shelved.

Then in 90 I decided to enter college. It was and interesting trip, with the final effect of letting me refocus on what was truly important to me. Tech toys. After several majors I finally settled back into computers, and even landed a job at the local community college. I was put in charge of the Mac networks. The job was only for a semester, but I was back to computers full time. That job got me the one at Computer Medic where my education in computers really took off. I learned more there about computers than any number of classes could have shown me.

That education took me far. All the way to LA. The Mac experience was helpful, but it was the variety of experience at the Medic that took me to Disney, Hughes, and to HSX. Until mid 2001, I was the MIS manager of the west coast branch ofGaiam, until they shut the branch down. And I ran a small network at home. Utterly surrounded with tech toys, I learned to appreciate their place, and allowed myself to try to enjoy more of life.

After leaving Gaiam, I opened my own business, Bearclaw Manufacturing. It was the realization of keeping the tech in it's place while living in the real word: making tools, performing, etc. Naturally, as a one-man show, I've had to be the computer guy, the shipper, the builder, etc. But I have both creative and technical run of the show.

More persuits in this area have lead to more websites, networking, and data manipulation. Red Swan keeps me editing and hosting videos. And