People to thank
The first time I touched a computer was when I was ten years old during summer school classes to work on math. That may not seem like such a bing thing to hear these days but this was 1974 when most computers were the size of refrigerators with hard drives the size of washers and dryers.
Then there was another classification of computers that came out in the mid 1970's that were glorified calculators to do scientific math, business math, and even help to learn math through math problems on register tape.
Eight years later, after I was graduated for high school, the home computer business boomed and I became interested in learning programming which is still done today.
There was a lot of people I have never thanked in person (with the exception of two on this page) that have been supporters, instructors, or mentors to the IT career path.
The Highline School District made a smart decision to start using computers for education in the mid 1970's just before the series of levy failures happened. Many of those computers were used for math purposes which helped to get caught after struggling learning multiplication tables.
Since going back to college, several years ago, I did get through Trigonometry and Applied Calculus (the only family member to get that far in math).
This list is in chronological order.
Vern was my 7th Grade Math teacher and assisted me in getting caught up in math with the rest of my class.
Vern was the first instructor I had that taught computer programming with Math equations and it was a very useful class. Even to this day what he taught students is still even used on this web server.
The computer used was similar to an HP Calculator, such as a 12c, using stack memory with a raster screen display (CRT) and a scan-tron machine.
Since then, I used a great deal of programmable calculators from HP years before I need one for college. Even one of my Math instructors in college was one of the Engineers that designed the HP28s, the first programmable graphing calculator which used on a regular basis thirty years for computing sales commissions.
Great Math instructors can influence your I.T. career. If they teach you how to to use programmable calculators and spreadsheets, these are are the basic steps to programming which will help you in the long run to learn not only Math but future career opportunities.
The concepts of programming, in the last 30 years, have been graphics based thanks GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) and other objects such as icons. Having a Graphic Arts background can be helpful.
Thankfully, spending two years in high school at what is now known as the Puget Sound Skills Center, the first high school based vocational school in the state of Washington that is known for having a Culinary Arts program that started many chefs careers.
Another program that started in 1970 (when the school opened) was know as Visual Communications, a program that taught graphic arts, offset printing, television, and photography. Those that were selected to come back their senior year, would specialize in one of the four areas (the program discontinued around 1989).
During my tenure in the program, the first graphic arts computer was purchased, a typesetter. It was a TRS 80 computer connected to a high speed machine to store plastic fonts, capable of producing camera ready documents that would have to be developed before being applied to the layout for camera ready purposes.
While all the classes taught the analog ways of doing graphic arts with developing, chemicals (some of which could have cause health problems in recent history), ink, and bulky black and white video cameras, that certainly seems very dated in how the industry is operated today.
I always thought back in the early 1980s that graphic arts and computers were going to someday change the industry in a big way, even though Ron at the time didn't agree with me on that assessment, but it did start to happen in 1984 when Apple released the first Macintosh.
Learning to do graphic arts the analog way, led to working with desktop publishing systems thanks to Seattle based Aldus with Pagemaker which became the start of camera ready based computerized graphic arts design (eliminating the typesetter) while laser (as well as other litho based) printers were used eliminating the offset press in time.
When in house digital media design started in 2001, the transition from desktop publishing to web design happened thank to Microsoft Front Page which was used to start this website twenty years ago.
When I was a Senior in high school, I was interested in being in the television program. While that didn't happen, it didn't matter as I still did most of the talent for a great deal of the programs produced my Senior year. That experience helped in producing television shows using Pinnacle Studio for a major non-profit organization in the Seattle area for nine years producing DVDs and streams before moving to Oregon which led to the creation of a new business.
Getting back into photography with the first generation digital cameras resulted in photographs that were on display at the Washington State Fair photography show leading to awards.
Working with Photoshop and Lightroom is a much different experience with photography that would have seemed like science fiction 40 years ago.
Offset Printing (the field I specialized in my Senior year) is the most diminished industry for careers in the history of our country (especially when newspapers are added) yet our nation was founded when printing presses were important which today are replaced by websites (like this one) as well as other digital media sources appearing on our phones.
While working on the mobile apps and making icons for them, many of the concepts that Ron (as well as Penny taught us at the time) are still relevant for logo design today when using Microsoft Paint.
Mt. Rainier High School in the 1970's and 80's wasn't the best learning environment to be in due to the airplanes taking off or landing at Sea Tac Airport. The walls were brick with a glass wall on one side. Before the school was sound proofed, the school would shake and class would have to pause.
Unfortunately, we are now finding out the health hazards of going to school in that environment that have affected many students who attended school in the Highline School District that were in the flight path of what is now the 9th busiest airport in the United States.
Neil was my English teacher in 10th Grade and my Health teacher in the 11th Grade. I did manage the wrestling team when he was coaching. He was there when I was having a tough time adjusting in to high school and was a positive influence at the time when there were a great deal of negative ones.
If ever become a high school teacher, I would be like him. He was a great role model for what a teacher should be.
ITT Technical Institute (the original school)
I know the school has had it's downfall when it was acquired by Corinthian ten years ago, but when ITT owned the school starting in the 1970's it was a model school for learning electronics, computer programming, and other office technical positions that sometimes the local community college couldn't do.
It was the first school to have an IBM PC lab in the Seattle area years before colleges and universities would have them. Even students from the University of Washington would take classes at night to learn how to use them.
Even though it's accreditation was technical based, with very little credits being transferred through the Oregon University System, it was still the cornerstone to learn I.T. concepts, with the addition of accounting, that would be considered Business Information Systems today.
During the 1980's Quickbooks replaced many of the old school data processing concepts that were taught at the time. Learning how to program an IBM System/36 led to working for a company that was probably used the last of them in the Seattle area as Y2K concerns and client/server models would eliminate their need.
Learning the basic data processing model form (Mr. Jones, Judy, Stephanie, and Ron as well as Ms. Jones for accounting and business) is still important today when connecting web site applications to SQL servers for financial transactions while recent course in college have taken care of the learning for compliances based on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that are need for data responsibility.
Even though Quickbooks isn't intended for manufacturing environments, the skills learned in the 1980's from instructors responsible for starting the I.T. systems used by Safeco at the time, are still in use today for SQL transactions.
This name may a bit of a surprise to some to see in here, but he was responsible for seeing the vision of how computers were going to work when it comes to database servers even though this was the mid 1980's.
Oracle was developing SQL servers at this time (used on this website) but there was another upstart (Ultimate) creating a database operating system solution for mainframe computers that would be documented with the academic archives of Oregon State University for various unethical implications at Seafirst during the Capital Management Project, that didn't apply to Seattle Film Works (Photoworks). This IT system was the only solution that was going to handle the high demands of daily data processing.
Jack did a good job of showing the future of the IT infrastructure as it relates to a database server (even with bar codes). While the mainframe applications used in the 1980s have been replaced with smaller servers, more memory, and bigger hard drives, it is more reliable model than what was used at the time.
In the 1980's, when a hard drive crashed, it was $25,000 to replace. This operating system was known to do such things when it came to handling high volumes of database transactions at the same time (when used with the tasks of indexing). This system wasn't alone though in that problem but over time, we have learned to used it in a more efficient environment.
Thankfully, todays systems are more reliable based on the flaws of the past and have a better way of redundancy to prevent hardware repairs that can measure at more reasonable price when and if it does happen on those rare occasions.
Union Bay Sportswear
They are on list for two reasons. The first one regards the working relationship they have had with HP. It was one of the reasons why there is more of an I.T. history with HP than IBM (even though IBM sold many it's interests to Lenovo).
That relationship with HP has stayed for many years with computers, printers, and even calculators that has endured long after I would leave the company including product support for HP products.
When relocating to the Willamette Valley, I saw the tech center in Corvallis and it is sad that many layoffs over the years have happened in the facility and perhaps if things were different I probably would have been an employee myself.
The second reason had to do with Union Bay being responsible to testing and creating the first computer manifesting system for processing packages for UPS that I was part on 1987 (processed on an HP 3000 computer). This experience would be later put to use when working for Reliable Parts and Pitney Bowes.
I worked with Toni when I was working for Pitney Bowes setting up in house bulk mail systems for managing a major insurance educational business that I would later assist her with as well.
This led to an idea of setting up a few craft websites to have people sell craft and other items very similar to what Etsy does today.
We were very early about the release of the website when many people were having trouble selling item on Ebay at the time. This was 2004 when people didn't have cameras on their phones and people opened stores to assist others in selling items on Ebay.
When I was taking business classes at OSU and heard about Etsy in a textbook I was using there was a lot of coffee that came out of my mouth at the time because this similar idea we had for anythingmade.com that went live but saw very little results.
Toni has also helped out with my last Business and Entrepreneurship project at OSU before wrapping up my studies at Eastern Oregon University that went very well.
I had to return to school as the result of having computer training that was pre internet, pre Windows. In the new millennium, COBOL programming isn't used (it was responsible to Y2K) and the computer language IBM invented known as RPG has different meanings today.
Even though on the job training for Windows and networking happened when working with Pitney Bowes as well as learning how to building websites with database came from training through Microsoft, there wasn't any official documentation to support it as well as the concerns with ITT at the time.
Out of all the classes I had in college, two of the most important classes I had were Oracle SQL classes taught by one of the top Oracle instructors, Dave Becker.
While I had been using Microsoft Access to build database systems in the past for mobile apps and websites, the big picture of using a more robust and commercial database system was made clear and is certainly used on this website and server system today.
A server system that uses a separate server to handle the data while another server handles the website and traffic capable of handling the million hits, or more, that it receives on a monthly basis.
This training had helped to create more robust web site applications that can handle accounting and other data intense transactions with the necessary documentation attached to the database record for document storage and retrieval.