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 Jacobson

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.

Ron Sullivan

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.

Neil Hutchinson

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.