Computers and Software
Published: Mon Jan 01 2018
I started my programming career as a child punching in hexadecimal code from magazines so I could compile it and play free video games on my Vic 20. The Progression from there was logical:
- Vic 20 - entering code for games
- Apple IIc - School reports
- CBM Pet - Rudimentary coding
- TRS80 - Learned BASIC
- Tandy 1000 - COBOL & Pascal
Moving on from there I began learning operating systems; Apple Macintosh, MS-DOS Windows 2 and in the early 90s I Began working with communications systems modems and networks. I started building Bulletin Board Systems (BBS). For this application I started to need multitasking and so learned Windows 3.0, OS/2 and DESQview386. The enabled me to run multiple BBS connections on multiple modems simultaneously, so I could create an interactive online user experience between 2 or 3 online users and myself in real time. This lead to learning Novell, LANtastic and other early networking systems so I could connect multiple computers running multitasking software. DESQView386, windows 3.1 WFW, WFW3.1 etc.
At this point I Built the MIDI Machine BBS and expanded it to two computers running 3 modems each (so 6 seperate instances spread accross 2 processors). Connected My system to the FidoNet, and VirtualNet Networks, and then Integrated the Internet as a TCP/IP Network via the FidoNet gateway providing my users with internet email addresses and access to rudimentary Internet Services.
From here, it was local area networks, wide area networks, and system integration of LAN/WAN/ FidoNet, VirtualNet, And early Internet. Point of sale systems, along with computer hardware and software sales.
Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) Joined my two worlds integrating music and computers and created a Niche for me as a MIDI specialist with a deep and broad digital background and possibilities for me started to open. When I moved back north to build a network and a custom operating system for a company, I brought the Midi Machine BBS with me , but still had it connecting back to real world network back in Vancouver thus providing Hay River with the first free public access to internet, and began connecting communities together.
About a year or so later the Dene Information System designed and built by myself for the Dene Cultural Institute, Carried this on when I Moved to Fort Smith where I built the Dome City BBS Delivering the first Internet Email to Fort Smith.
At this point things began to change, Windows NT (3.1) was released and then Windows Advanced Server I started building networks. And I took a Job in fort smith to fulfill my dream to become a professional Studio Recording engineer. I quickly learned digital audio recording and editing on a variety of platforms including Session 8 for windows and ProTools for Mac. In between playing and recording I learned videography, cameras, titling, editing. As we developed the Dome City BBS further, I was writing and sharing scripts for the VirtualBBS (VBBS) System (My first tase of the open source feel), and began working with the RipScrip Protocol which was an early for of vector graphics much like SVG today. When mosaic for windows was released, I moved away from BBS systems and became a graphic designer and leaned graphic design and was an early developer of WWW Pages and HTML code. Our firm started a joint partnership with a local computer company and created the first commercial Internet Service Provider in the community and my understanding of IP Networking increased exponentially, and I leaned my first linux; Slackware Linux. From there, I learned to design wireless, and hard line Wide area networks, as we were developing HDSL and wireless networks to deliver our broadband internet access.
In 2000 I left my IT career to go back to school with a mind to become a scientist. I went to college, then University, and continued to learn computers with a lean towards all things science, I became adept at things like SQL programming, Geographic Information Systems and Scripting. Today I am a Wildfire Modeler and use all of my IT background every day.
Over the years I have been involved in may different software development projects. Currently I am the lead on the SPARCS Project.
The Spatial Precipitation And Risk Calculation system aka SPARCS, is a broad name to cover a variety of FMD HQ Fire Science IT endeavors aimed at the timely collection, creation and delivery of Environmental and Modeling data to the primary users of Fire Science outputs.