I guess my desire to work with technology started with
the radio-controlled vehicles I asked for at Christmas time as a kid.
In high school, the computer teacher let me work on the
computers, installing something, a couple times. I studied BASIC programming in that class and
office-type computing in another.
I was more interested in computer hardware, but started
in programming in college, studying PASCAL, Assembler, and COBOL. I wasn't a good programmer, so I switched
majors to Electronics Engineering Technology, where you study electronics and
We studied electronic components, and built an 8088 Single
Board Computer in the Microcomputer classes. My previous experience with Assembler helped in this class - but we
actually used commands, instead of writing the commands our self.
I took a Linux class, and through the class found out about
an opening, and worked for a short time as a Student Worker in IT.
I've done basic HTML 4. My long-gone but backed up somewhere geocities page about the GM 2.8 V6
and the Varajet carburetor still leads the occasion person to me with a
question. A couple of them have been
from Australia. I am trying to create a document here.
About a year after I graduated, a part-time position
opened in the Library.
During this time, I attended a church where I ran the
sound equipment and fixed minor things. One night, the VGA cable got cut almost completely apart, and needed
fixed by the next morning. After a bit
of soldering, it worked. Before I left,
we were meeting in another location which required set-up and tear down of the
computer and sound equipment each week.
In 2006, I moved to another church. I started running the computer (Windows XP
and EasyWorship) to display song lyrics on the wall and videos when
necessary. I became a member and was
elected to the Board as a Trustee in 2007 - they were going do it in 2006, but
I wasn't a member yet.
The XP computer was getting old, so we got a Mac. On Easter morning, the XP computer stopped
working. The Mac had been picked up the
day before... So, between
sunrise/breakfast and 9:30, I installed ProPresenter and learned enough of the
Mac to use it at 10:30. I am also a
Sunday School teacher for a small class.
I run the computer Sunday mornings and evenings and
Wednesdays when I am there. It involves
finding videos, sometimes downloading them, and displaying things on the
wall. Sometimes, I know more than 10
minutes ahead of time... Occasionally,
we have guest speakers or missionaries with videos to play. I purchased cables so we can install another
projector on the other side and in the back. I run the sound equipment when necessary, too.
I started going to Church Camp in 2007 - they asked about
2006, but I couldn't get off work again. At camp, I take pictures, some video, run the sound equipment, and the
computer equipment. We have to take
everything and set it up when we arrive. There is no internet access at camp, so all videos, songs, etc. must be
found before we leave.
Lately, I have started trying to teach myself programming
using the BASIC Stamp and the Arduino Uno. I have followed instructions found online and made a motion activated
camera and a few other things. My goal
is to create an autonomous vehicle for something like the Sparkfun Autonomous
Vehicle Challenge, or find/start something locally, since the AVC is in
Denver. I have an OWI robotic arm that
will fit on a radio controlled vehicle, but it is limited by a 40ft control
cable - I have a wireless drone camera that mounts on it to see and a mic
assembled from a kit with an FM transmitter to hear.
I found a Raspberry Pi marked down, and have been
experimenting with it. It requires the
Linux operating system to be installed on an SD card. I also found a BeagleBone Black (Linux single
board computer), but I haven't done much with it. A relative gave me
a laptop that was headed for the garbage, and I
swapped out the hard drive and it is now dual-boot with two versions of
Linux. I know very basic things about
Linux, but am trying to learn more. Linux seems to have gotten easier to use and install since the first time I used it.
I bought an inexpensive Android tablet last year at
Walmart so I could learn that system. It
has a micro-SD slot, and is useful for watching videos and looking at repair
information. My check engine light came
on, so I bought an inexpensive code reader, to try to fix the problem. I've used it on a half dozen other vehicles
It seems that technology has become a big portion of my