My first computer (non) experience was as a teenager in a High School work co-op program. I think the point of it was to try to steer me into becoming a "productive member of society". Possibly there were doubts of which I was not aware. I had a placement at Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, and the first oppportunity was to see if I'd find a programming internship of interest. I have only one word to describe it: FORTRAN ... and at the age of 17, that was a , ummm, non-starter for me.
After enlisting in the Army and being trained in electronics, I had my second BIG CHANCE. A fellow proto-geek showed me a magazine called "Dr. Dobb's Journal of Computer Calisthenics & Orthodontia". He had found an ad for this fantastic opportunity: A company selling a S100 bus mini-frame computer with a CPU card powered by a 8 bit Z80 running at 1 MHz including (drum roll) 1 KB of RAM ($1000). Only problem was you had to write your own boot strap loader, and operating system, wire your own ROM board ($500, not included) and also buy a 20 character per second TTY (only $1500+) and "Floppy Drive" (80 KB disk storage, and Floppy Control Board, another $1500+). Can you feel the excitement?! OH, YEAH, BABY!
If you understand none of this other than the $4000-5000 price tag, then you and me definitely were in tune. Oh, sure, and after you got all that stuff together and working, you then had to write a program in BASIC to then print a picture of Snoopy in a Santa Hat with snow flakes and fold them to make your first "Geek Christmas" cards. I had crayons, OK?
I was, maybe, lazy. Maybe deep down inside I was scared silly. Possibly I felt horribly incompetent and unworthy. But I could always fall back on the posture that I couldn't afford it. So, that was my alibis. [alibis - definition: A form of defense whereby a defendant attempts to prove that he or she was elsewhere when the crime in question was committed.] Yep. That would do the trick, save face and wallet, too!
Well, life carries us along and before I knew it I was employed fixing computers at a hospital: the original IBM PCs. Throw in some networking, Mainframe to PC multiplexing, programming classes at the local U, technology management certificate, database and reporting design, customer service...and you get the picture: I learned how to fiddle with things in a professional manner... 30+ years so far. Its been a living.
Now I can buy a retired "x86 thin client" on eBay for $20. 1,000x faster and 1,000,000x more memory than that S100 thingie, at about 1/2% of the price of that first, second "BIG CHANCE" noted above. I'm OK with that. No really!
So, to get to Dr. HubSpot. After a office visit and website checkup he told me I needed to do a few things to get more attention for my website and products therein. First, have to write more blog entries. A lot more. Excessively more. Also, gotta get that whole social media thing working for me, too: Facebook, Twitter, eNewsletters, YouTube channels and stuff like that. At the advanced age of 57 I think I can still dig deep and find the "right stuff" down in the inner recesses of me to make it all work. We shall see!
Now you know why I like "farming". Sure, I like fiddling with techie stuff. I also like good eating. I like the feeling of earth. I like to watch a garden grow. I feel connected with a very old cycle of life and living when I walk the seasons with Terra and with the other critters here.
I like the feeling of the weather that is coming in the weather that is here. I like standing in the pitch black of night in the dead of winter gazing heavenward, watching the transit of a galaxy of stars which tells me that planting days are coming, even though the earth is frozen down 3 feet at that time.
Everything has its seasons, even people have seasons of life. I am growing. I hope you are as well. Its a matter of making that choice over and over again. Let's chose to keep seeing a future worth working for. And if you have to forestall an investment of your time, money, energy in one area of life, then find another avenue to channel that flow. Maybe technology or some other such thing will catch up with your vision one of these days.
In the mean time, its always time to plant a wonderful garden!!
Allen Pollock, ( Owner of Gentle Breeze Farm, LLC located in Windham, Maine )
Gentle ponderings & ruminations on life and living