Personal Stuff

In case you were going to ask, I'm a former IBMer in the Philadelphia area who has done many computer related things in the past. My first love had always been database application development. End user support and training is another strong interest. I have patience with people and motivation to help them use technology to do their jobs better. The theme of this web site flows naturally from what I enjoy.

IBM paid me primarily to be a technical marketing rep (a.k.a. 'Systems Engineer') initially. I really enjoyed the customer interaction and enjoyed technology, but mainframe hardware and software never really captured my spirit. When the PC revolution unfolded back in 1981 and IBM entered the field, I was ready. The last 8 years I spent with IBM focused largely on personal computers in a business environment, their interactions with mainframes, and user support and training. I was never happier! When IBM accelerated its downsizing (.. er, 'rightsizing') back in '92, I left with mixed feelings and a certain angst about whether there might be life after IBM. Fortunately there was.

By the way, my early attempt at this website included a sound file called 'Ever Onward', IBM's 'marching song'. You knew of course they must have had one, didn't you? Rather than forcing it on you as background music, I'm gonna do the right thing and let you skip it. If you do want to hear it, click here to play the tune if you have MIDI support in your browser, and you'll hear the song that was supposed to rouse me every morning during my Big Blue days.

On a more personal note, I was born and raised in Harrisburg, capital of this great state. I don't think I'll tell you when, but it was in the 20th century. My family was first generation American (nah, no Mayflower journey for my ancestors), and education was important, so I 'emigrated' to Philadelphia to attend the University of Pennsylvania. I studied Chemical Engineering and Math. Computer Science wasn't available back then; after all Ben Franklin was busy setting up their History Department. :>) I also studied Economics and Russian. You baby-boomers will recall the cold war with Russia. I believed they would invade us and I wanted to be able to plead for my life in their tongue. Anyway, 4 years flew by quickly and Penn asked me to leave. Reluctantly I did but stayed on in Philadelphia.

I believe this is where my sense of humor came from. To survive in Philadelphia you've gotta have a sense of humor. Throughout these web pages I leaked in a few things you might think are funny ... or at least a bit unusual, like this font. Actually, I tried to use 'Times Roman' for my website but I couldn't handle its austerity, so I used one of Microsoft's informal fonts instead. Do you know what this one is called? Fortunately, web design forces me to use a font that most people have installed on their computers, or I might have picked a really strange one.

There's more to say about my personal life, but I think I won't say too much just now. I'm single now, but I have 2 grown children (one of each) one of whom still lives with me. They think they're 'adults', and we argue about that all the time. I tried to move once while they were at work but they located me thru the post office. Life is full of challenges, is it not?

One of my interests is animals. For years I've had dogs and never considered myself much of a 'cat person'. Nonetheless, I have a  cat colony near me and I have fed some of them, trapped them, 'fixed' them (funny term, they weren't really broken), placed them in homes, and over time adopted 3 of them. We get along pretty well. They respect my computer equipment and its myriad of wires, although the one cat went after a spare mouse I have. That's actually true ... quite ironic, I thought.

Oh yeh, my computers. I bought a nice 400Mhz Dell computer a couple years ago (for web design) and retained my older Gateway desktop for backup and odds 'n ends. Also have a Micron laptop. They're all together here, cabled into an ethernet network. Very convenient this way since I can share files, use the Dell's large hard drive as a backup area for the Micron, and all can use my 2 printers. No one can say I'm not an equal opportunity computer buyer. If you've guessed that computers are a hobby with me, you're correct. I also work with PCs as an independent consultant and I thought that web design might be a profitable (and fun) thing to do. There are pointers in Sites to Visit to a few of the web sites I've created.

I appreciate your reading my brief biography, and once more, I hope you derive some benefit from Sam's Web Stop. Drop me a note if you want and I'll write back. I'm still working on including a picture but meanwhile you can click SAM (72K) and hear my voice.

Regards to each of you and happy surfing ............ Sam