As far as I can remember, I have been very interested in technology and gadgets. My first recollection was receiving a reel to reel tape recorder that my Uncle had as a teenager.
It barely worked. I was able to tinker with it, so I could make recordings. When cassettes came out, I really wanted a new tape recorder. I asked my parents over and over again, but to no avail. Then one day, my Father comes home with a new cassette player – for him!! I was upset. I was the one that told him about the technology. Eventually, he let me use it, but it wasn’t mine. I taped my favorite songs off my transistor radio.
It was made by Panasonic and played 8 track tapes. It had a plunger on it that mimicked blowing up dynamite. My journey into technology had begun.
Fast forward to 1984. I had been working for Burroughs who was a computer giant at the time. My division did not sell computers, but my Regional Manager had one in his office. He let play around with it. When I joined Dun & Bradstreet, they had “dummy” terminals on our desks to access the billing systems. I became an expert at it. The company decided to start testing Personal Computers with the sales force. I was selected to test an IBM P/S2. I was in my glory. It ran MS-DOS. I taught myself everything about the desktop.
Around this time, we started selling our database on a new technology – CD-ROM. It was a big deal. It was a high ticket item. We had to sell a CD-ROM drive along with the disc because our customers didn’t have CD drives on their computers. I recall one time when I sold a disc to an Investment Bank in Princeton. They wanted to network the disc throughout their company. My manager and I went down to install the software. We ended up crashing their entire system. We could not fix it. Our tech support was on the phone with us, trying to help us. Eventually, my boss said – “OK, I have to go”. There I was stuck with an angry customer. They eventually cancelled the sale. I think we had to pay to get their network back up.
Occasionally, I went to NYC to see customers. We had a Compaq portable computer that had an orange screen and was as big as a small TV. There was one time when I was getting on the PATH train and the strap broke on the carrying bag. It crashed to the ground and that was the end of my sales call that day.
This brings me up to the middle of the 1990’s. I will continue my technology journey in the next post.