Electronics exposed me to how medical diagnostics tell us what's wrong with our health, how physical instrumentation determined the safety of railroad tracks, how molecular sampling can tell us the content and ultimately the safety or hazard of the elements around us, and probably most current - how 'machines' could 'think' and make solutions and sharing them happen faster than ever.
Electronics and communications equipment put me smack in the middle of public safety as a volunteer firefighter.
It was my first computer programming lessons that taught me all of the discrete logic circuits I was building were eseentially single-purpose 'computers.' It was the new found passion for computing tools that provided for documenting what and as I learned to share with others.
It was the combination of learning from the bits up to the screen and documenting the nuances that landed me my first very immersive job in the computer business (industry?) cross-checking computer diagnostic programs to see if they really tested the intended parts to tell us if they worked properly or not. From there designing software programs and helping market them.
Marketing technical solutions proved lucrative, albeit perhaps some solutions were well before their time. All that stuff a service like OnStar does for you? Yeah, we were doing that and more.
Combine all of these attributes and more and you have a nearly perfect storm for business-continuity, disaster recovery, and life-safety support on many fronts.
Why any of this now? Because my peers and I have come to a serious realization that fundamental knowledge and skill-sets of basic electricity, electronics, power, RF, audio, control systems and just how things work has been diminishing at an alarming rate, and many of these fundamentals may be lost in the disposible world of the "consumerization of technology". Where people redefine physics and science by anecdotal experience rather than accept the facts.
You may have heard of Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs, Somebody's Gotta Do It...) and his MikeRoweWorks foundation advocating renewing training in basic skills. I fully support and encourage Mike's efforts, yet realize some aspects of electronics and radio may be too involved for "shop class" but are just as important at the next level.
Let's just let and make things work!
High School 'Major': Industrial Arts Program - Drafting, Metalwork, Woodwork, Electronics
High School 'Minor': Stagecraft - Lighting, Sound, Set construction
First Licensed Novice Class: WN9GVF 1970
Upgraded Technician Class: WB9GVF 1971
FCC General Radiotelephone License, 1981
Granted General Class: ~2002, Vanity call K9GVF
Upgraded Extra Class: 2005
Vanity Call Change 2014: No1PC
First Work Experience: Appliance technician, 1972
Second Work Experience: RCC telecommunications technician/engineer, Curtin Call Communications 1972-1976
Field Service Engineer, Hycel (medical equipment) 1976-1978
Field Service Engineer, Enseco (FRA track instrumentation engineer) 1978
Technical Writer/Instructor, Hycel, 1978
Field Service Engineer, Finnigan Instruments (mass spectrometry) 1978-1984
Senior Field Service Engineer, Finnigan Instruments (hi-res mass spectrometry) 1984-1989
Data System Specialist, Finnigan Instruments 1989-1991
Technical Marketing Engineer, DiagSoft, 1991-1995
IT Engineer, LSI Logic, 1995-1996
Marketing Engineer/Product Manager, TuneUp.com/Quarterdeck 1996-1999
Marketing Engineer/Product Manager, various dot-coms 1999-2003
IT Engineer/Project Manager, Client Management/Migrations, Varian Medical Systems, 2003-2009
SCCM Consultant, various, 2009-2012
Senior IT Services Engineer, Unisys, 2012 to present
Co-Author: The PC User's Survival Guide, 1991
Co-Author: Troubleshooting Your PC, 1st-5th editions, 1993+
Author, IRQ, DMA & I/O, 1st-3rd editions, 1995+
Author, Installing, Troubleshooting and Repairing Wireless Networks, 2001
Author, PC Hacks
Author, CNet Do-It-Yourself Networking Projects
Author, PC Mods for the Evil Genius
Columnist and contributing editor - Computer Currents, CNet
Three-year member of Intel's Ease of Use/PC Quality and Roundtable
- Primary contributor to their original home networking white paper
Firefighter/Communications Engineer, Alief and Colleyville VFD, 1981-1989
Radio Site Maintenance/Management, Erow, 1990-1998
Communication Support, Calif OES, 2004-present
Contact: NO1PC at ARRL dot NET