Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gearing Up

I can't believe that at this very moment I am writing this on a MAC.

Aside from being a comedian I have been involved in the computer industry since 1981. At least that's my best memory for the year I started.

TRS80 Model III
That was the year I purchased a Tandy (Radio Shack for those of you not old enough) Model III computer. It was a completely self contained computer that looked like a small television with a keyboard permanently mounted in front of it. I'm pretty sure I paid a little more than $1,000 dollars for it. It had 2 floppy disks and had 16k of ram.

There were no such things as hard drives back then; at least not for the personal computer. Seagate had introduced a 5 megabytes drive in 1980 that cost $1,500. You know that 2 gigabyte flash drive you have that's useless to you because it won't hold enough of anything? Well that is 2,000 megabytes or 400 times the size of that $1,500 drive Seagate sold.

I bought a $400 printer with it and in the beginning it was a glorified typewriter. I used it to create documents for my Jaycee chapter (I was the secretary) and was a big hit because I could create forms and print out some really nice looking documents.

The original "PC" an IBM Model 5150
Back then I worked at a bank and was a junior officer. Banks ton't pay their employees money, they give "titles". Basically I was a loan collector. I was also the lowest man on the totem pole at the bank so I was given the jobs that everyone else was trying to avoid.

Enter the original IBM PC model 5150. The bank bought one because they thought they could use it, it was up to me to figure out how.

So that is when my journey began. Since then I have been more of an explorer than I ever would have imagined. Back in those days there was no tech support and there wasn't a "guy" that could help you. You had to become your own "guy".

Then as time went on I became other peoples "guy" which eventually led me out of the banking business and into the world of computers. I built a business that at one time had over a million dollars in sales. I had service people that I had to train and all the responsibilities that went along with it.

I dealt solely with IBM compatible equipment which is now referred to as "Windows" based. So everything I did had to be "Windows" compatible, I never even considered using an Apple product. Not because I thought they were substandard, it was because I felt I had more options in the "Windows" world and things were less expensive.

My first attempt to even try a MAC came about 4 years ago when I came across a MAC Laptop. It was an older one with a slower processor. In the end I was so immersed in the "Windows" world that I just couldn't grasp the MAC environment. So I quickly abandoned the laptop, sold it and bought a Power MAC with just a little more computing power. I didn't really use it, I just kept it around in case I wanted to give it another try.

I never did ...

Then came "The Cloud" and everything changed.

What seemed to be an unsurmountable goal; access to your data from anywhere finally began to take shape. And just like with anything else in the computer world everyone wanted in.

Over the past 5 years things have progressed to the point that my data is truly "portable" It resides on a secure server that I can have immediate access to and I have come to embraced that technology.

Up to this point with one exception (my programming editor) I have not used programs that I cannot use on all my devices. Whether it be my phone, Ipad or one of my computers, it doesn't matter what I use, I can view, use or edit anything I'm working with no matter where I am at; which is an extremely valuable thing.

If you made it this far you may remember that at the beginning I said this is being written on a MAC? Well, I decided to make a second exception because I wanted to get some writing software. Something that will (hopefully) help me get some ideas I have had for years on paper (well in digital form). I've never thought of myself as a great writer but have always had an idea for a story or two. So I decided to go out and get a MAC and devote it to the creative writing process.

So I now have a nice little MAC Mini that is just one generation back which will be more than adequate for this task.

It may be, but am I?

Vilmos has been a standup comedian since 1992.
He created a web site with Podcasts by comedians.
He is the host of The Green Room which is the longest running Podcast on standup comedy.
He also hosts The Mentorist v2 and The Spew.
His web site is
Follow him on Facebook at or Twitter @vilmosthecomic.

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