About Dale

I started using computers in the early 80s via friends and my neighbor who was a programmer. He had a IBM PC that cost as much as a car back then. I also used the Timex Sinclair 1000 and various Amigas, Ataris, Commodores, and Apples/Macs.
My first computer was an Apple IIc with a 9″ green monochrome screen around 1986. My second computer was in 1992. It was a Laser brand computer with an Intel i386 DX 40 MHz with 4 MB of ram and a 100 MB hard drive.
I gave my mother quite a scare when she found the computer dissembled on the floor. I noticed there was a rattling noise and wanted to find it. I am glad I did. It was a screw that fallen under the motherboard. It is a wonder it didn’t short out before I found it. She was surprised that when I reassembled the computer, it still worked.

When I was old enough to work. I got a job working at the township. I did custodial work at the school I attended and the local fire station. The following year once I got my drivers license. I had a job at store in the mall selling computer software and games for various consoles. My last two years of High school, I attended the local Career Center. My parents, though not understanding computers, enrolled me because they saw how much skill I had already. The Career Center had a course on computer repair.

When I graduated, I found a job through a temp service building computers. From there I found my first IT job.
I started my own BBS in November of 1992 called The Edge of Insanity. I grew to point where I had 4 phone lines and a 128K ISDN connection. It provided Telnet and Internet access for dialup users on the BBS. It was very cool being peoples first experience on the Internet. After the BBS era ended I reused the computers for website and E-mail hosting. Eventually I bought a 1U rack server and placed it in a co-location facility. I got rid of the ISDN and the phone lines when cable Internet came to my neighborhood. By that time people were using Prodigy, CompuServe, and AOL.

I stayed in IT for 8 years until a corporate merger caused massive layoffs. The tl;dr was that the customers didn’t like the changes the acquiring company made and wouldn’t renew the contracts.

It was during 1995 when I started using Linux. A caller to my BBS wrote me a message asking if I would be interested in checking it out. So one Saturday I drove to his house. He was using Slackware with FVWM, if I remember correctly as this was before Desktop Environments were created.

I was very interested in trying it. So the following weekend he came over and we installed Slackware on a spare computer I had built. Using all 70 floppy disks LoL. I am so glad CDs were created, it made it so much easier. A couple years after that. I met some Sun OS (Solaris) and HP UX admins at a local computer club. They got me interested in the BSDs. I replaced Slackware on my servers with OpenBSD 2.5 or 2.6 around 1998. I was tired of Slackware’s dependency issues. Around 2001 when I bought the 1U server. One of the OS choices was Debian. I hadn’t heard of it and wanted to try it. I’ve been using it ever since.

1998 is also when I tried using Linux as a replacement for Windows. Before then it was more experimental and a curiosity. I used Red Hat 5 and SUSE (don’t remember the version). It worked but it wasn’t easy. That all changed when a co-worked brought a copy of Mandrake Linux to my desk around 1999.

After my layoff in 2003, I sold my hosting and 1U server to the Co-location facility. That fall I enrolled in truck driving school. This was supposed to be a temporary income solution due to my interest in driving. Well, 20+ years later, I am still at it.
Though during the past 20+ years. I did try my hand at window washing of buildings, floor cleaning/refinishing, installing DirecTV, and operating a forklift at a warehouse.

I kept up with my interests in computers and Linux. I missed the initial releases of Ubuntu and didn’t try it until version 10.04. This was due to my work life balance learning to drive the semi.

Because of my involvement with the Linux Mint Telegram community. I met Tony and Moss who created Distrohoppers’ Digest. I began listening to the podcast and submitting reviews for them. Then in January of 2020, I was invited to join them.

You can contact me via the following.
I’m Dale_CDL on Telegram and Discord. You can email me at [email protected].

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