Technology

It’s no surprise that I’ve spent the bulk of my career working with technology, but I didn’t start out on that path.  I went to NYU during the revolution between the traditional and the digital, and my core classes were all analog.

It wasn’t long before I recognized the need for an “undo” button…

We cut audio tape and developed film on large, complicated, often-broken mechanical machines.  For example, consider the monstrosity that used to be a multimedia slide projector.  Today, we do it all in PowerPoint and are shocked when we can’t connect a notebook sized computer (if not a phone or tablet) to a digital projector.

Slide Projector
Imagine two of these beasts side-by-side on a wire-strewn dolly…

Back then, we had actual photographic slides, with 2 old-fashioned projectors sitting side-by-side, cartridges mounted on top like giant six shooters.  They were both connected to an audio-cassette deck, only the deck did more than play back sound.

An 80’s era audio-cassette has 4 channels of information — 2 stereo channels on each side — and this implementation cleverly used the additional channels to record an operator switching between slide projectors.  So, you could record yourself switching using a dial in real time and then play it back.

Of course, you couldn’t stop midway through, rewind, or edit your work.  You needed to do it right from beginning to end, or start all over again, but the same was true of old-fashioned audio mixing.  There was no “undo” button, and it wasn’t long before I recognized the need for that “undo” button.

Everyone was experimenting with little thought to security or privacy…

Shortly after I began working in the art department for Dowden Publishing ,the owner’s son, Mark came to me and asked if I could build a website.  Apparently, he recognized I was “good” with computers and they’d sold one to an existing customer without the means to actually deliver it.  How hard could it possibly be?

That simple, rhetorical question launched the future phases of my career.  Using trial, error, the internet for research and a little luck, I taught myself web design followed by code and databases. At the time, there were barely any rules, we connected directly to servers, updated live databases, and generally adhered to few compliance standards.   Everyone was experimenting with little thought to security or privacy issues, so we launched online stores, patient appointment forms, continuing medical education sites, and all the rest in rapid succession.

As the our roster of customer grew, I moved into project management, then account management, and ultimately the opportunity to lead an entire team, but that’s a story better left for my formal resume (request a copy using the form if you are interested).  You can also check out my non-exhaustive list of Applications + System Experience.

Share This: