Ah Youth:

This was my high school senior portrait from August 1978.  At the time I was driving a 1964 Pontiac Lemans, writing software for the old 8-bit machines (Apple and Radio Shack TRS-80) and homebrewing electronics.  I worked as a greenskeeper, tending the golf course at Hickory Hills country club.  My hobbies also included beekeeping, I had four hives in the back yard and a glass sided observation hive in my bedroom.

My senior year of high school I wrote a student attendance tracking system (in COBOL) for the Springfield public school system.  This project was the result of a trade I made with my instructor.  It was his job to write it, so I offered to do the work for him in exchange for a no-questions asked "A" for the course, and my use of the mainframes in the evening hours for personal projects.  The deal was done, I did his work, got my grade, blew off the class, and had two mainframes at my disposal for the year.  An IBM 360 and a System-3.

On some evenings there were adult vocational classes in the computer lab.  One of the older students was a lady who tuned into the fact that I was a nerd and enjoyed teasing me about it in front of the other evening students.  I helped her with some of her projects and she started telling me about her daughter that was my age.  In time I would meet the gal, who became my first girlfriend.

My senior year was also when I started programming commercially.  My first client was the "Farmers & Merchants Bank" of Mansfield, MO.  It was a simple loan management application - storing data files on audio tape.  I was also writing computer games, and started having them published in computer magazines.

Times were good.



 

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All images & text 2003 Phil Case