I’ve written about my transgender identity often but not about my tech roots.

I took and passed an A Level in Electronics 1982-84 and used a Commodore PET 2001 and a teleprinter with acoustic coupler during that time. I also soldered 555s and 741s into small circuits. Add Maths & Physics A Levels and 40 years ago I was quite techy! I bought a BBC Model A in 1982/3 and upgraded it with my soldering iron.

I started a Communications Engineering degree autumn 1984 in Plymouth and in spring/summer 1985 got my amateur (ham) licence. I also encountered Unix for the first time. I switched courses to a computing degree in 1985 and found myself learning COBOL! At the time I was using BASIC, Pascal and looking at C (took Kernigan & Richie from the Uni library for a read!)

Home in 1987 with nothing … oh well. I still had my BBC Micro.

I joined the civil service and got used to typewriters and a Strowger PABX!

In 1988 I moved to Kent and got my own place.

By 1993 I was online with a PC and a 9k6 modem and I adopted Linux around the same time. In 1995 I had my first website up, built using Netscape. I connected my BBC Micro, via a packet radio modem, to get online using AMPRNET.

At work we had a simple multi-terminal database system (Unix based) and I was part of the support team, but new IT was coming in.

By 1996 I was working overseas as well and at the same time became more involved in office/official tech. I started to run a regional IT desk as well as managing IT training, I bought my first domain.

That led into some very interesting stuff with comms.

By the time that all finished in 2008 (long story!)I was well versed in Windows Server 2k and a host of proprietary systems.

I returned to college to formalise my training and started to volunteer, teaching computing to adults. I also helped with tech at Citizens Advice.

I became involved in a floating radio station, broadcast radio and streaming in 2014. Still there.

Hosting multiple websites, some e-commerce.

I still own 3 soldering irons and am a Linux nerdette.


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