I was born July 11, 1963. That makes me .. (lessee, carry the one, minus the nine, divide by the square root of 63) um … Experienced! I used to like drinking coffee at 7-Eleven all the time. I used to think I was permanently destined to do so for the rest of my life, until I stopped working next to a 7-Eleven and well, that though went away fast.
In 1976 I was 13 years old. Our family moved out from ‘The City’ out to ‘Rural Country’ in that year. I vaguely remember that I was familiar with computers. It was more familiar OF computers actually. There were card readers at that time and apparently some super computers out there as SMALL as a room that could play chess! It sparked my interest and I tried to get involved either at school or join discussions with friends if I could. In late 1976 or early 1977, I finally stopped commuting back and forth to school in the city and was officially part of ‘Country Folk’ school.
Our family had side businesses going on around that time, in particular a company my mother had that was selling giftware and acrylic products. My father setup some accounting and bookkeeping system to record the sales, keep track of accounts receivable and all other aspects of the business, and I was interested in doing the books. My father is a C.A. (Chartered Accountant) and I was a Chip Off The Old Block! I remember vividly wanting to be the first one on the block to get a computer and I could do the books of the company for my mom!
1977 – The Apple II computer was invented. Another FLY-BY-NIGHT company if I ever seen one! There was Atari and Commodore computers that were out. I don’t really know if these were really computers, but a few of my friends had them. It was like the playstation of Xbox of today where you connect it to your TV screen. My father thought that these Atari and Commodore were just to play games, there was no reason to buy that for a business.
1979 – I finally convinced my folks to buy me a computer .. the Apple II+ … here is a picture of this model.
If you are interested in reading about the history of computers in general, here are two good sites:
The Timeline of MicroComputers – 1926 to 2001
The “apple-history.com” Page – By Date
I was 16 and now had my own computer. I did computerize my mom’s business with the help of my dad and this has been the way it has been with all businesses our family has ever been involved with. While I can’t recall which accounting program I actually used on this Apple II+ (was it Dac-Easy?) .. I certainly can recall that I had the coolest games for the Apple II+ on floppy. It was Stip Poker and Stip Poker-X.
Throughout the 1980’s and mostly into the Late 1980’s, I was fortunate to attend the comdex or the electronic shows in either Toronto, Las Vegas or Chicago. I went in 1991 (for me) and in 1992 and 1993 (for my work) to the Comdex shows in Toronto. I was quite disappointed in 1994 when 40 days before the show was to begin and I was booking my airline tickets, one of the Partners changed his mind, and didn’t want me to go. I was quite taken aback from this decision, because not only was I the ‘computer’ guy for the firm, I was also the ‘network’ guy, and the one who everyone relied on for advice and direction everytime we needed an upgrade or reinvestment in computers. The other two partners didn’t care to see the positive influence this show always had on me, so I had to take matters in my own hand, and researched.
In January 1995 I finally created an account to go ‘online’ with CompuServe. If you recall at those times and in the first half of the 1990’s there was no internet. Well, there was the military internet if you do your homework, but really, no internet as we know it. There were modems around. You were able to communicate with other machines using programs like PcANYWHERE, where you can access another computer remotely using the telephone line and modem. There were also Bulletin Boards that you were able to dial up and retrieve data or obtain news and other stuff. I was more into the remote access instead of the Bulletin Boards.
In March 1995, when I began to read about the The history of the WWW and started to notice all of the reports of how many internet users has been growing at an exponential rate, I was pleased that I was ‘Got In’ at the ground floor.
I wasn’t too pleased with my April 1995 Visa Statement however. HOLY CRAP! (to quote Frank Barone) did Compuserve screw me! AOL eventually bought out Compuserve in 1997, but I had to get out. It was silly. The only way I can communicate with their billing department, was to log on and get billed. It took me a few months to finally get my own service provider.
As you recall, Win95 was officially released in August 1995. My cousin, James, was a beta tester somehow and I again, somehow, I managed to scoop a copy and install it on my computer in Late June 1995. It was veeeeeeery eeeenterestinnnnnng.
On August 16, 1995 I officially had my own website and provider. It was with GateWest Communications. I’d still be with them today, had our M.T.S. phone company took over their DSL portion of their business. I just melded into the M.T.S. account that I still have today.
I learned HTML and engaged in many forum discussions during 1995 and it wasn’t until November 6, 1995 that my first wage page was created. How do I know? Because I still have a copy of my January 1, 1997 backup webpage and it ‘says so’. HART’s HomePage 1996. It’s funny, but my ICQ number was 100965 and they started at 100,000. What are the number sequences now – isn’t it in the billions? I was there at the start of this company’s success.
One of HART’s Friend nicknamed “Stormy” created this logo for me at the time and I ended up using it between 1995 through 1998.
In 1998, I tried to create my own logo, but I was never good at using photoshop or other graphic programs like that. This was my best logo I ever created:
A lot of people, including clients and the principals of the firm I worked in, were utilizing me as the computer expert. It was okay, and I was glad to help. But, how can one keep up in the computer industry and technology without going to the shows? You can’t – unless you are deep in research and experimentation. I just didn’t have the time.
It wasn’t officially until the release of Windows M.E. (Millenium Edition) that I declared that I would not give anybody software advice anymore. You tell me what computer software program you are using, and my new goal was to get you to use it to the best that it can be.
You can do your accounting and bookkeeping on Excel and a toothbrush, if you wanted to .. and you can do it on Quickbooks Pro on a wireless computer, if you wanted to … I just refuse to acknowledge which method is better. I can teach you how to do it properly using either method.
That’s my thing. I am an “Accountant / Consultant”, specializing in “Systems / Computer Consulting”. At least that’s what it said on my business card for years. Now it claims as follows:
HBS MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS
Accounting, Bookkeeping, Income Tax Preparation, Systems, Consulting
HARTLEY B SINGER
You can just call me HART. Or, you can email HART
I have had a wide variety of personal websites, and besides my business website, I have our wedding and personal website at HARTandYVONNE.com and our Dog’s website PapillonLvr.com which evolved into CatLvr.com DogLvr.com PapillonLover.com and most importantly, PetLvr.com.
And in the now – view my profile – welcome to HART’s life as a blogger.