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About My Site and More About Me

Some of my pages are kind of old. Last time I used RedHat was version 7.2. Many of the MS Windows programs in Downloads date back to version 3.1 (16 bit). I'm not certain if everything still works these days as I very seldom use MS Windows outside of work. I've gotten lazy and usually use OS X.

Main Page

Ignoring the navigational bar on the left of my page, my home page has a few navigational links, but is mostly a few favorites and useful search tools that is still blank enough that I can load it in work for the IRC lookup.

Navigational Bar

Links for Apple (primary computer), My computer, Linux Distributions I use currently, Web host, and Internet Service Provider.
Added a few research tools.
Mostly Photographs, with some miscellaneous documents collected from various email or links I've received.
Mostly just that, some are outside links, others collections of useful information, tutorials or just toys, and my seldom updated blog.
All kinds of fun stuff, from CGI, javascript, bash, basically samples of code for my educational experience. Some are even useful. Source code is available.
Educational and useful. I used to update my computer as quickly as possible and many of the utilities were must haves when I installed or reinstalled. Please note that you may need an emulator for some of this software, much of it is 16bit.

More About Me

I became seriously interested in programming while back in elementary school when the school got it's first computer for the classroom. It was a TRS-80, possibly Model II back in the 80s. My aunt had puchased a Model I for my cousin at about the same time. My previous experience was a programming catridge on the Magnavox Odyssey 2.

On the TRS-80 I went from typing programs, to "What happens when I change this?" In High School I took Computer Math 1-6 during which I learned to program in BASIC, back when it still used line numbers, Pascal and a little bit of Fortran. We had TRS-80's in High School as well, think they were Model III or IV. I had a C-64 back then at home and played around with BASIC and Pascal on that too.

In college I was interested in programming and picked up a second semester class using "C". I didn't know "C" at the time but it was very easy to pick up after having experience with Pascal. I had an assembler class as well.

That pretty much covers my educational background with computers.

These days when I'm awake and not working I enjoy playing computer games and programming, with an occasional game of Pinochle thrown in for good measure. Playing around with CGI for the web gave me a chance to get back into programming. I do know some basic HTML and enough CGI to get me into trouble.

The closest thing I've ever owned to a TRS-80 was a Tandy 1000HX, which was essentially a PC clone and came with MS-DOS 2.11. But I did play around with converting some TRS-80 BASIC games to play on the PC.

I was not an early adopter of MS Windows, but did finally cave to MS Windows 3.1 in the early 90s. I played around with Windows until MS Windows 2000 and heard UNIX clones were available. Started playing with NetBSD. Nothing like a 98M download over dialup. I'm not certain if it even had the X Windowing System. From there I went RedHat 7.2. Then I tried Mandrake, Slackware, Debian, Knoppix, Gentoo, Ubuntu, and Fedora. At some point Apple had switched over to OS X and had seemed to be making an effort to create a UNIX environment. I had enough money to purchase a decent laptop and opted for a Macbook Pro. I got my feet wet and ended up building a modest library in ITunes. Just large enough to put up with the aggravation I encounter when building programs from source that aren't available for the Mac.

These days, outside of work, I use OS X on a Mac Mini for my primary Desktop, Debian on my laptop, Ubuntu on a couple of towers primarily for a web server and file server.

In my opinion Windows improved up to around 2000/XP, though I never found Windows to be a particularly nice developing environment. OS X while easy on the eyes doesn't make porting Windows programs or Linux programs very easy. Linux at this point is stable, easy to use, and the material available ranging from available applications to tutorials rivals Windows.

Most of the tools that I use on the Mac, I had started using on Linux. The majority of my coding has been done in Vim though I'm slowly getting more comfortable using Emacs. I use a Makefile to keep this site up to date. My preferred image viewer is XV. Graphic editor is Gimp. ImageMagick was used for many image conversions.

Monday, 9 January 2017   Michael J. Chappell   Contact me at: mcsuper5@freeshell.org