A Brief History of Dave
March 25, 1960 – November 22, 2015
…for those of you that need to know…
- Fern Elementary School, Torrance, CA (1965-1971)
- Greenwood Middle School, Torrance, CA (1971-1974)
- Torrance High School, Torrance, CA (1974-1978)
- El Camino Junior College, Torrance, CA (1979-1980)
- University of California at Los Angeles (1980-1983)
- Writer and Contractor (owner of DC Construction from 1995 until death in 2015)
- Liquor store clerk and troubled teen — an excellent combination
- Zinc smelter — manually mixed, poured, and skimmed molten zinc alloys … ahhh, the good old days!
- Night custodian for Torrance Unified School District — ever wonder who got to clean those restrooms?
TRAUMATIC TRUE LIFE EXPERIENCES
- Narrowly missed by stray copper-jacketed .45 slug of unknown origin
- Shot at with several rounds in a drive-by shooting circa 1976
- In 8th grade, had own mother for a substitute teacher, and she sent my best friends to the principal’s office (with apologies to Mom, who viewed this page and did not appreciate the attempt at humor).
ME & MY COMPUTER – A LOVE STORY
- March 1960 – August 1996: Period of complete computer illiteracy, marked by never having actually touched a mouse or keyboard. This period notable also for a noticeable lack of typing skills.
- August 12, 1996: Purchased first computer (Pentium 166, 32 MB RAM, 2.5 GB W.D. hard drive), complete with HP deskjet printer, 17″ Mag monitor, subwoofer speaker system, joystick, 8X CD-ROM Drive, 28.8K Voice/Fax Modem, AWE32 sound card, Diamond Stealth graphics card, microphone, ergonomic keyboard, and cordless mouse. Also came complete with 18″ high stack of instruction manuals, which at first appeared to have no purpose; later discovered that these were to provide a booster seat for your five year old while they teach you how to operate your computer.
- August 13, 1996: Calculated, with pencil and paper, the length of time it would take to read through the stack of manuals (16 years, including learning several obscure foreign languages), versus computer’s projected life span before it reached obsolescence (12 minutes). Slipped into deep depression.
- August 14-26, 1996: Started computer frequently and stared vacantly at desktop; occasionally scrolled through start menu, wondering what the various programs would do if I were to open one. Successfully changed desktop wallpaper and rearranged desktop icons; new “customized” desktop became a source of considerable pride.
- August 26, 1996: Being very impressed with my HP printer’s ability to accurately and reliably print test pages, I decided to add an HP flatbed scanner to my system. The immediate benefit of this was that my stack of manuals grew another inch.
- September 1996 – December 1996: In an effort to get computer to actually compute, replaced nearly all original hardware, including motherboard (twice), CPU, RAM (twice), and hard drive. Technicians made frequent insinuations that operator incompetence could be a major factor, though this is considered very unlikely. All parts were replaced free of charge, perhaps out of pity.
- January 1997: Reached tentative peace agreement with computer wherein we both acknowledged who was boss, and I agreed to stop changing the name of the “My Computer” icon to “The Bitch”. Also came to the realization that this was no time to abandon my lifelong policy of never reading owner’s manuals.
- January – February 1997: Loaded a variety of new software programs, some of which weren’t even made by Microsoft [Warning: these non-Microsoft, or “bastard” programs, may wreak havoc on your computer. The Microsoft family already living in there is very clannish (some say inbred), and does not take well to outsiders]. This provided me with a considerably longer start menu to scroll through and more icons to arrange.
- January – November 1997: Using the “I wonder what will happen if I click on this?” approach, eventually learned to use my computer to create spreadsheets to track job costs & automate bids, create a variety of desktop publications and business forms, surf the internet, create graphic art, scan and manipulate photographs, and a variety of other tasks that I have become reliant on it to do.
- December 1997: Created and posted my very first website.
- Summer 1998: Created a new and, hopefully, improved version of the website (which was replaced by the one you’re viewing now in 2016 after Dave’s death).