My Son's Long Post feature on TXTxt
When I was living as a missionary in Papua New Guinea for 10 years, we had to
give our children, education. There was nothing in the towns to spend your
money on, except food, so every Christmas Holidays we have plenty of money
saved. Since computers were only starting up in those days, and expensive, I
purchased the first 286 IBM compatible machine for around 2000 AUD. It lasted
6 months, as the soldering acid technique was not perfected, the mother board
got ruined by the flux acid. Later we purchased the 386, and finally the 486. The
random access memory chips were gold in those days. Like 2MB of RAM, wow.
We used to boast about incredible speeds. The interface was a Disk Operating
System, known as DOS, that looked great for us cave dwelling tapping on
keyboards using electronic brains, rather than our own. We thought is was fun
making letters all typed with graphics and sending them home to our parents.
Rather than the old fashioned handwriting letters. Do people these days know
even know how to do running writing? I eventually got keyboard shortcuts
down to a fine art. With 12 predefined function keys, that inserted my pictures
left, 40 by 40 mm and formatted, ready for more text. I can’t remember the
program that did this, but I wish I could turn off these silly function keys on my
keyboard, that I never use, pressing the window function for example kills your
text. I removed all the functions, and created my own.
Well as the kids got to age 10 or so maybe 12, I can’t fully remember, I
purchased my Son James, known here as Prologic on TWTxt a book called Java
programming, around 1000 pages, complete with program samples. Nothing
happened for a few years and one day the Principal Mr Hobson talk James a few
lessons in Quick Basic. I remember the monkey throwing the banana into walls
knocking them over. And Space Invaders. My Son made our own Q.Basic
programs. As a lecturer of Sonoma College, teaching science to up and coming
Primary School Teachers, during our non-teaching hours, we did other work to
help the College out with fees. One way I helped the College out, was to fix all
things electronic, including computers. We used to import them for say 500
PNG money each, avoiding import tax, as parts, and assembly them at the
College, than sell them for around 3500 PNG fully running. The money helped
the College immensely. One day a client, from Sydney Australia could not install
his CivilCad program on his new Asian computer and asked us for help. So we
had a look at the problem. We used to charge around 100 PNG dollars per hour.
I told my budding apprentices that if we can’t solve a problem in 15 minutes,
the problem is we are not smart enough. So after 12 hours, I got frustrated, and
paid my son James 20 PNG dollars to hack into the install program to find out
what’s going wrong. So he did. We discovered the install programme was
looking for an E drive, rather than C drive, the traditional letter for your main
disc in Australian standards, so we renamed C drive to E drive and the install
programme worked fine.
Another time, my Son James on holidays to my Australian teaching school in
Emerald CSDE, looked over my computer teaching job there. This was 2001,
after we returned from PNG, and now lived in Queensland, Brisbane, while I
went were the Education Department sent me. So I was in the business of
destroying and throwing out heaps of laptops. Rather than destroy them, I
asked admin if we could auction them. So I purchased 5 laptops for a 1 AUD
each. My Son got one and used it to capture real live viruses and de-engineer
them. Once the Melissa Virus came into WA, and a lady in distress asked James
for help. She sent him the virus, he de-engineered it in a few hours, and sent
back the programme to her in WA to fix the damage it caused. Meanwhile the
virus spread to the QLD department and brought down the system for at least 3
weeks, we used Norton in those days, while my Son made a fix in less than a few
hours, long ago.
Well I got in trouble with the Department over this virus on these laptops.
Eventually some smart computer technician noticed the virus was not a virus but
a hacked virus, so all was well.
As a Dad, I am very proud of my son’s achievements over the years and our
relationship together. His time wit Facebook in the USA as a server engineer is a
wonderful climax to the testimony of his skills.
Now we are in TXTxt, a programme of over 10,000 of code all written by James,
for the expressed purpose of allowing social media, without Big Brother
watching over you.
Go TXTxt all over the world. My first long post.