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Grade school:

Growing up in the Midwest, I listened to WWV using my dad's transistor shortwave radio, and was fascinated by the discrete components that my Sony AM transistor radio had inside.  Dad and I visited the AES headquarters store in our hometown (now HRO) long before I knew what ham radio was.  A schoolmate and I took apart and studied discarded vacuum tube radios which had domino-like color-coded mica capacitors.  The book that I really love reading was:  Alfred Morgan's The Boy's First Book of Radio and Electronics.

Intermediate school:

We had Monroe calculators with Nixie tubes, including one with a punched card reader.  A schoolmate and I read Popular Electronics and convinced our math teacher that PCB circuit trace layout was a topology exercise.

High school:

I disassembled and studied Sunbeam electric clocks.  Got into breadboarding electronic circuits using 555s / OP amps / UARTs, and tinkered with model 500 Ma Bell telephones.  Enjoyed browsing catalogs from Allied Radio, DigiKey, PolyPaks, Jameco, and SWTPC (Southwest Technical Products Corp.).

Programmed in Basic and assembly language on the local university's DEC PDP-8/e (running the TSS/8 operating system), and edited computer programs on paper tape by reading ASCII code and using scissors and Elmers glue which were then read back into an ASR33 teletype.  Was a computer operator for that university computer system during high school, sitting next to flashing PDP-8 console lights and spinning DECtapes, while using DECwriters and 9600 baud glass CRT terminals - it all seemed like being at the forefront of computing back then.  A classmate and I won a Melcor calculator from USC's 2nd annual Bits & Bytes programming contest in my junior/senior year of high school - with a BASIC program which searched for predetermined list of words in a letter matrix.  Had a fascination with slide rules.


Majored and received BSEE at "MadCity" Wisconsin, using a HP 25 calculator.  Wrote a bunch of numerical analysis programs to fit into 49 steps.  RPN (Reverse Polish Notation) is so great!  Was a computer operator for a Harris system in the engineering computing lab my first semester.  Wrote programs on punched cards for the Univac 1110, and used interactive terminals with Unix on DEC systems.

... all this was many years ago and life was simpler and innocent back then.  Oh well, it's great to reminisce about the early days of computing.


Computer hardware development of UNIX servers and mainframes.


  • KE6SIO (March 1995  No-code Techician & June 2007 General class upgrade - Cupertino, CA)
  • AF6DS (July 2007  Amateur Extra class upgrade - Milwaukee, WI)
  • W0NG (May 2013  vanity call granted)
Member of ARRL, ARES, and several ham radio clubs.

Emergency Preparedness Training

ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) member
CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) trained

My ham badge with a play on words: