M Y O B

The Life and Times of Bruce Bramson

IN THE BEGINNING!

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January 11th, 2009

One of my mother’s favorite expressions was, “Mind Your Own Business!” (often reduced to its acronym, “Em Wye Oh Bee!!”) My two older brothers and I heard it often, and as my years have rolled by, I’ve often thought it was far more widely applicable than just to the three of us. How about “MYOB” as a guiding principal for our whole nation, for example?

THE START

My life began, as you can see below, in Sacramento at 9:20 AM, February 8th, 1936:

The Birth Certificate That Started It All

When and where it will end remains to be determined. That it WILL end is the only certainty in my life, so I have no curiosity about what’s in store: whatever it is, I am BOUND to find out. I settled that years ago, which left my mind uncluttered by religious dogma and other crutches that so many people rely on. It left me to live my life as I saw fit, and that life − at least many aspects of it and many occurrences during it − will be the general subject of this blog, along with many opinions: I have lots of them, and I don’t care whether any one agrees with them or not. They are mine, all mine!

From time to time I may make comments on the current scene, or throw in some favorite off-color jokes.

Let me commence by stating that for something purported to be “easy to set up and use”, I find WordPress very difficult to comprehend! This is likely because I have no programing experience to fall back on. HTML and SQL strike me as more appropriate in a dungeon or leather bar. This, despite the fact I’ve been using computers for almost a quarter of a century. When they work, they are fine. But when they fail, I have NO idea what to do: all those little black gismos that reside on the mother-board, where (presumably) electrons tear around like mice in a maze can’t be fixed. I’m a mechanical genius: given time, I can figure out how to fix anything that has parts that move. Some wag told me those little black thingies are built with smoke: if you let the smoke out, they don’t work any more. That’s about the extent of my knowledge of computers.

My computing, such as it is, began with a Commodore C=64, not unlike this one:

Commodore C-64

Commodore C-64

I used a six-inch TV set as the readout, because I could also watch TV programs on it. At the time, I was in Bellevue, Nebraska [my bother always said I’d “wind up in Bellevue”, but he had a different place in mind!] It was in the middle of winter, and a horrible place for a native Californian like me! At the end of each day I’d tabulate a bunch of data and send it via telephone-modem to the Head Office. I’d back up to a plug-in 5½” floppy drive, then switch to watching the TV which, then as now, usually put me to sleep. Fortunately, this was a temporary assignment, and before long I was back in California.

The company was really gung-ho on computers, but the only thing I could operate at all was the C=64! Since I was in a remote office by myself, the company bought me all the stuff I needed: another C=64, a 9-pin printer, a larger CRT and another floppy drive. Now I could take work home if necessary, and I could produce useable paper documents for the company when required.

Then, someone got the bright idea of having us all file time-sheets electronically! This meant my C-64s had to go, because they were utterly incompatible with the company’s main-frame. So, they “upgraded” me to a cast-off IBM PC-XT, with a monitor so far gone I could scarcely see it! That set-up looked a lot like this:

IBM PC-XT

IBM PC-XT

This was fine as far as work went, except that I had to learn how a PC system works (quite different from the Commodore). I managed to erase the word-processor program in the first few hours, which meant getting the stack of floppies to re-load it. Mistakes, I made in abundance! But I learned. I also learned that having different systems at work and at home was a complication I could do without!

This led to a succession of PC computers both at home and at work: 286, 386, 486, Pentium, and so forth, each becoming more complicated and difficult to comprehend! Likewise, it led to a succession of Bill Gates’s software, each also becoming more “sophisticated” and more subject to crashing. I still keep my house accounts on a little Pentium the company cast off because they thought it was not “Y2K compliant” (remember that debacle?) using Windows 98! And in my little repair shop I use Vista now, though I threaten almost daily to throw it away and revert to 98.

I became so turned off by Bill’s buggy software and almost daily updates, that early in 2008 I began the switch to MAC. Bought myself an iMAC and a notebook, and have not looked back. I LOVE the MAC graphics! It is almost “reach out and touch” perfect.

GETTING ON LINE

I discovered bulletin-boards in the early ’90s. At first it was just various forms of chat, which really did not interest me much, but one day I discovered the local BB had some photos to share, and I went to have a look. This began a collection that now must include at least 100K of “feelthy peecture” files. By far the largest folder, though, includes guys in some sort of garb: often only shorts. There is much to be said for leaving something to one’s imagination. One of the first pictures I ever found, which I still think is one of the very best, is of “Joe”:

The Top of Joe

The Top of Joe

I’ve been searching ever since for a photo of Joe’s lower half, to no avail!

Like nearly everyone else, I got myself a freebie AOL account, and for several years used it exclusively to access UseNet. From the looks of things, UseNet is rapidly becoming passé, but for a long time it was a gold-mine of images of guys of all sorts, all ages, all colors, and my “collection” grew enormously in those days. When AOL dropped UseNet, I dropped AOL!

Now, with You-Tube, X-tube and dozens of file-sharing web-sites, UseNet seems rather quaint, as far as photo-sharing is concerned: perhaps its text-only forums will live on.

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If you are interested in what I have to say and write about, start reading MY BLOG HERE


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Written by Bruce

January 20th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

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