As a 24 year old, my love of computers started with
Atari VCS in 1977; however, I never owned one as I was too poor having
just got married. To buy my first Atari 400 (Membrane keyboard) I
started making and selling leather belts in my spare time and a few
years later the money I made from this little enterprise paid for my
I bought it second hand, canít remember who from but
used it for playing Wizard of Wor and no end of other games. I can
remember upgrading it to a standard full-press keyboard and adding
extras whenever they came out. Iím a little hazy on the actual dates and
kit I used to have; I tend to focus on the future Ė not the past.
StillÖ the idea of making money was always strong for
me and to get me the next game or bit of software, I started reviewing
business software for the Atari. I was hopeless at programming, being
absolutely crap at maths but my zest for knowledge was keen and by this
time I was working for a company providing YTS training for the
construction industry. I started to look how you could use the Atari
400/800/130XE in a business capacity.
The very first review I submitted unsolicited to Page
6 was in 1986 for Printshop by Broderbund. I didnít get paid for this
but Les Ellingham thought it was OK for publishing (after he corrected
my grammar) and asked me if I wanted to review other software. Iím not
going to drag the rest of the reviews up simply because I canít remember
what I did, needlessly to say I continued for a couple of years, enjoyed
it very much but found it harder to meet deadlines along with a
demanding job and raising a family.
Jumping to the present day (January 2005), Iím the CEO
of the Standards Setting Body for Hair, Beauty, Nails, Tattooing and
Body Piercing. Based in the north of England, we develop occupational
standards that are mainly used in NVQs and license our products around
the world. We have partners in Spain, Italy, Japan and China and I get
to travel all over the world!
One thing for sure, if I hadnít got interested in
computers; Iím convinced I wouldnít be where I am now. Iím grateful for
the opportunity that was presented to me. I owe Les Ellingham more than
thanks for the chance to do something useful.