Brian Smith

I've been fascinated by computers since I was in 6th grade. These days, that's routine; back then, it was unheard of. In high school, I was one of maybe a couple dozen kids who played with a teletype hookup to a local computer, and we were the strange ones — maybe 2% of the students. I also had access to the University of Minnesota's research mainframe, which ran batches of programs from punch-cards. In college (1973), I worked as an operator of the school's biggest computer an IBM 1130, which had a 16-bit processor and 16K of core (that's doughnut) storage. Unbelievably, that 16K of storage occupied a 3-foot cube; in contrast, we could put 800K in our shirt pockets a decade ago!

So, all that proves is that I'm an antique in the world of modern technology. What have I done lately? I've been involved with the Macintosh since late 1986, and have worked full-time in Mac support since late 1988. In 1990, I started Crossword Solutions with Andrea as a silent partner, and got it off the ground on my own. I was thrilled when she could join me two years later as a working partner.

Specifically, I support graphic design, marketing and communications professionals by:

   • Providing desktop support in both small shops and large businesses

   • Managing hardware and software to keep their Macs running in optimal condition

   • Setting up laptops for remote access when traveling

   • Giving tips and tricks on Microsoft Office & Microsoft Outlook

   • Answering questions they may have as to how to get their Macs to do a specific function

   • Solving problems that involve peripheral equipment, including the network and equipment on the network

I also support small-business accounting with:

   • QuickBooks

And I provide extensive assistance to MIS directors and small-business owners with:

   • Long-range planning

   • Short-term purchasing

   • Relational database development with FileMaker

I am — and always have been — an avid game-player, particularly strategy games, including chess and bridge. I've beta tested several computer strategy games for MacSoft, and have received credit as the lead beta tester for Civ II Gold.

Some of my other interests include reading and music. I'm an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy, particularly the works of CJ Cherryh, John Varley, Orson Scott Card and Ursula LeGuin. I also enjoy books by John Le Carre, Wilbur Smith, Scott Turow and Tom Clancy (although Clancy's later work has become quite disappointing). I'm a fan of a wide variety of music, including classical, folk, bluegrass, Celtic, jazz, blues and classic rock & roll (AKA “old hippie music”).

 

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