Who We Are

Picture of Steve Boots     Hi, my name is Bill Barry. In college, the only thing available to me that resembled a computer was a Hewlett Packard scientific calculator. But the professors wouldn’t let us use those in class – we could only use a slide rule. Then when I graduated college in 1964, I went to work as an aerospace engineer; I was responsible for deriving space flight equations and then turning those over to the Fortran programming staff. The programmers would then bring me the printout of my results. That was my first exposure to computers (big Univac and IBM’s), but I was still at the mercy of competent programmers.

     A few years later I changed jobs and began a 30-year career with a company called Computer Sciences Corporation. My exposure to computers really accelerated, and I even did some Fortran & Basic programming myself. Then in the early-80s, I got my first taste of personal computers. My boss ordered them for all his managers and insisted that we learn how to use them. That prompted me to also purchase one for home, where I could learn at a more leisurely pace. What I purchased was an IBM PC with 256 KB of RAM, running PC DOS 1.0. It had two 160 KB floppy drives (no hard drive), and with a monitor and dot matrix printer I paid around $2500. I later added an external 10 MB hard drive that was the size of a shoebox and cost in excess of $500 (then I thought no one would ever need more than 10 MB of storage).

     At that point in my life, I was totally hooked on personal computers and associated peripherals. And I became more hooked on trying to help people with any PC problems. In fact, the department I managed implemented the first PC help desk for NASA/Johnson Space Center. It was a 3-tiered system; the first tier of personnel answered the incoming calls, and if they couldn’t solve the issue, the caller was immediately routed to a more experienced second-tier person. If the issue still wasn’t solved, it was routed to our most senior third-tier personnel for further analysis, and the caller was promised a ‘call back’ ASAP.

     In the later years of my career I was involved in executive management, which precluded the extensive involvement in PCs that I would have preferred. Nevertheless, I stayed up with the technology, and now that I have retired I still have a strong desire to help people with their computer problems and issues. In my neighborhood and within my family, I am known as the ‘computer guy’. When I am not working on and studying computers, I engage in local wildlife photography using infrared cameras and my PC. Welcome to Computer Haven.

Click the arrow to meet Jay Lacher.