Whose Site Is This?

I was born in a log cabin...no.

My name is Brad Lyons and I am one of those people you hear about whose hobby has burgeoned into a career.

I am single, 46 years old, and have had a rather varied life, before falling, almost by accident, into a career that I truly enjoy.

My father was in the Air Force, and after leaving the service he worked in heavy construction. This meant that my family moved around a lot when I was young; usually spending only a year or two in any one place. However, the moves were with one year long exception (in Missouri) always within Arkansas (my fathers home state) or Idaho (my mothers home).

I attended a multitude of schools in Arkansas through junior high; then my family moved to my mothers home town of Payette, Idaho, and settled down.

High school was great, mainly because it was the first time I lived anywhere long enough to establish real friendships, but also because the schools faculty was blessed with several truly excellent teachers.

I did well enough to receive an academic scholarship to one of the colleges I applied to, Arkansas Tech, which was sort of the Family Alma Mater for my fathers side of the family (and the only reason I had applied). I began my freshman year there in 1974, majoring in history with a minor in Military Science (aka ROTC).

After two years I decided to transfer to the University of Idaho. Partly, this was due to the fact that it was close enough to home to allow me to go home more often than just Christmas break; but it was mainly due to a lack of a social life at Arkansas Tech. The men were housed on one side of campus, the women on the other, and visitation was almost verboten.

I graduated from the U of I in 1978 and accepted a commission as a second lieutenant in the US Army Ordinance Corp.

I bought my first computer, a Texas Instruments TI94/a in 1983. It gave me experience with basic programing and piqued my interest in small computers.

A couple of years later I bought a Coleco Adam at a clearance sale, it cost me about a hundred dollars. This machine was a lot more powerful and versatile than the TI, and it got me into writing application programs for the first time. Incidentally, I still have that old Adam, and it still works like a champ.

I put the Adam aside for a few years, and then in 1993 I got the opportunity to purchase an IBM XT (complete with green screen monitor, MSDOS 3.3, and WordPerfect 5.1) for $100. I grabbed the package and ran. Within the week I had ported the databases I had written for the Adam to the XT and wrote a program to calculate and list prime numbers.

After reading a few of the PC magazines I determined that I needed more power; and so began the great upgrade quest. Motherboards, hard drives, video adapters, and every other part has remained in flux for the last 9 years; and (this is important ) I have not disposed of any parts.

In '95 I heard about Manpower Technical from a family member who had heard of them from a friend. I was told they hired people to work in Hewlett Packard's Customer Support Center. I applied for a job with Manpower and found myself assembling Mass Storage systems (RAID Units, CDROM Towers, and related devices). About eight months later I was able to transfer to Customer Support and thus begin my current career.

I then went to work for OcÚ Groupware Technology. The Boise office was a Software development subsidiary of OcÚ which is a Netherlands based copier and printer manufacturer. I was the Network administrator, a software test engineer, and backup customer support rep. Busy.  After about 5 years OcÚ closed our office and moved most of the personnel.  I didn't want to leave Boise.

I've since spent about four years traveling all over the U.S., as an analyst/contractor, installing and  maintaining computer and network systems for different companies.  The traveling gets old, but the pay is good.

Altogether, not a bad situation.