Mark Wilkins
  • Boise, ID
  • Member for 11 years, 10 months

My career path was determined by the nefarious machinations of my 11th grade physics teacher. His evil yet simplistic scheme involved letting me use his HP-25 calculator. It had 49 program steps! Think of the possibilities! The world suddenly became infinitely more interesting to me and I was hooked on programming. A two week programming course the following summer at a university locked me in for good. You mean you can get a job writing code? And get paid!?! I couldn't believe my luck.

Writing Fortran programs on punch cards and running them on an IBM mainframe is not high on my list of things to do now, but at the time I thought it was the most fascinating thing I had done in my life. I subsequently spent three months of my paper route money on an HP-41C programmable calculator to feed my programming habit and never looked back.

I currently spend most of my development time in Windows and Linux and haven't written a program for a calculator since the previous millennium. But I still do have that HP calculator. RPN rules!

While others probably disagree, I am not completely one-dimensional. I also play piano, play Ultimate, ski, bicycle, run with my Mini Aussie, play with synthesizers, ride the Harley, and read books with the family.

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