We have been doing things on, with and to computers since the mid 1970’s. In the early days programming Fortran (with punch cards), “The Widget” (first desktop terminal system), Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari STe/Mega/TT/Falcon. At much of the same time, our technical side was being tweaked by working sound and light for various rock bands, music programming for nightclubs and assisting in producing music in various studio atmospheres with our associates. We were dedicated users of anti-virus software before most people had heard of “computer viruses” – at one time rescuing an associate from a virus that had infected his entire (floppy disk) database of client productions in his award winning recording studio!
We ran the first computer integrated video show in a nightclub (5444/Images, Mississauga ON).
- Commodore 64 computer with a “Koala” paint pad (graphics tablet)
- 2 Panasonic industrial 4 head hi-fi pro-VHS decks with remote editing controls
- Panasonic professional quality suspended projector & 10 foot square suspended screen
- 1600 watt studio-quality audio PA (Bryston, DBX, Technics, Ramsa, JBL and more)
- first generation flat wall speakers around the balcony
Our initial leap into major computer use was supposed to be for music production (which we did become involved in), but became centred on desktop & pre-press publishing, originally with the Atari STE (1 MB memory, no hard drive) followed by the infinitely more powerful Atari TT030 graphic workstation (4MB RAM, 50 MB HD and our first 19″ display). We used “Calamus” software exclusively for publishing and for very high end work, printed direct to 4 colour separated film. At least one national magazine was produced on this system and thousands of pages of DTP for various businesses. Eventually we made the painful switch to the world of Microsoft Windows…and the ported version of Calamus (incidentally, the Canadian design & development team went on to produce & develop products for MGI Software, which was subsequently bought by Roxio – PhotoSuite, VideoWave, etc).
Finally, we transitioned to desktop Linux, in the form of Ubuntu. We occasionally fire up MS Windows in a Virtual Machine using Oracle’s excellent “VirtualBox” application…a reminder of the Atari days when we could run Apple or “IBM Compatible” (aka DOS) software on top of our Atari OS!
We were “connected” very early on through a 14400 modem and a series of BBS (bulletin board systems) direct dialups, including the early Usenet groups…and you thought Peer-to-Peer was a new idea? We became experts at online research very early on!
The computer “tech” phase was inevitable; growing out of the need for systems that were NOT “off-the-shelf” and a desire to keep them running as efficiently as possible – in addition to being able to upgrade or customize them at will.
We are not entirely “tech geeks”, we stay grounded through traditional beliefs and methods…in close contact with the Natural World and the ancient cultures that are our heritage. Of particular concern are the use of natural/traditional healing methods, the preservation/restoration of wetlands, waterways & forests and the preservation and teaching of cultural ways & languages to all generations.
The journey through knowledge & education continues…