I’m Tom Raidna and I have been programming computers for over 30 years.  I started when I was in college at Michigan State and purchased a Timex Sinclair 1000.  I’ve been racking my brain to recall the circumstances and actual purchase but I guess it’s been a while.  I was not studying computer science at that time but really fell in love with programming.  I was the first Student Teacher at MSU to write his own educational software and use it in my student teaching.  I did take one programming class in BASIC while there, and the big project was to write a program to run an ice cream store.  A year later I sold my baseball card collection to upgrade to a Timex Sinclair 1500, and before I graduated and upgraded to VIC 20.

Fast forward a couple of years I was a high school teacher in southern Maryland and I purchased a CoCo2 (Tandy Color computer 2) but also had access to a classroom full of Apple II’s where I thoroughly learned Apple Works to the point I was assigned the duty of Teacher In-Service Computer instructor for the county.   About this time I went back to school to work on and earn my degree in computer science from the University of Maryland  (4.0 I might add)  and this required the purchase of my first IBM clone an AST 286 (1989) and my BASIC programming would hibernate until recently revived.  I learned PASCAL, C, ADA, LISP, ICON, in my studies.  I soon was offered a position working for a government contractor writing mission replay software for the E2-C aircraft, in C and 6800 assembler.  Soon after my wife and I had opportunity to move back to her home town of Pittsburgh and I landed a job with a small health care IT company writing data conversion programs and later application development in MUMPS. (Later named M, now known as Cache)  My programming career came to an end as I was promoted into management in 2001 and I have led software development teams, Helpdesk and software implementation teams and later becoming involved in process improvement and earning my Black Belt and Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.  For the past five years I have been training and coaching process improvement at a mid-size region bank.  I had been dabbling with programming over the past few years, but much of my time was spent doing graduate work in Applied Statistics earning a graduate certificate from Penn State University (4.0 I might, note GPA not note for first undergrad degree).

On a whim I started listening some retro computer podcasts and it reignited my love of programming.  Earlier this year a won an eBay auction for at Timex Sinclair 2068, and in order to give an excuse to spend time using it I entered the summer retrochallenge to “do something with a retro computer” .  I had so much fun that it’s lead to ongoing interest specifically in BASIC, 8-bit computers and this blog.  To top it all off on Aug 1st 2015 I purchased a lot of old computers at an estate sale which included 3- TI 99/4A’s, 2- Commodore 64’s, a commodore 128 and a TRS-80 to go along with my Timex Sinclair 2068, Tandy Model 100 laptop. 

Then there is also the world of 8-bit computer emulators which allow one to “run” these old computers on their Windows, Linux, Mac computers.  I have already tried several of these for Apple II, Commodore, TI 99, Sinclair computers. 

So the point of this blog will be for my personal ramblings, (Re)learnings and coding in BASIC.

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