I started out as a child...
Early 80s - Apple IIe and Atari 800 were my poison.
Late 80s - My dad brought home a Compaq Plus from work on the weekends and I became addicted to microsoft products at this point.
Early 90s - Worked for a local computer company in Lawrence, KS and Wichita, KS.
1993 - 1994 - worked for a hotel software company doing phone support for Novell networks and a DOS based hotel property management software - develop new respect for phone support people and what they go through.
1994 - 1998 - worked for Entex Information Services (now part of Seimens) and during my tenure here developed the majority of my l33t skillz with Windows and Novell. When I left I was Novell CNE, Microsoft CSE, and Compaq ASE.
1998 - Current. IBM eServer xSeries (formerly IBM Netfinity)
from March of 1998 to April of 2003 I was a FTSS, or Field Technical Sales Specialist. I was the SE for the Kansas / Missouri area. During my tenure at this job I supported customers in their decision for buying IBM Intel servers and learned a ton about server design, fibre channel storage, Windows NT 4.0, 2000 and then started with RedHat 6.2 on up. I got my RHCE with Red Hat 7.1 era in September 2001 (I got to fly 5 days after 9/11. Sunday, September 17th. That was an eerie experience let me tell you)
In April of 2003 I packed up my family and moved to Wake Forest, NC to work at the IBM RTP facility as a Product Manager. A considerablly non-technical role but a change that I asked for. I get to work with 'normal' folk but I'm their tech guru when things go wrong (aka blaster and I got a new Laptop) but I also get to talk with the development teams and give ideas on where I think we should go, or I talk to customers expounding on the wonders of our BladeCenter and xSeries 400 family of servers.
Now, at the home front I stopped using Windows as a primary operating system in December 2001.
What started this was that my home built Athlon 1.33GHz machine lost it's 75GB IBM hard drive. To pass the time I had a 10GB laying around that I decided to install Red Hat on until I got my 75GB back. Of course I didn't read the fine print and my 75GB IBM drive got its warranty voided because I packed it in bubble wrap. But that's another issue.
I installed Red Hat 7.1. I also found Ximian Gnome and used that as my desktop. I found this because what made me think 'hmm, it's ok to try this' was that Ximian had just released Evolution. With red carpet and the Ximian desktop was a way to go to Evolution - which I still love as far as an email client goes.
This resulted in my 'linux everywhere' days. I put linux on my work notebook, and I bought more hardware just so I could run Distributed.net clients. At one point I had a P2 400MHz, Athlong 1.0GHz, Athlon 1.33GHz, Dual PentPro 200MHz, Dual pentium2 550MHz systems - all running linux. Go Ars Team Beef Roast!
I ripped my 700 or so CD collection using all these machines and GRIP with lame as my encoder.
But - all was not well wtih me and linux as a desktop OS. Mozilla was a good browser, but there were user experiences that annoyed me.
I bought Loki games, all that I could afford and then they caved in.
All this time those little Apple Switch commercials were running. I got a kick out of em. For a time in '94 and '95 I repaired apples and supported them exclusively at a pizza company that used to be based out of Wichita KS. I loved the things - I just couldn't afford them.
In July of 2002 I kinda snapped. I was frustrated with my wife's computer (it'd died) and I thought it'd be the perfect time to try a Mac with Mac OS X. It was unix based supposedly.
So I thought I'd try it out on the wife. She uses computers to surf & email, that's about it. Didn't think a Mac could screw that up too bad from what I'd read...and I was right.
I was so right about Mac OS X that I found myself on her computer (much to her annoyance) more than I was anywhere else. I also found I could ssh into my linux boxen and do whatever I needed to like I'd been doing with Aboslute Terminal and other linux machines.
I bought a Powerbook G4 550Mhz on eBay in about August 2002.
I bought a Powerbook 12" 867MHz from CompUSA in March of 2003.
I've since got my brother to buy his wife an iBook for Christmas this year, and my mother-in-law received an eMac from us and my wife's sister for Christmas this year.
I'm all mac just about. Only thing stopping me is that I can't find a Quicken or MS Money package that works. Quicken exists on the Mac but it sucks.
But I may buy virtual PC here just to get rid of my last PC.
So, that's a little about me.