The following appeared in the April 16 edition of "Making It: A Survival Guide
for Today" by Keith Robinson:
Case Study: Dave W.
"I was hip, trendy, happening. I bought a computer because it looked sexy on my
desk at home. I never intended to USE it. Then, for Christmas, my girlfriend
gave me a special program to catalog my compact discs."
(picture of software box that reads:
cdBASE+ Digital Index for your Digital Music)
"It took me a while to figure out how to use it, but soon I was showing it off."
(picture of Dave and friend; Dave says: "See? I click on the Shirley MacLaine
icon and it displays all my new age CDs!")
Warning Sign #1: Boring Your Friends
"After a while, I noticed my way of thinking changed: I wanted structure! I
sought new items for my database."
(picture of Dave typing away: "Ties: 4 Burgundy, 8 Pink...")
Warning Sign #2: Making Excuses To Use Computer
"Before long, I outgrew simply building lists. I craved logic! Flow! I found
myself in a computer store, asking how to program!"
(picture of "Nerds R Us" computer store, Dave says: "I need to know!")
Warning Sign #3: Hanging Out In Geek Stores
(Picture of salesman speaking to Dave: "The C language is ideal since the
machine-independent code is transportable to other systems simply by linking in
new I/O routines!")
Warning Sign #4: You Understood That
"3 weeks later, I had finished my first program."
(picture of Dave, saying: "It calculates tire rotation for the Volvo!")
"Before I knew it, I was staying up all night, programming."
(picture of Dave; wife calls, "Come to bed..."; Dave replies, "One more compile!
Just one more!")
Warning Sign #5: Thinking You Can Quit Anytime
"My personal appearance went downhill. I didn't care. My girlfriend left. I
lost my job. I didn't care. I had become, yes, a free-lance programmer!"
(picture of disheveled Dave in disheveled office, eating a Domino's pizza,
answering phone: "Hello, this is Red Eye Software...")
(picture of a person walking up to Dave, who is programming away; person says:
"Dave, I'm from the Nolan Bushnell Computer Rehabilitation Center. With a brief
hospital stay and minor shock therapy, we can break your addiction and..."
Dave: "Buzz off, doofus. I cleared $2 million last year."
Dave (to phone): "Yeah, Woz, I finished that fax interface:)