Along, long time ago, when I was in college at BSU, I decided I needed a new printer. I went to a shop on Emerald St, called The Commodore Shop. At least that's what I thought it was (it may have been that as there was a big sign written in commodore's famous red white and blue logo. It was probably officially Blakeslee TV as I seem to recall the receipts from there bore that name.
The lady behind the counter told me about the commodore user group. I recall thinking I might check it out one day. But I was (and am now) slow to get into anything and I never went to a meeting back then.
Fast forward to married life.
I was a carpet installer who had just set out on my own. It was one of the worst years for new houses, as that industry came to a halt that year and all that was left for installers were the jobs of installing new carpet in older homes. The store I worked out of as an apprentice had many installers -- too many to give jobs to, add seniority into the picture and I was out of work. So I found a few jobs here and there at other shops, but it was not making end meet as a profession. Mia was moving up in her work and things were going well. We had a baby on the way. We decided it would be best if I became a stay at home Daddy!
Well things went well. But Antony, my new son, would only go to sleep if I was holding him. If he fussed I woke up, of course, but if he moved around -- something he didn't need me for -- I'd wake up. I was loosing sleep and I had no contact with adults as our neighborhood was one with no kids in it. So on and et cetera!
I was going bonkers.
At the recommendation to seek out an outside of the house hobby -- theatre, as I was into that -- or, perhaps joining that computer club. Theatre would take way too much time, so I thought I'd go back to that shop and look into the user group.
I found myself at Jackson Elementary School (RIP) looking for the "computer group." I went into the gym and asked one of the Boy Scouts (they are so helpful -- oh and they had a meeting that night too ;) and I was directed to the stage.
The stage had been walled off to make a room (something Boise Schools did at many of the schools to make a computer room). This room had 38 commodore 64s in it. Each commodore had it's own commodore monitor and it's own commodore 1541 disk drive. I had found Nirvana!
Well, the guy teaching the class was captivating. This was their worknight. The night you got to do hands on stuff. He was showing us how to print graphics using the Illustrator and BBWriter (a.k.a The Write Stuff) files. So he had two or three columns of text and a picture smack dab in the middle of the page.
I recall think, "I bet I could do that in geoPublish, in fact I bet I could make a circular picture and surround it in text." I had bought geoPublish, installed it, messed around for a half hour and put it on a shelf for latter. That had been a long time before, so this really was later.
The next morning I unshelved geoPublish and started a document. It had a circle on the front when I was done, but I never got the text to flow around anything more than a square. I had tried everything, but it was not possible, at least not in a straight forward way. I surmised I could have made a series of boxes so as to make a circular pattern with their corners, but I never got anything to work.
Meanwhile, I had written an entire magazine! I printed off 10 copies on my commodore inkjet and corner stapled them and took them to the next meeting. I sold all 10 for $1 a piece and Biff asked me where he could sign up for a subscription. "Subscriptions? That means commitment!" I wasn't sure I was up to that. But apparently I was...