Hi from Cajun Country (well, close to it...) (1 Viewer)

The_Doc_Man

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You guys know me as The_Doc_Man, but at work it is either Rich or Doc. No, I'm not a stuck up snob on the Ph.D. issue; there is another Rich on the same project, so when he's around, HE's Rich and I'm Doc, because he's a manager and I'm not.

I'm a New Orleans (suburbs) native, so when I started college, I chose a local school. I started programming in 1968 (or so) at the Univ. of New Orleans before it was called UNO. Originally it was Louisiana State Univ. at New Orleans. My Bachelor's degree (in Chemistry) is from LSUNO but my PhD in Analytical Chemistry is from UNO - and they both have the same address! It was just a name change maybe 40 years ago. My dissertation was on a topic in inorganic chemistry but I used a computer to do the data gathering as well as the analysis.

My first "real" job was as a device-driver writer for a small company that made automated control systems for the petroleum industry. Again, I was doing data gathering and analysis on-line based on chemical properties. I can honestly say that systems I've built ran for 20+ years in at least three continents and maybe about 30 states in the USA.

My mom's failing health (Alzheimer's) plus a 1985 oil-industry down-turn caused me to change careers totally, to a purely computing environment. I did a bunch of navigational math and systems work. Wasn't bad, wasn't great, and it kept money in the bank, food on the table. I survived it OK.

After Mom passed in 1987, I was free to choose a job anywhere and ready to move. But fate, in the form of a blind ad in the local news rag, kept me here in New Orleans with the U.S. Dept. of Defense and the U.S. Naval Reserve, where my job was - and still is - to run a personnel management system. I am the administrator, not the applications guy, so I just watch the resources. I tried being a team leader for a while, but the government folks are plain crazy. If you dare to tell them the truth (about how what they want can't be done), they go ballistic. It's like putting an archery target on your chest and then standing there while they wind up the ballista. (After all, I did say they went ballistic...)

I learned databases using Digital Equipment Corp.'s Datatrieve product, which was an interpretive and very early form of SQL. At home I used Paradox for DOS. (You remember DOS, right?) I took advantage of an upgrade offer and switched to Access 2.0 for Windows 3.1. (You remember Windows 3.1, don't you?) Paradox for Windows pretty much messed up. Access did its job so much better that I've never switched back.

I got into Access professionally when our department started to grow. We have become a hosting site for maybe 50 U.S. government agencies. Good work if you can get it. We had literally hundreds of servers and needed a database to track what we were doing. Someone else wrote the database but then took a job elsewhere nearer his childhood home. So I inherited the mess. That's when I learned about this forum and why I needed it. I believe in giving back help where I get help, so I've been a semi-regular here ever since.

By now I've done four or five databases for the office including a web log analyzer that parses IIS logs to get visitation statistics. I'm currently working on a security actions database because we have over 600 servers at our site, and maybe a dozen to two dozen security notices per month have some action to be applied to each stinkin' server. We need a way to track and report our compliance with security actions across all those servers, projects, and security notices. So that one fell in my lap.

I've been a Microsoft Access MVP thanks to the recognition I got from folks on this forum. That status expired last year because I have to treat my other systems as my primary job. Sometimes that means I have to step away from the database for a while. Like recently, I've been forced by circumstances to be elsewhere because we are looking to upgrade our OpenVMS machines yet again. It would be the 4th or 5th such upgrade on this project, not counting the times when we merely upgraded the disks but kept the same servers.

On the personal side, I've survived Hurricane Katrina even though my house was flooded. (Two feet of water - just enough to blow the wall sockets and burn out the wiring.)

My wife an I have been married 15 1/2 years and still going pretty strong. She's a Cajun lady from Thibadeaux (Tee'-bah-dough), Louisiana. Her folks are from Chac Bay (shock bay, if you do the accent right). Her gumbo and jambalaya recipes are not to be missed. Thanks to her kids from a previous marriage, I'm a very proud Grandpa to two great kids.

Hobbies? Writing, gaming (mostly first-person shooters), tennis when my old-man's knees let me move that fast, and playing with the younger grandson. He's only three so he's still a lot of fun. The older one is now fast approaching 15 and is in the aloof, surly, stay-in-his room stage. He'll get over it.

Oh, one more little tidbit. I worked my way through college as a musician in a bar on Bourbon Street in the New Orleans French Quarter. I've probably seen it all, though perhaps sometimes I wasn't quite sure what it was that I was seeing. (When in doubt, don't ask "her" out.)

Jon, thanks for keeping up the good work!
 

Vassago

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Nice and entertaining introduction, puts mine to shame lol.
 

Kryst51

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Mine too LOL, Doc Man you are a very interesting person!
 

The_Doc_Man

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Don't know about "interesting" but at age 62, I've been through a lot.
 

Kryst51

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Don't know about "interesting" but at age 62, I've been through a lot.

Well, as of May 1st I'll be roughly half way there.... and I hope by the time I get there my life will have been hald as interesting as yours seems to have been. :)
 

The_Doc_Man

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Interesting... I recall once being told that there is an old Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times."

Let's hope your life isn't totally interesting. But then, neither was mine.
 

The_Doc_Man

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I noticed that several people have commented on games they have played. I'm into 1st person shooters and a few 3rd person games, plus a small selection of 4X games. (For those who aren't up on that last: eXpand, eXplore, eXploit, eXterminate - a space exploration game.)

Games I have played within the last 10 years include:

Doom 1, 2, 3
Hexen 1, 2
Heretic 1, 2
Quake 1, 2, and 4
Blood
Sin
Pariah
Morrowind and the two add-on packs (I also have Oblivion, just haven't started it yet)
Painkiller, PK Battle Out of Hell, PK Overdose
Unreal & Return to Na'pali
Serious Sam
Cyclones - won't run on XP but I still have a Win 98 box that would play it.
Sacred
Divine Divinity (always liked the whackiness of that title)
Requim: Avenging Angel
SpellForce
Titan Quest
Mech Warrior 2, 3, 4 and several mission packs
Rise of the Triad
Diablo 1, 2
Marathon 2: Durandal
Rise of Nations
WolfenStein (old and new versions)
Blake Stone (2 separate missions)
Dungeon Seige
Wing Commander 1, 2, 3
Sword of the Stars
Galactic Civilizations II

I've also got a couple of others. But if it says I need Vista or more than a 2.8 GHz dual core system, they lose my business. No way in hell will I upgrade to anything after WinXP until my current machine runs itself into the dirt.

Believe it or not, despite having all those games, I actually have a life - and a wife who knows she can call me for help at any time. My gaming is only to cool off after working, walking, or other exercise, or when I'm entertaining the grandsons. My older grandson cut his teeth, almost literally, on Mech Warrior II, the only one I would let him play for a long time. (No blood... just oil and the occasional missing robotic limb.) And for Serious Sam, I had the game on "flower" mode. (Instead of spewing blood, you bleed... flowers.)

I'm also dirt-cheap when it comes to these games, so I wait until they show up on the Wal-Mart or Game Stop cheapie game racks after the prices have dropped like lead weights. I rarely pay full price for a new game.

Yes, just to be honest, I'm frugal. Cheap. Miserly. A real penny-pincher. Thrifty.

I even was cheap with my wife's engagement ring. At a little something called a "remount" sale, you can get some great discounts. I was able to get my sweetie a diamond, .53 carat, VVF quality, D color, emerald cut - for 50% off. Those of you who know diamond ratings will recognize that I wasn't stingy with my sweetie, I just maximized the bang for the buck.

Which is why I drive cars until they fall apart, wear out tools, and wear out clothing. I get my money's worth on things.

Like I said, frugal.
 

Kryst51

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I'm also dirt-cheap when it comes to these games, so I wait until they show up on the Wal-Mart or Game Stop cheapie game racks after the prices have dropped like lead weights. I rarely pay full price for a new game.

Yes, just to be honest, I'm frugal. Cheap. Miserly. A real penny-pincher. Thrifty.

I even was cheap with my wife's engagement ring. At a little something called a "remount" sale, you can get some great discounts. I was able to get my sweetie a diamond, .53 carat, VVF quality, D color, emerald cut - for 50% off. Those of you who know diamond ratings will recognize that I wasn't stingy with my sweetie, I just maximized the bang for the buck.

Which is why I drive cars until they fall apart, wear out tools, and wear out clothing. I get my money's worth on things.

Like I said, frugal.

I think being frugal is excellent, and I too DO NOT pay full price for games, and always wait as you do. I am still learning frugality in other areas of my life however.... it's a dang hard lesson, but I think is well worth the learning.
 

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