In the early 1980s I started with my uncles computer, an Apple ][+. This is where I first started to peek and poke my way around the Apple Basic programming language. I was only around 5 or 6 at the time.
Then around 1984 my dad bought a Tandy TRS-80 "portable" computer with a 40x25 LCD display. This system had a built in 300bps modem that was used to transmit orders from my dads company to the warehouse. This is when I was first introduced to dial up BBSs, and the beginning of my "online career".
In 1985 my family purchased our first "real" computer. An Apple ][e. With this computer we purchased a 300bps internal modem and I started to run my own BBS off my parents phone line in the "later hours" of the evening, so I didn't interrupt any of the personal calls during the day. This system was run off a dual 5 1/4 disk drive.
In 1987 we purchased an IBM PS/2 with 60MB hard drive. I finally got to move my BBS to a system with some actual storage and started to offer a file download section. Using free/shareware software purchased from the local computer stores I created my download repository. This was the beginning of a "real" usable system. At the same time my parents also purchased a phone line for my own personal use, which I used to make my BBS 24/7/365.
Fast forward to 1995. I started working at Concentric Network now XO Communications in their customer support dept. A few months after working in support I moved over to become a UNIX admin. A few years later, and just as many title changes, this is where I continue to work today. I spend most of my work day researching and developing new hardware and software solutions for customers and internal admins. My major interests involve unix systems and network security. This is probably one of the most interesting areas of research and one of the most over looked areas by network and system admins.