TI 994A

Introduction from Rob Nugent

     First, I'd like to welcome everyone to our new tech blog called Rob's Tech Blog. So, "Welcome, we are glad that you are here!"

     Second, I'd like to introduce myself. So, "Hello. My name is Rob Nugent."

     Now that we have all of that out of the way, I'd like to let everyone know a little about myself and my background. I first powered up a computer in 1982 at the ripe old age of twelve. It was a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A. It came with an incredibly fast 16-bit, 3.0 Mhz processor and a whopping 16 Kb of video memory along with 256 bytes of "scratch pad" RAM for the processor. But luckily, you could buy an expansion memory cartridge that gave you an additonal 32 Kb of RAM.


   I learned and used that computer for a year or two, even learning to write code and do some programming with it. Some where along that time, the high school, that I would later attend, obtained a few Apple II's and I was afforded the opportunity to "learn" on them via a continuing education class that the school offered after hours for anyone who wanted to  take the class.

     By high school (1984/85 - 1987/88) I was writing some programs in Apple-DOS and was "in charge" of converting our high school library to a computer based inventory and checkout/return system via a barcode based system. If I remember correctly, by my senior year we were then working with Apple IIc Plus's with mono-chrome monitors.

     In my first years of college I was introduced to Windows PC's and Macintosh's, which, at the time, quickly became a favorite for me. After college, work relegated me back to Windows PC's and I have been working with them ever since.

     I started building my own computers around 1996 and have been continually learning about them ever since.

     I am currently employed at CyberSpyder, Inc. where I am the chief hardware technician and network engineer. Information Technology (IT) support is a recent addition to CyberSpyder, Inc. whose main focus for the last twelve plus years has been web design, support, and hosting. We believe the addition of these services will greatly contribute to us becoming your "go to" solution for your business or personal needs.


     In these blog posts, which I will attempt to do on a regular basis, I will try to impart some of my knowledge and thoughts on the ever-changing technology scene. My current schedule is to post these blogs every Tuesday and Thursday. They may, or may not, be as long as this one, but will always contain some useful information for you.

     This post's helpful tip goes with the new release of Windows 8. One of the most striking things you will notice about Windows 8 is the new visual, almost touch screen-like, user interface. In it's relatively short time on the market (launched November 1st of this year,) one of the most noticed and commented on item is the lack of the traditional "Start" menu and icon.

     Although there is not an option, at this time, in Windows 8 to opt for the "classic" look as other Windows versions have offered, there are a few programs which can be installed that will give you a "Start" menu again. The one that I would recommend at this time is called simply enough "Start Menu 8" and is available from IObit Software based in San Francisco, CA. It installs quickly and easily.

     The best part of "Start Menu 8?" It is FREE and who doesn't like free? One note: It is still technically a beta version (which means it is still in developement) and you will be asked to provide feed back to IObit about the program. I believe this is a very small "sacrifice" in order to get your "Start" menu and icon back. You can download the fully functional version, only 3.2 Mb, for free by clicking here. If you download "Start Menu 8" and use it, please drop me a line at [email protected] and let me know about your experiences with it.

     Until next time, enjoy your computers and feel free to explore them. Don't worry if you "break" them, as I will be here to try and help as much as I can. Plus, if you are located in our service area, I might just be able to come and "heal" the problem in person.

     Thanks for reading.