In the beginning – Before the Internet
I was a 14-year-old boy interested in electronics and computers, the internet did not exist and the computers where the TRS80, Commodore 64, and the Atari 600XL. One Christmas I got what I had always wanted; a computer. It was an Atari 600XL with a Cassette drive. Yes, we stored data and programs on good old fashion cassettes.
About 3 months in, much to my mother’s horror, I decided to pull it all apart, so my Atari was in about 20 pieces. I studied all the parts and then reassembled. It worked perfectly. I was getting more into electronics and then found some articles in magazines about interfacing 5 ¼ inch drives from IBM systems to Atari. I managed to pull this off, then I wanted to get connected.
Back before the internet, we used BBS systems and I wanted a Modem. Back then, you placed your old fashion phone into a set of what looked like big suction caps on an acoustic coupler. But I had spotted a directly connected modem kit from the US in a magazine, so I ordered one and patiently waited.
When it arrived, I assembled it, and I was online (being careful not to have a $10,000 phone bill as it was charged and long distance back then). It was exciting and a bit like the old classic movie “War Games”.
I later went on to own and Amstrad then the Commodore Amiga, but had not been interested in the 8088-family due to the lack of graphics ability.
I then started work in computer sales and quickly found a niche as I could sell but also repair computers. I then had computer shops give me their old non-working parts and I would do board level repairs. This was in the days where components were not surface mount and you could easily replace parts and fix burnt tracks on the boards. Sometimes I would be given 5 or 6 motherboards and get 1 for fixing some of the others. I slowly pieced together a PC-XT compatible and started playing with MS-DOS. Then I ended up with a beast of a PC-AT with extended Ram, a 30MB RRL hard drive and a color screen. In the business world, this was the top dog for games. x86 was still not in the game at all and the commodore Amiga was killing it in this space.
My first introduction to Windows-based systems for home use was windows 3.0. There had been quite a few similar systems. One of which was the GEM desktop on the Atari and Amstrad PC compatibles.
I continued my career in computers, always keeping a finger in electronics, then took some time to do some traveling around the world for a few years. On my return, I settled near my family in the regional coastal town in Queensland Australia found a good job as a Computer Tech.
The 90s – The Internet Arrives
Seeing an opportunity in my regional town I started up my own ISP called Net-Lynx, which was quite successful for a few years. I used a bonded ISDN subscriber line, had a 50 pair cable and connected customers at 28.8 kbps. Its hard to even imagine that now. The billing and Ras system was based on NT 4.0. I always had customers, but the technology was improving, and I was not in a position to take these guys on so I refocused…
The 00s – A change in Direction
As I had also been a backpacker in my younger days and done a bit of a side job at a current backpacker resort, I noticed that everyone wanted internet. So, I set about to design an internet kiosk. I started with a coin mechanism form a vending machine and Windows 95 OS. I used Visual Basic to create my own OS shell with a timer that was activated by the interface I designed for the coin mech. NET-LYNX internet Kiosk was born.
I Quickly lined up backpacker resorts, but also did custom versions for 5-Star resorts from the Gold Coast to Cairns in Australia. This was a great success until the mobile internet and the birth of the iPhone. This service slowly declined.
While I as running NET-LYNX I also had a successful IT infrastructure business maintaining servers. During this time, I also became qualified in Structured Cabling and Fibreoptic as a cabling contractor.
The 10s – midlife crisis and reinvention
I had been working in the same industry for 25 years and at this stage and I had a hobby breeding and keeping exotic fish. I decided to try my hand at importing aquarium products, then live fish. I had a lot of fun, but it was not financially successful In the end, due to a few bad deals and clients not paying their bills, I decided to go back to what I knew best and took a job with a small start-up Civil company as their IT guy. I had previously maintained the owner’s systems in another company for him. Within two years, we increased the profits from 15M to over 250M per year. Keeping up with cost control and building advanced data acquisition systems was key to this success, and the tool of choice was MS CRM 2011 and Resco Mobile CRM.
After the Sale of this company to a French multinational, I decided I did not want to move to Sydney, so I looked for other work and landed a new contract helping a major US oil company.
This was a full build combining CRM 2011 and Resco for a truck(tractor) Maintenance system, a branch location and truck location for state usage tax calculations, an IT Help Desk system based on CRM and helping to get their cost control system up and running.
I then took a full-time contract for 3 years with a large project construction company to fix their system up and bring in new business processes. The was an on-premise CRM 2016 combined with Resco CRM and consisted of purchase orders, subcontracts, cost control and building maintenance system which where all mobile accessible.
During this time I had been working on a Data Grid System and decided to join with another guy to produce IQ Grid.
In January 2018 due to demand on my unique skill in the construction industry and CRM D365, I decided to spread my self over a range of clients all needed in some way the functions of IQ Grid.
I decided to Launch IQ for sale to others on the 1st of January 2019 and now the Future awaits.