Dave Kelsen – aka – reeljerc
My Dad (Dean Kelsen) was a geek before it was cool to be a geek. An musician, composer, artist, cartoonist and early computer enthusiast, he was always trying to get my brother and I interested in computers. He started with a Timex Sinclair 1000 and quickly mastered the top 3 operating systems of the 80’s; Apple, Windows and Amiga.
Dad never was successful in getting us over to his place to learn about all the fascinating and frighteningly fast technological advances taking place. When he died in the early 90’s, I was the one who inherited his gear.
My introduction to personal computing was the Apple IIe, Commodore 64 and Amiga 1000. It was 1992 and I didn’t truly understand patience until I began tinkering with these monstrosities of plastic, substrate, solder and glass.
A year later, as Director of Food & Beverage at Lawrence Welk’s Desert Oasis in Palm Springs, I requsitioned my first windows based machine. Summers in the desert were slow in those days, I had multiple hours to learn the ins and outs of OS/2 and Windows. Didn’t learn much until an uber-geek came in to make configuration changes to our existing POS system. Fingers faster than flashing subliminal messages in a TV commercial, I was impressed and needed to learn more.
Years later while directing operations at a private golf club in San Clemente I got my first shot at getting my hands dirty behind the beige metal panels of the computer workstations populating the club. A tech had come in to fix one of the broken-down machines. After watching him do his thing and charge $180 + parts for basically an hour of work, I proclaimed myself to be the resident geek and from that time forward I was.
I ended up building workstations from scratch for the entire club. Purchased the parts, assembled the machines, installed the software and optimized each machine for maximum performance. I took the old parts home and tweaked them until I completely understood how each component worked.
Lastly, I never back down from a challenge and when anyone asked me if I could fix something to do with computers, the answer was always yes. After a while, a reputation was built and I was able to help most of my friends with one computer related thing or another.