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     My first computer was a Timex Sinclair 1000 that cost #99.99 in 1982.  I bought a 16 MB memory extension and started to learn Basic programming.  To use it you needed a TV for a monitor and a cassette recorder to save your work.  In both cases you had to find one that would work with your computer.  And the memory module was so poorly constructed that every half hour it would short the system and you would lose your work.

     I soon moved on to a Commodore 64, and then a Commodore 128.  That is where I learned the wonders of number crunching in Excel, except it was called Multiplan way back then.

     Next I got my first PC.  It had 2 floppy drives, 640K of memory, and ran at 4.77 MHz.

     Since then both me and the industry have come a long way.  Unlike Al Gore, I didnít have anything to do with the founding of the Internet, however I was one of the early adopters.  I don't remember what year I was first on the Internet, but I remember paying long distance charges from Florida to California where I could get an account with an Internet provider.  It was so far back that everything was text.  There wasn't any graphics in use and web browsing was just being invented by a scientist at CERN. 

     I registered my first domain name (www.webwizzard.com) in 1995.  It was for myself and had the wizards and the stars in the design.  As you can see it is still my main domain and my email address and still has the stars and wizard.

     My very first customer was Block Insurance.  I designed and hosted what was called a sub web on my home site until 1999 when they got their own domain and started to host their site on their own network, where it is today.  You can call either Mr. Steven Block or Mrs. Beth Block and ask about my work way back then.  Their number is on their website.

     One of my latest is First Coast Marine Services.  You can check me out with them, too.  Look at www.firstcoastmarineservices.com for the number.

     Actually, an email would be less intrusive, but if you are in a hurry to find out just how great of a deal I am offering, call them today.

     Between 1982 and now I (in addition to opening a website business) have done service and support for medium and small business.  I specialized in the legal and insurance industries. 

     In the late eighties one of my clients asked me to write some software for them.  They were a startup and didn't have the cash to purchase the ready-made industry software that was available.  After writing a package for them, and installing their first server and workstations they finally looked at how much they were paying me.

     After some negations we came to an agreement that I would come on staff and be allowed to continue supporting my other clients as long as I didn't take on any more.  Since they were offering a very good annual salary, I accepted.

     At this point I want to pay tribute to Lloyd Kelly.  He is the only person that I ever worked for that we totally agreed as to the direction we wanted to go.  Unfortunately the day I went on staff he told me he had been diagnosed with cancer.  Anyway, I was soon hiring my first assistant and receiving the official title of Director of IT. 

     It was a dream job until Lloyd died.  Soon after his death the other partner sold the company to a South Carolina firm that was buying Florida companies.  They had a totally different business philosophy.  Eventually they consolidated all the IT departments of all their companies to the Phoenix, AZ office.  Me and my whole staff were "downsized". 

     I decided to retire and it was a good decision except for the beating I took on my 401K during the dot com crash.  Fortunately I had invested in some real estate so I have a place to live.  Unfortunately I need add to my income so I have resurrected the web wizzard.

     While I could make a lot more doing service and support work, arthritis has severely reduced my mobility.  Doing web design I can communicate with clients via email and telephone allowing me to sit in front of the computer and work without the pain.

     So now you know my life story.  When you buy a website you can tell me yours.

Jim Norton

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