I was born on April 14, 1966 and I have grown up seeing the computer revolution. As a freshmen in High School, I saw computers, which were RadioShack "Tany Computers" and run by storing information on regular cassette tapes in serial fashion. I watched computers evolve and have kept current with the new storage mediums used for computers as it has evolved through the years. When doing research for papers in high school, I used periodical and card key catalogs from the public or school libraries. Today, card and periodical catalogs are accessible through computers and the internet allows you to quote internet resources as well as search for periodicals. Sites like Wiscat (Wisconsin's internet college catalog) , allow you to find electronic, as well as, hard copy articles or you can also find information through open source dictionaries and encyclopedias on the internet, like the website Wikipedia. The internet is now a great tool for information, but the challenge in such internet research has become more about knowing when information you locate is credible and reliable than when before the Information Age, the challenge of trying to locate the information itself. While at UW-Stevens Point as a student, I took a course for one credit which was about internet resources and learned how very important it is to make sure your sources are credible and contain accurate information.
When I began attending Ripon College in 1984, the entire computer system was a mainframe computer system, which was backed up each night. I started out as a physics engineering student with a second major in German Literature, but switched to Business Management as a result of my interest in government and the economy. Before I left Ripon College, it had a network of Macintosh computers and I enjoyed their better interface with users a great deal. I also liked "Word", the Macintosh word-processing system, which I was able to use to do college papers and outlines more efficiently and with better typeface results when printing my final work.
In 1989, I was a foreign exchange student in Germany, located at Bonn University. Bonn was then the capital of Germany, which is now Berlin. I visited East Germany when "The Wall" was still up and didn't look like it was going to come down, just like the barriers or "wall" to communication and information changed with the evolution of the internet. While abroad in Germany, I took with me an IBM Compatible computer. Comparing it to the computers of 2007 its most obvious differences were a monochrome CRT display with yellow text on black background screen, the computer's slow processing speed of 66 Megahertz per second, its use of five and one half floppy drives, and also it use of a dot matrix printer, which was the only type available I have returned to college at UW-Stevens Point, from having jobs in grocery retail and restaurant management, where the work and responsibilities never stop. I decided to come back to college to learn about web design, which didn't even exist as a major when I attended Ripon College. I selected UW-Stevens Point for a bachelor's of science degree in the Web and Digital Media Development Major because it was close to home and I liked that, as well as the fact that not many schools had majors nearby in web design back in the year 2003, when I started this major. I have enjoyed and have learned problem solving and thinking skills involved in the major of web design, as well as the artistic side of web design. I have learned the idea of concept driven design along with the need for proper planning and organization, especially in the area of user navigation when creating a website. I also enjoy the video work and the creative and research part of the planning process involved in order to create a good video project that can be published and seen on the world wide web in different video formats.
I have always been a leader and from high school, to Ripon College, and now UW-Stevens Point I have always been involved in student government. I feel it is important to stay involved in our democracy and help educate and encourage others to me more participative. I feel the internet can help organizations in the dissemination of information to make and get people in society more politically active. I have also found that with the internet it is easier to stay informed about what is happening in the news, whether global, national, or locally because the information can be viewed and accessed twenty four hours per day. I have also made many good friends throughout my life as a result of my participation in student government, where the members work as a team for the caucus they represent and try to work as a team in writing and passing important legislation that affects students. In a similar way, I enjoy working in teams in web design projects, where I am often chosen or selected as the organizer and leader for the group. I like the team learning process for technology related projects because the team members learn and work with each other to develop a final good and viable product like a website.
It has really impressed me how much better a computer program can play well at chess because of new program algorithms and the growth of the processing speed in computers. Especially, since when I was growing up I used to be able to beat the Atari chess player, but it took longer than regular allowed time limits, according to tournament rules, to be able to beat me. Now computers can actually beat grandmasters in chess on a regular basis. I also enjoy movies and cinema, especially foreign and film festival movies with riveting ideas and characters. I especially enjoyed the film Powaquatsi, which showed how much proper editing and the use of only sound can convey a message, since no words are spoken in this film produced by Philip Glass and George Lucas. I believe that when you make videos that the editing in programs like Video Vegas are very important because to have a great presentation errors made by both the interviewer and the interviewee can be edited and fixed. Also, sound can be kept and images put in place to hide awkward moments in interviews occurring during filming. Producing a small video or "vidlet" takes a lot of pre-planning and storyboarding, but the end product is worth it, especially when you can see your own work up on the internet.
What is fun about a Web and Digital Media Development major at UW-Stevens Point is the variety of web-based tools and programs there are to use for creating a site. Because of this, there is always more to learn and more than one way to accomplish the same thing. I am a person that likes constant learning, and I consider a web design job fun and exciting because of the fact that the web design field has constant evolution of programming tools used, which are being revised and made better to do more than they could before, and results in making web design processes, whether involving a web page or a video creation, to be better and sometimes even easier to do.