Hello to all you RPI'ers. My name is Fred Hatfield and I have a long, long history in electronics,
computers, amateur radio, cryptography and many technical fields.
I started out rewiring old pinball machines to create tic-tac-toe games when I was a kid, taking old radios and adding machines apart to see what made them work. One of my first jobs was working
at a jukebox distributor who also sold gambling slot machines where I learned repair techniques
and electromechanical ideas.
I attended Louisiana State University and obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering. After graduation, I took a job with Western Electric where I learned to design and manufacture devices to replace relaly componenents in dial telephone central offices. During the 1950's, my department leased an IBM 1620 computer that fascinated me, so I learned how computers worked by coming in 2 hours early every day just to experiment with the machine and that is how I learned programming.
I left the company to start my own business using computers to route long distance telephone calls,
generating paper tapes to control CAD machines, etc. Along the way I began to participate in the 'home computer' movement of the 50's by obtaining devices being created that used micros built around 4004, 8008, 8080, 6502 chips, etc.
When the first operational computers appeared, I bought the KIM-1, APPLE-1, PET, etc., and learned programming and hacking each one. I formed the Amateur Computer Society of Columbus, Ohio during that time and it is still operational today. I integrated my amateur radio K8VDU activities with digital electronics and participated with one of the first radio scanning projects.
So I find the Raspberry Pi to be another extraordinary device that offers an exciting entry to the world of software applications, fun and useful projects, and unexplored ideas. I hope to use my
whatever experience I can still muster to delve into this beautiful adaptation of digital "art".
Thanks for the opportunity to meet with other admirers of the RPI!