After dropping out of college and spending two years flying airplanes and helicopters (while managing a pizza place), I got a bee in my bonnet to buy a computer. I walked into a store that sold Macintosh computers and walked out $5,000 poorer with an Apple Mac IIvx. It was a pretty big deal because it was the first Mac built to house an internal CD-ROM drive, and the first time I had even seen one.
Through a chance encounter I ended up starting a computer repair and consulting company. In the early days I would often secretly peek into my repair bag at David Pogue's Mac for Dummies book to diagnose my clients problems.
"Ah yes...I think this is a problem with an extention...one moment while I look into my bag here....uh huh...yes definitely an extention."
[Note: many years later I had the great privilege to do R&D for the first two versions of David's Missing Manual: OS X book. How funny is that story arc?]
Within a year I was a Mac authorized VAR and Apple Authorized repair technician. And not long after that I was one of the leading digital video experts in the country.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.