Dhryland Software Review Central was started back in early 1999 as a way to keep my workmates from bugging me with the same questions over and over. Word had somehow got out that I was the "guru" of software alternatives and I had people regularly asking me if there were any email clients better than Outlook Express, whether I had ever used the Opera web browser and was it any good? etc. After starting the site, I was able to write about what I found and then just tell people to bookmark the site and visit it regularly. It didn’t really help with the barrage of questions at work, but it did start a hobby that has interested me since the late 80′s and the very first utility-disks that I put together for the Commodore Amiga, back in the heyday of ANC, UGA and Fred Fish. The site used to be one html page. I just added to the top of the page each time something new came out. The page became extremely tall. Then I made a page with frames. Then I did something else, then I gave up on it, and then I resurrected it. My friend Tony kindly created a dhryland.com domain for me (still owe him!). And then, after futzing around with XOOPS for a while, I finally decided on the WordPress blog format. Perfect.
I got my first computer in late 1981 – a Commodore Vic-20. Of course, all you could do with computers back then were program them or load progs in via tape, disk or cartridge. By 1984 I had a Commodore64 and was programming 6502 assembler. Not very well, mind you, just silly stuff to move this and that around on the screen, flash colors etc. Got an Amiga 500 in 1986, a year after I learned to write "music" on my cousin’s A1000 using Aegis Sonix. I composed music and put together utility disks into the late 80′s and early 90′s, along with the purchase of an Amiga2000 w/68040 card, 182Mb Fujitsu SCSI HDD and Connor 100Mb drive. That was a LOT in those days! *8-) Made the move to PC in 1992 or something. Plenty of Unix stuff in the late 80′s and 90′s (IRC, FTP and the like). Slackware Linux 3 on the PC up to about 1997. Ran Windows 98 Memphis betas (hated Win95) after the Windows revolution occurred. Tech support jobs almost all my working life. I’ve seen and supported several OS’s (VAX/VMS, Windows/DOS, Unix, Commodore, Mac). Even did a week-long Apple support certification course at the time when wi-fi was just rearing its mighty head, along with those godawful pastel-coloured iMacs and OS8.5.
I remember a simpler, more logical time with computers, when people with brains achieved wonderful things and everything was sparkly and wow. I still get excited by sparkly, wow things and I hope I never ever lose that childlike enthusiasm. This site is dedicated to things-that-are-better-than-other-things. Always has been and always will be. I prefer free/opensource to paid, shareware to commercial. I am a proud Australian expat living in the US.
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