Who is Jonathan Carter?
I’m 36 years old, and live in Cape Town, South Africa.
As of December 2018, this bio is early work in progress.
At a very young 3-4 years old, I was already fascinated by the magic that electronics and computers can create. My father once brought home and old gaming console (I think it was an Atari 2600) that he fixed for a friend. I remember even back then being dumbstruck about this machine’s capability to put graphics on the screen and how a user could interact with it.
A few years later when I was 6-7 years old, a friend introduced me to the ZX-Spectrum. This was a popular microcomputer from the 1980’s and on there I discovered its BASIC interpreter, which was extremely exciting.
When I was 10 years old, we got our first real computer. It was a 386SX/33 with 2MB of RAM. On there I dug a lot deeper into BASIC, at first with GW-BASIC and then Borland Turbo Basic. Besides that, my main interest was to play games. A few times, I would get some dodgy disks from friends when copying games and our computer got a virus and got trashed. My father used to ask the IT people at his office if they could take a look at it, which they were happy to do in their spare time, but after 2 or 3 times of that my father said that if there’s another problem, it’s up to me to fix it. I read through the entire MS-DOS 6 and Windows 3.1 manuals. Back then they were pretty good and if you did that you’d have a good understanding of how your computer works. I not only got quite good at fixing our computer when it had trouble, but also our neighbours, and started to get a reputation since I was often quicker to fix things or could fix things that professional people on call-out weren’t able to solve.
My high school years were troubled because my family was going through various levels of tough times during this period. I won’t bore you with the details, but money was scarce and if I wanted any, I had to work for it. I started helping people who got their first computers with the basics, often even elderly people. Through various instances of happenstance, I had a small network of estate agents, brokers and a manufacturing company that provided me with all kinds of work through which I learned a lot.
In 1997 the manufacturing company asked me to make them a website. I was still new to the Internet and had no idea how websites worked, but I told them I could try. I cringingly created the first site using FrontPage Express, a site building package from Microsoft back then. At least soon after, I learned HTML and soon became very proficient of the web of the 90’s. I also did a lot of desktop publishing work using software like Micrographx Picture Publisher and Sierra Print Artist. All of this still on the 386 with 2MB RAM. I think young people of today will find it almost unbelievable that it was possible, although I will admit that a print job from print artist sometimes took 20 minutes before it started printing, otherwise it was fine.
At the end of the year 2000 when I finished high school I was really excited at the idea of either studying or getting a real full-time job, since juggling school and the work that I’ve been doing wasn’t always easy.
As a child, my heroes were the people who worked at a local computer shop. I remember when I was little I used to ask them for spares like an IDE cable or similar and they’d give it to me without even asking anything in return. I was really excited to get a job there and imagined a wonderful job where I’d work with like-minded people fixing computers all day long.
To be continued…
- AIMS – I work part-time at the African Institute for Mathematical sciences on a system called AIMS Desktop
- Debian – I am a Debian Developer, which means that I’m a full member of the project
- highvoltage.tv – I make videos mostly related to Debian and free software (also on YouTube)
- tuXlabs – I was part of a project where we deployed LTSP thin client computers into schools
- Ubuntu – I used to be a very enthusiastic Ubuntu contributor
More on Jonathan from other sites
- Microblog on Mastodon: https://mastodon.xyz/@highvoltage
- Profile on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile?viewProfile=&key=2853575
- Debian Wiki page: https://wiki.debian.org/highvoltage
- YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2ss4LwIhvFIyiQ-iNKXQAg
Copyright & Disclaimer Information
This website is (c) 1999-2019 Jonathan Carter. The views expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of any of Jonathan’s affiliates, employers or any other related entities. Sometimes I find myself not even agreeing with my olds posts anymore.
If you would like to re-use any content from this site, please contact me, and I will consider licensing the content under an appropriate license for your work.
Note that I am not a doctor or lawyer. Any information or advice used from this site comes with absolutely no guarantee, content used from this site is done so on the readers own risk.
There are no easter eggs on this website.