The Club 100 Computer Lab
FYI: TRS-80 stands for Tandy Radio Shack for the '80s, as a marketing slogan for their entire technology product line in the '70s. Thus, an ac adapter was called the TRS-80 AC Adapter Cat. No. 26-3804. I still get calls from folks who say, "I have a TRS-80 computer." not understanding that the "model" is what they need to say, i.e. Model I, II, III, 12, 4, 4P, 100, 102, 200, etc.
In 1978 I went online as a terminal, using XMODEM.COM under TRSDOS 1.3 on a Model III. I called three local BBSes and CompuServe. In 1979, I put that Model III up as a BBS using "The Green Machine" host software written in BASIC. Frankly, it sucked. Based on a recommendation by a fellow sysop, Preston King in Oakland, CA -- who's real name is John Stroud -- I purchased TBBS (The Bread Board System) which ran under NewDOS 80 and CP/M. Over the years I've stuck with TBBS.
When you run a BBS, you tend to need another computer to use for yourself. And as you get to be known as "the computer guy" you end up with several computers. Once you're used to having more than one computer, you can never return to just one.
The Club 100 computer lab is also my main working space and office. This is where I work -- at home in a 12 x 14 room, divided into 3 separate work spaces, 1) "The Com", 2) Work Bench, and 3) Shipping, Receiving and Layout, i.e. a place to dump your stuff when you walk into the room.
There are 8 computers in this room -- not counting the laptops. There are 9 phone lines, an ISDN line (which is mainly used with another computer in the family room), 4 printers, 2 scanners, and 2 fax machines. Pac Bell Voice Mail is used as the answering machine/service.
Click on photos for the full screen version.
The COM: It's 7 am. I grab a cup of coffee with cocoa, step over two dogs, sit down at The Com and log into three e-mail services ... the day has begun.
Starting from the upper left...
An HP 722c InkJet Color printer -- the other printers are not pictured. They are on a rack to the left and behind and selected with switch boxes for computer and printer combinations
The first monitor you see is a TV/VCR connected to webtv. Webtv represents one of the main directions the web is moving. The company was just purchased by Microsoft. I use webtv to test my sites for tv viewing. The VCR is used extensively to watch hot rod shows from the '50s -- sometimes while I work.
The first of the three computers is used for incoming fax, phone message notes, order processing and billing. It's monitor is to the lower right -- sitting next to "my" coffee mug and a light-mouse.
The middle computer is for e-mail (via Pine on a dial-up Unix server in Walnut Creek), for various notes, and the Club 100 and other databases. This computer is used to transfer files to web sites I construct. Its monitor is to your lower left.
The right-side computer is my development machine. This is where I scan photos (via the flat-bed scanner on the lower side and an EasyPhoto Drive scanner built in), design web presentations, and do a number of related tasks. Its monitor is the big one in the middle.
On the far right and coming down is a monitor and 3 modems connected to The Dock BBS on the far right. This is setting next to 2 modems and the Club 100 BBS. It's monitor is behind in the Work Bench area, and is shared with the ROM-burning computer.
On the lower left is a flat-bed scanner (Envisions ENV8800S) and diskette storage.
Behind The Com: Here you see two keyboards. One is connected to the Club 100 bbs and the other is connected to the ROM-burning computer. I use one monitor for both, simply plugging and unplugging it as necessary. You will also note that all of the wiring to all The Com computers is easily accessible. This makes it very easy to swap components, do cleaning, etc.
Work Bench: This is actually the inside work bench. There are other work benches in the warehouse, located next to the main house. You will note a model truck in progress. This is a duplicate, in model form, of one of my hot rods -- a '54 Ford F100 hot rod truck.
Shipping, Etc.: This is a great, lay out area that's actually lit from above when necessary. The white board is used to plan and track stuff, and above the shelving is model car kit storage -- two deep and to the ceiling! You will also notice various awards at the right. These are all for Rotary -- the most amazing organization on the face of the earth. Go to Rotary International or The site I built to market Rotary in our area, or our club's site, Clayton Valley / Concord Sunrise.
Note: Working from home has its pros and cons like anything else. There is no, one best solution to a work-environment, and there is no "greener grass" on the other side of the fence. Life is not perfect, so let's stop judging ourselves by envying others. Generally speaking, however it falls together and whatever you get used too is the way it is until you or something changes it. So get used to looking for all the pros in what you have going, and if you don't have enough pros, then stop what you are doing and go do something else. All the best... -Rick-
The Original Laptop Computer . . . 1983