Byron Caloz

Wow! It's been a long time (and a lot has happened).

Of course, all I did was read People's Computer Company, write a letter and visit once when I came down the Bay Area with my family. To me it doesn't make me feel much like an alumnus, but I am glad to be considered one.

After I left high school I went to the University of Oregon and got two bachelor in journalism and the other in computer science.

I felt I needed to grow a bit in my people skills, so emphasized journalism as my career path. When I worked in Klamath Falls at KFLS/KKRB in 1981 I called down to PCC to find out what had happened. Even then things had changed a great deal.

By 1984 I had moved on to work at a radio station in Western Kansas and made enough money to finally afford to get a computer. My Commodore 64 was fun but I never did too much because of its unreliable power supply. Soon, though, my employers were getting computers and I was often using them to manage data (and continued writing in BASIC to help in this).

Soon, I moved onto another radio station in Murray, Kentucky. Murray State University had a great program offering an interest free loan to help me buy a I got the best at the time (well, not cutting edge, but a reasonable choice): an XT PC clone.

I managed with this for years, writing my BASIC programs but also finding cheap computer programs to run (I loved Windows 1.0).

Moving back to Western Kansas, I started moving into radio station mid-management and began using more commercially available software and, unfortunately, stopped writing code. By then, however, I discovered HTML and entered into a new way of displaying images, data and even sounds and video.

Public radio, however, never paid me enough to use the best machines so I scrimpted about with second hand machines and reconfigured (by me) PCs. When it seemed absolutely necessary I got a 386 and incorporated Windows I could use PPP to go on-line.

I had hoped that I could use my computer background to help transform that particular public radio station, but it was too slow to accept change and I was unwilling to wait for it. Among other reasons, I abandoned my media career and chose to use my other University degree to forge a new employment path.

In 1997 I began to work for Intel and have ever since. My computer degree was really not enough to get me in as a programmer as RPGII, Cobol, FORTRAN IV, SNOBOL, PASCAL and BASIC weren't the big thing anymore. C, C++ and PERL were...and I didn't know 'em. Also, I was way behind on the telecommunications end of it.

However, Intel needed polygon pushers...folks who could use Computer Aided Design programs to create masks used in creating microprocessor chips. I didn't know how to do this, but I had the skills and background necessary to successfully make it through a training program and become an accomplished mask designer.

Now, in my 4th year at Intel, I have started doing more programming again as I use PERL, SKILL and shell programming languages to automate various tasks.

My vision remains, though, for a future when all people can access information and technology on an equal basis, regardless of financial or social status. If there were a way I could do that and maintain my own personal projects in the media and at home, I would do so.

I worry about a future when the "haves" control all the useful data and information and the "have nots" can't even access it, let alone afford to pay for the use of it.

Every week I see all those once valuable 286 and XT computers get trashed and dumped as if they have no value, yet somehow I think all that computing power can somehow be used again...not simply be recycled as raw material, but maintained as viable machines for use by people who can't afford the latest computers that I help design.

Thanks again,


CONTACT Byron Caloz
Last Modified: Tue May 15 15:16:41 2001