The Early Years (1979 - 1998)
Completed the Dutch equivalent of high school with
straight-A's, subsequently did three years of Teacher Training and got
certified in that with straight-A's too. Next, studied a few years of
Eductional Sciences at the University of Amsterdam, had only
average grades and did not like it at all, mainly because of the (far
left leaning) political climate. I dropped out of college because I
wanted to get into IT. I'm fluent in Dutch, English, German and French.
I started Sidha Computer Systems (SCS) with some friends in Amsterdam in
1979. This was a membership automation service for nonprofits.
Greenpeace was one of our early customers. We sold SCS after a few
Then I worked for a while for the Dutch distributor of the first
portable (rather luggable) CPM based computers: Osborne and Kaypro. 5
inch B/W screens and 100K floppy drives. Learned dBaseII there though.
Those were the times we walked to school barefoot. In the snow. Uphill,
Next I started Micro Instructional, and I produced audio manuals for
people to get up & running quickly with home computers, and productivity
software. That company was sold to a large IT publisher/Distributor
called SoftKey (now called Wolters Kluwer) where I went to work. I was
there for a few years and continued working with the audio tapes but
also supported Lotus 123 and Lotus Symphony. Got to work on the first
Mac with Lotus Jazz, Lotus's spreadsheet for Apple.
Then worked in the IT department of the Dutch Postal Server for a few
years. Installed Token Ring networks and hooked up IBM PC's to the big
iron mainframes they were running.