Tech has drawn me towards it ever since I can recall. My earliest memory was a digital watch where a button had to be pushed for the time to be shown in bright red segments, because the display would otherwise drain the battery in no time.

In school sometime in the early 80's, I participated in a BASIC programming course on IBM compatibles. Spending time in the library after school playing around ... IF... THEN... GOTO. I recall feeling very proud when I hit enter and the Star Wars logo appeared on screen and the theme was played. I had made my first and only Demo. Sadly the funding for the computer club did not last long. My interest in coding returned with coding websites - when layouts were created with tables and frames.

I've worked with numerous OS's since the 80's but only ever used a Mac when it was there and had the software I needed to use on it. (Simply because there were always less Macs wherever I did anything - apart from when visiting Mac owners).

The first computer I owned was a Commodore VC10 (Max Machine), followed by a Philips MSX on which I played a bit with programming(and games that came on cartridges). The first computer I paid money for was a second hand Atari 260ST which had extra RAM chips stacked and soldered by hand. The stacks were so high that the casing would not fit and was stuck down with duct tape. I purchased it to make music with a MIDI keyboard. This was followed by an Amiga 500. Upgraded to 1 MB RAM and an 8-bit mono sampler. By then the interest in using a computer as a tool to make music had taken over all other interests.


Image of Amiga 500 © Bill Bertram 2006

At the time there was no World Wide Web. So we got our information from magazines or booklets which covered one topic that were sold at kiosks. Or, gasp, books!

Some time in the 90's I switched to PCs and got my first 486 running Logic. Shortly after Apple took it over, I didn’t want to fork out the money for a Mac or a Gravis Clone. If I had had the money for it, I would have bought a hardware synth instead. So I switched to Cakewalk with a general midi sound card. A later build was still running Cakewalk but with a SoundBlaster AWE32 which had ram slots to load samples used in Sound Font files - basically MIDI instruments.

YAMAHA DB50XG Daughterboard 

At some point I purchased a Yamaha DB50XG (when it was new) - very cool Extended General Midi daughter-board that required a soundcard like the Soundblaster with the appropriate connector so the DB50XG could piggy back onto the main soundcard. Together with XG-Gold - a shareware editor GUI that enabled tweaking everything on the board, it became a very flexible synth(I was on of the few people who had actually paid for the software). I later converted it into an external MIDI module.

When Propellerheads released Reason, I had found a new joy(toy) and very quickly switched to exclusively using Reason for making music.

Reason 10