I was born and raised in West Tennessee, my parents and I lived on a small 4 acre farm. We grew strawberries, watermelon, corn, beans and peas. I spend many hot days working in the fields and driving tractors. We also owned a Harley Davidson and Honda motorcycle shop. During high school I repaired motorcycles with my Dad. I also enjoyed working with electonics, a hobby that lead to an interesting in Radio. The high school librarian observing my strong interest in electronics suggested that I attend a ham radio class taught by her husband Ed Holmes, W4IGW. After the class I passed the Novice license requirements and became WD4NJR. Before I started college I upgraded to extra class and switched my callsign to NQ4Y.
After I graduated from Humboldt High School I moved to Cookeville Tennessee to attend Tennessee Technological University. Although I began my college career majoring in Electrical Engineering, I quickly learned that my talent was in computer programming. I graduated from TTU with degree in Computer Science. During college and after I worked in radio broadcasting. I was an on the air personality at WGSQ and WPTN in Cookeville, TN. I also worked a short time at WSMT FM 105.5 in Sparta.
We moved to Tullahoma in 1991. I worked at ERC, a R&D firm in the UTSI research park. I developed software at ERC. In 1993 the company decided to start an ISP. We started with a Sun Sparc II and two 9600 baud modems. It wasn't long until we spun this into a separate vendor "The Edge." From there we moved the ISP to Nashville and became EdgeNet Media. I was an owner and the manager of technical services. This was an excellent opportunity and a very enjoyable time.
After EdgeNet Media I went to work for Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) on music row in Nashville. I wrote the BMI Repertoire software, the first searchable catalog of song title, writer and publisher information on the Internet. I worked in the new technologies group for BMI. I also supported the BMI webcrawler project, a tool that searched the Internet for unlicensed media usage.