Who is this Al Thompson guy?
Most of my life has been spent in some aspect of audio and/or music. I have been a musician since the early 70’s, playing guitar, keyboards, and most recently, bass. Check my current band’s webpage to get an idea of what I’m really all about musically:
I started out mixing local bands as a hobby in the mid 70’s, and found that it came naturally to me. Being a musician, and having electronics training was a definite plus. The biggest problem was that my ability to upgrade my PA to what I wanted was limited financially. I became a professional “full-time” recording engineer in 1977, working in a 24 track studio as engineer and tape editor, but tired quickly of the jingle life, and, enjoying live mixing MUCH more, realized I should be back ‘on the road.’ I convinced the studio owners that starting an offshoot sound company would be a good move, and we almost immediately made a name for ourselves in shows all around the midwest. Our client list included Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters, Chuck Berry, BB King, Roy Clark, The Temptations/Four Tops, The Turtles, George Jones, Sonny Rollins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Three Dog Night, Wishbone Ash, Sha Na Na, Waylon Jennings, The Jazz Crusaders, Tammy Wynette, Charlie Pride, Rick Nelson, Roy Orbison, Hank Williams Jr., Jerry Reed, Sheila E., Tesla, and a host of others, averaging 250-275 shows per year, in venues from 500 seat theaters to 64,000 seat arenas.
During the late 70’s/early 80’s, I got into computers as a hobby during my days at home. I eventually was voted president of a local computer user’s group and served in that unlikely capacity for a year. I actually enjoyed the ‘culture shock’ aspect of coming home from a series of shows, and presiding over a computer club meeting which was attended by mostly business types. (This was during the time that my hair was down to my belt.)
Around 1989 or so, I stopped touring, and “settled down.” I got a job in the corporate world as a computer sales/tech support person, and worked for several large corporations as network administration/systems operation, and wrote several articles for various computer-related magazines, and later was an editor/columnist for an on-line news service.
For several years, I ran a multi-line BBS from my house that was a Fidonet node (1:231/110), and, as the internet became more popular, was also a Fidonet to internet gateway using MS-DOS and Linux software that I put together on a Linux server I used on my home LAN. That lasted until I moved out of state (to escape the brutal Indiana winters).
After moving south for a brief stint, I returned to Indianapolis and worked for a regional retailer as inventory analyst for too long, and now am back in the entertainment field (sort of). I also got my CompTIA A+ certification along the way.
Of course, since the early 1970’s, I’ve been in a band (http://lateralforce.no-ip.org/Lateralforce), which has, just after my family, been the foundation for everything I really care about.