About the Author
Here are my professional references:
Certified Public Accountant (CPA, Active Illinois license)
Microsoft: MCSA – Windows Server 2012
Microsoft: MCSA – Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Support
CompTIA: Network+ (2012-2015)
BS Economics: Illinois State University
Before passing the CPA exam I worked as an independent computer consultant, system designer and application developer / programmer. I’ve always like accounting, but decided long ago that designing and writing systems was a lot more fun than using them. The CPA exam was really an afterthought later in life. Illinois, and many other states, consider consulting and certain other non-auditing related experience acceptable to meet the CPA experience requirement.
My primary platform long ago was an ancient computer known as the AS/400 using RPGIV and variants. Most kids today have not heard of this technology. This is old stuff. The AS/400 now has another name and is still in use at a smattering of locations. At one time it was the best development platform in the world. Then Microsoft discovered the GUI and perfected the network and the AS/400 started to decline in popularity. I also did a fair amount of work using Microsoft Access/VBA, CA-Clipper, and on the System/36 in RPGII. I think Microsoft Access is still around. Today, I’m mostly retired.
My specialty was designing and writing new accounting systems. Much of what I wrote would still look pretty good if migrated to current technology. Systems are systems. Accounting is accounting. Technology comes and goes.
I designed and wrote multiple labor reporting systems that integrated with manufacturing systems, job accounting systems, and various inventory accounting systems. Some specialty programming included a stockholder accounting system, a statistical processing control system, an advertising allowance system, and more. My first real accomplishment long ago was a set of programs on the System/36 that could price, job cost, and calculate a bill of material for several models of air cylinders (standards and specials) – allowing engineers and the order entry system to instantly create a fixed bill out of a universe of infinite possibilities (Cylinders have variable diameter, variable length, and multiple available options, all of which affect the bill of material, price, and standard cost. Bills of material were calculated on the spot based on the specs entered, not copied from a list or nested list, as is routine.). The S/36 had a small program workspace, adding to the challenge (64K max executable). The need for systems like these still exist, only the means of delivering them has changed.
I decided to write this on line book (starting circa 2012 – 2013) to share my experiences from the past few years. Simply by upgrading my home internet, the world changed. Having a much faster internet connection and virtually no download cap knocked down doors that has been cracked open only a little. My imagination took off. The land-line was dropped in favor of voip and Ooma. I digitized my music (110GB), added a 2nd router as a 5GHz bridge for serving DLNA based entertainment and streaming video off the internet, and became obsessed with understanding TCP/IP to the point of getting a Network+ certificate, and later, a couple of MCSA certifications from Microsoft. (The Network+ certificate is active for three years and requires significant expense to renew. Since it is an entry level certificate, I decided to let it expire in late 2015.)
In 2015 I upgraded the home network significantly. It’s now more wired than wireless. The full downstairs is wired with cat6. Several rooms have multiple outlets. A router I built using a fanless motherboard and an Intel J1900 processor hosts pfSense. It protects the system using snort and pfBlockerNG. It also hosts dual OpenVPN servers; one bridged and one pass-through. A Netgear R6400 router serves as a wireless access point. A Netgear R6300V1 hosting DD-WRT serves as a wireless bridge for where I couldn’t string cat6 wires. A spare laptop is a Plex Server and more. Comcast still provides excellent internet access – the speeds keep getting faster and the price per Mbit keeps going down – and some used lifetime Tivo equipment provides low cost Comcast TV services (it’s a big savings to own your equipment). A smart TV and some smart devices provide internet TV. I’m still using Ooma but see less of a need for a landline, even one as inexpensive as this. The QNAP NAS continues to work well. Still on my plate is trying to add one or more virtual systems using Hyper-V to the spare laptop performing Plex Server duties. The only thing holding me back is I can’t figure out what to add that already isn’t on the network.
I live in Northern Illinois, far northwest of Chicago. Drop me an email if you live nearby. Tell me about your network or the fantastic accounting system you designed. My other interests are economics, fraud, finance, and home cooking. I would probably write an economics blog if there weren’t 100,000 other ones already out there.
I may be contacted at advancedhomeserver at gmail dot com.