Tag Archives: information technology

My “portable computer” weighed 30 pounds

In the mid-1980s, when Pat and I were executives in the denominational offices of the Mennonite Church, this advisory was issued about computers in our offices: “We do not anticipate any time in the future when having several computer workstations throughout the building will not be sufficient.” It was assumed that personnel could reserve a ...More

I.T. in higher ED: In the end, it’s about people

As a UNIX systems engineer at Virginia Tech, Josh Akers ’07 is charged with “provisioning” a few dozen “enterprise systems” at university, while also “administrating VMware infrastructure” and supporting operation of “Advanced Research Computing clusters.” “Anyone in the field would know what I’m talking about,” said Akers, who majored in computer science at EMU. But ...More

EMU’s own techies

As a work-study student on EMU’s helpdesk in 1999, these were Jason Alderfer’s tools: “A telephone and a legal pad.”  A couple times a day, Alderfer or another work-study student would check the phone and write down the messages – who had called and what their problem was – and then either go fix the ...More

WCSC internship evolved into career

Matt Eshleman ’02 began working for Community IT Innovators 13 years ago, during an internship for his Washington Study-Service Year (now Washington Community Scholar’s Center). From providing IT support at a nursing home and teaching computer classes, Eshleman rose through the ranks as a systems administrator, systems engineer, and team lead to his current role ...More

The one and only John Fairfield

This is a man who spent much of 1970-71 in Belgium’s national library absorbing British computer research. He was learning French too in Brussels, so that he could use French to teach math, physics and economics at a Congolese mission school. This is a man who lived with his wife in a mud hut for ...More

Dwight Wyse: computer pioneer

Fresh out of college, Dwight Wyse ’68 took a job as accounts payable clerk at Eastern Mennonite College about the time the school’s first computer arrived. The year was 1968, and the computer was a massive IBM 1130 that filled up an entire room in the new Science Center. The computer, purchased with a federal ...More

From local threesome to national Jenzabar 

It all started in a corner of EMU’s old administration building in 1980. Two employees began tinkering – on their own time − with ways for colleges and universities to manage their administrative affairs with a new technology called computers. The employees – Dwight Wyse ‘68, the school’s director of business affairs, and Mark Shank, ...More

Former Jenzabar men co-own VistaShare 

As a teenager in the mid-1970s, Daryl Myers ’84 didn’t know anyone who owned a computer in his town of Lowville, New York. But he took his own money, trekked to a Radio Shack store and bought a TRS 80. “It was really just a calculator on steroids,” he laughs now. It had no games, ...More

I.T. at Choice Books

Most IT specialists have two jobs, the one they get paid for and the charitable roles that inevitably arise when folks discover that you know something about computers. Delbert Wenger, class of ’86, acknowledges both responsibilities with good humor. He is an information systems administrator and accountant at Choice Books central office in Harrisonburg, and ...More

Helping people do good work better

On his Messiah College application in the early ‘80s, LeVon Smoker checked computer science as his major (with a pen—the online application being years in the future) “on a whim,” he recalls. “Computers were new, I thought it would be fun, and not a lot of people would be doing it.” Since his graduation in ...More