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profiles lindsay hunterLindsay Hunter

Lindsay was our Chairman from 2011 to 2013 and again from 2014 to 2016. 
He led by example, always involved, busy, helping, teaching, supporting and inspiring us.
Lindsay passed away on 17th April 2018. His positive influences remain.

"I was a child of the Second World War growing up in Christchurch, in a new world of rapidly evolving technology spilling over from the desperate inventions of a war-torn world. I had a new education a whole order more sophisticated than my parents. As a younger one of six children, I hung onto the world of my elder brother and sister and learnt of the exciting and expanding world we were living in. Anything seemed possible and we waited for it to become real.

One of those developments was the computer. I was introduced to computers in 1973 as part of my job, and by 1975, we were using them routinely, using 'dumb' terminals, centrally controlled ones that could do a small number of things. They were found to be frustrating and by 1981 IBM had marketed a personal computer, i.e. a computer that was on your desk and under your control. Users jumped for it. By 1982 I saw that it was possible to own a personal computer and have it at home. By the end of that decade we had a laptop with a whole megabyte of RAM with MS DOS as the operating system. I was also using Unix, a more network related operating system, and dabbling in both MS DOS and Unix commands. Then Windows burst on the scene. It was the child of the personal computer, out of Unix and the Mac, and borrowed from Rank Xerox who invented the graphics screen and the mouse Microsoft of MS DOS fame partnered with IBM to conceive Windows.  Alongside this development was the Apple Macintosh that had a committed following, but left me behind, largely through cost considerations.

The Internet, invented back in about 1970 to serve the US military, was connected to the rest of the world in about 1988.  By the early 1990s I saw the Internet using a web browser called Netscape and was entranced.  Not long after a Master student in Finland, who could not afford the commercial operating systems for his own computer, decided to see if he could programme one of his own, based on the same principles as the expensive ones.  Word got around and others said “If you change this bit, it will be even better”.  And so Linux, the free operating system, was born and I have been using it ever since.

By 1998, I was retiring from the public service and wondering what I would do next. I realised that I might be able to do computer work and receive an income at the same time. That sounded fun.  So I set up and slowly acquired enough small companies and individuals as clients to keep me busy. I worked with small companies and sole traders, often working from home.  I did whatever they needed to get them doing what they did.  The oddest job I ever did was to install a wireless doorbell so my client could hear my arrival from her office in the far basement of her hillside house.

Barring a year out while in the UK this is what I did until coming to Nelson in November 2009. The previous two years I had worked for a Trust supporting voluntary and not-for-profit organisations in Wellington, as far out as Paraparaumu and Upper Hutt. If they were registered charities they could call on our services. I met a lot of great people and learnt a lot about their computer and other technology needs and facilitated the rapid development of their computers, music systems, phones, printing systems, global positioning systems (GPS) and so on. During the latter part of this period I found more and more of my clients had Apple Macs in the corner doing some specialised task, or just because they liked them.  One of them had one on the shelf because they had inherited it but didn't know how to work it. I swapped it for a PC they could use, and fell in love with the Mac.

By this time, I was a member of SeniorNet Wellington and an assistant tutor in a genealogy class.  Moving to Nelson it was a small step to join SeniorNet Nelson, to find they had prospective members asking about Macs. Another small step and that is what I am doing now. I am also helping the stalwart Graeme Valpy continue to maintain and develop the systems at SeniorNet Nelson in Hastings Street.  I hope one day I can match his commitment and standards in support of SeniorNet. It is a great organisation to belong to, with dedicated and knowledgeable people, one of the stronger branches in New Zealand."

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