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This was my first “real” job beyond flipping burgers – working phone support for ZSoft, a small software company that made products like PC Paintbrush and Publisher’s TypeFoundry. If you’re old enough, you may remember the old PCX image format, which came out of ZSoft. Somewhat more famously, it was also the origin of the Windows paint program everyone loves to hate – MS Paint.

This was in the days before the Internet had escaped university labs, so it was all phone support, mailing floppies, and occasionally getting a customer to dial into a BBS running on a couple of phone lines in our office closet. The experience was great for learning how to communicate with people effectively, and working through issues over the phone, usually with technically unsophisticated customers. And this was back in the days when every printer, scanner, and video card had its own interface card, with all the attendant drivers, ports, and IRQ conflicts, so it was a challenge!