Scott is a former professional photographer, former discount real estate broker, and current tech guy for hire. He currently works at a small Optometry practice managing the EMR implementation and all equipment related to the transition from paper records to electronic ones. He also has the fun job of managing all the HIPAA policies, procedures, and securing the medical records.
How exactly does one go from “Professional Photographer” to HIPAA/IT geek? Well… it was a long road.
Throughout life, from the moment he was given his first computer, an Atari 800XL, (which is still in his old bedroom closet at his parent’s house. Scott is 52.) he’s had a fascination with computers and electronics. One thing leads to another and before you know it, he’s dropping $2500 on a stunning computer for college- a brand new Macintosh SE, pimped out with 2mb of ram and a whopping 20mb hard disk. Add in the 9 pin Apple printer and he was ready for college.
Now, if college had actually taught him anything, it’s that he should have spent that $2500 on Microsoft or Apple stock in 1987. Dammit. Anyway, he has fond memories of staying up all night writing papers until the machine crashed and lost everything; then waiting and waiting and waiting for the printer to churn out the rewritten final draft. The joy of using a pirate copy of Photoshop 1.0 to open illicit bitmap scans of centerfolds… double click and boom…. 15 minutes later, the grainy, pixelated, B&W scan would open in all it’s glory on the 9″ screen. Incredible. Just don’t try to scroll down unless you’ve got all afternoon.
While he was never actually bright enough to pursue a career using computers, (something about envisioning himself as an artist or some dumb thing), he did develop a certain fondness for tinkering with pc’s and incorporating them into whatever he was doing. Around the same time he got the Atari 800XL, a friend sold him a used Minolta XG-M camera with a 50mm lens. It was love at first click. Time moves on and eventually he finds himself trying to become a professional photographer. Not many photos exist of Scott at this time.
He discovered that shooting photos is only about 10% of the job of being a pro photographer working weddings, portraits and events. After massive investments in Nikon and Hasselblad equipment and time and energy, digital photography started to take off. Sensing a sea change in the industry, he dumped all his medium format equipment, bought a Nikon Coolpix 950, a Kodak Dye-sub printer and created one of the first portable, digital studios in Portland. He could take his Macintosh laptop, the printer (all 50+ pounds of it) and lights to an event and shoot/print 5×7’s all evening. It was slow, cumbersome and totally not ready for prime-time use. It was a miserable experience about 10 years ahead of its time.
As the drive to be an artist burned out (sidenote: When the wedding photographer is in the back of the church with the caterer, the florist, the wedding planner and the videographer, and all of them are taking bets on how long the couple will be married, it’s A. a sign you shouldn’t be getting married; and B. a sign the photographer needs a new career before the cynicism builds to critical mass.) Scott realized it was time for a serious change. And thus his glorious career in Real Estate began.
Let’s just skip that whole disaster shall we?
The only thing of note is how he needed to use Internet Explorer to access the local Multiple Listing Service (it depended on active-x) while owning a mac mini. That was his first experience of using VirtualBox and Parallels to install a virtual copy of Windows XP onto his mac. It was the best of both worlds. Oh, another thing of note, no matter which company he worked for, he became the de-facto “Tech Guy”. Yep, the guy in the office who can trouble shoot the printers, computers, build the websites, etc., etc., etc.. Being the unofficial and uncompensated tech guy was the best part of the job. Let that sink in a moment.
Today, after the crash and burn of the real estate industry, Scott turned his attention to the tech that’s he’s always loved and not pursued. After serving two years at Portland Community College for science and stuff, he discovered the huge amount of infrastructure that even small medical practices now require. Do to changes in the country due to things like the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA & HITECH, there’s a huge need for people who not only understand the technology, but healthcare as a whole. Scott could not perform an appendectomy to save his life, but he sure could secure that patient’s medical record and create small networks that offices can use to access and secure their patient databases. It is a good fit. As part of that ongoing cycle of learning and finding new things, Scott is learning more networking, more security, and the wonders of virtualization. How exciting.
As a side note: Scott, as a human being, has 2 sons, one ex-wife, and a Pug named Loki who is unimpressed by all of this.