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I was born and raised in Walla Walla, Wash. To earn my college money, I worked in the wheat harvests, in the pea canneries, and for several summers in the Forest Service fighting fires.

I took my undergraduate degree at BYU, and did my graduate work at the University of Washington. I then worked for 18 years as a computer systems engineer for IBM in Seattle. In 1984 I left IBM to start my own software company in Bellevue. Some of you may know me by my marketing name, which was Jim Button. I pioneered the Shareware method of marketing software, and became known in the computer world as the Father of Shareware. Shareware is a marketing method that features giving the programs away for free. My little company, ButtonWare, Inc. employed 35 people at its peak on sales of over $4 million annually.

I was forced to retire in 1992 after heart problems got my attention. I sold the company and bought my home in the hills east of Redmond to relax and enjoy my family.

I first became interested in ham radio in 1974 and got my KI7Q callsign in about 1976. However, due to the heavy time requirements of my computer software business, I stupidly allowed my license to expire. In January 1998 I began to yearn again for the sound of morse code and the opportunity to send it. CW and homebrewing were two of my early interests in radio. So, I challenged myself to pass all the tests one more time and re-acquired my old callsign in February 1998.

Equipment: Kenwood TS-2000 and TS-140, Elecraft K2.

6378077 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:32:45, 1542 bytes

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