Jim Russell's Home Page
Our motto: "Putting people to sleep since 1997"

Fair Warning! As is the case with almost every web page ever created, this one is subject to change (or not) at the whim of its author. At least you won't see any of those too-cute "under construction" graphics here.
Don't Be Afraid If you're not easily frightened, click on this link to see the a photo of me hanging out with a group of friends. (File is about 150 KB in size.)
Please Don't Call
Me "Retired"
On December 30, 1998 I left AT&T after 26 years of mostly good times, taking advantage of a handsome early retirement offer. During that time, I did everything from install telephones (1973-1980) and business phone systems (1980-1984), work in an AT&T central office (1984-1990), and was a member of a team managing an international data network for one of the "Big 3" auto companies (1990-1998). I don't miss the work all that much, but I do miss the friends I made there. Since then, I've been keeping myself busy doing contract work and having a pretty good time of it. I'm currently working for CDI, one of the larger contract placement firms. My current assignment is helping Federal-Mogul (an auto parts manufacturer) manage their data network.
How Many Computers
Does Jim Have In
His Junk Room Today?
My first computer experience was in college, writing Fortran programs on punch cards. I've had a home computer in one form or another since the early '80s. In my spare time, I'm the assistant manager of one of the many forums on CompuServe, the Vintage Computing Forum. It's a combination of several of the old CIS "orphan" computing forums, all merged into one. You can visit us by following this link.  I've been a CIS member since 1984. The answer to the title question is six: C-64, C-128, 2 PCs UNIX & Linux (and yes, they all work).
The Holy Terror A recent addition to the household is our cat, Chloe. Unlike most other cats I've known, she's bold and afraid of nothing. One of her favorite things is to chase various household members (well, OK, me) through the house. She also is our backup alarm clock. This is not an advantage on weekends when we'd rather be sleeping in. My wife Sue took this picture of Chloe in one of her rare quiet moments snoozing on my lap. I have conveniently cropped the photo to not reveal that I too was equally unconscious with my mouth hanging open.
Hobby #1
One of my hobbies (my wife prefers the term "obsession") is the American Civil War. I have dragged her to more CW battlefields and historic sites than even I care to admit to. Her favorite line while I have my nose into some CW book:"What's all the fuss? You know how it comes out already!" The Civil War Center has links to all sorts of CW info:
Hobby #2
I also have this interest in trains. My brother and I had an extensive Lionel setup when we were kids. My dad was the chief designer and builder of the layout and we got to run our own railroad, complete with sidings, a yard, trestles and a tunnel. My dad would always point out neat stuff about the real trains in our area, which included NYC, C&O, GTW and Wabash iron (all of which today are long gone, subsumed in the great railroad merger frenzy by NS, CSX and CN). After the Lionel stuff got put away as we grew up, I lost interest until a couple of years ago. I'm not sure what pushed the button again, maybe it was the Amtrak train I took to Chicago and back. At any rate, this is another hobby that can and will drive my wife to distraction. If we see a train, and I point out some nifty detail ("Gee, honey, will you look at that, you don't often see Union Pacific locomotives here in Michigan") she will give me "the look" (patent pending) and tell me in no uncertain terms to not drag her into it.
Hobby #3

Yes, yet another annoyance for the better half. Coming soon! Hint: See the ARRL Home Page.
Higher Education
in the
Northern Wilderness
I attended Michigan Technological University 'way back, as a Civil Engineering major. No fair asking how far back! The MTU Web Site has a lot of info about 'da Tech,' including an alumni e-mail directory (where you can find how just how ancient I really am if you dig hard enough). How this choice of major made me seek out a career in telecommunications remains a mystery to one and all (including me).
Film? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Film! Recently we acquired a digital camera. I'm still learning how to use it effectively. It's definitely a different animal than using my wife's 35mm SLR. If you'd like to see some samples, my Images Page has a description of (and links to) some of our first attempts at digital photography. (Disclaimer: If you are squeamish regarding pictures of cats, trains, flowers and old school buildings you may wish to reconsider.)
We Get The
Strangest Mail
Comments?  Questions?  Brickbats?  Have the itch to write that poison pen letter?  You can e-mail me at: russelljames(you know what goes here)att.net
Current Local Weather
Click for Livonia, Michigan Forecast

Updated February 19, 2005.
All content including images © 2001-2005 and its use is subject to the terms of our Standard Disclaimer.