About me

After spending more than 15 years in and about IT, I decided to start this blog about IT about my thoughts about IT.

My not-so-short bio:

My way in IT started as early as elementary school, first programs written were BASIC code on checkered paper, inspired by book “Kā Pēcis Beisikāns Maiju Saprātiņu programmēt mācīja” (“How Pete Basicman thought May Witty to program”). About the same time I got my first programmable device, that was soviet programmable calculator MK-61.

By the time I learned how to land virtual moon-walker on the virtual moon in RPN, I got to high school with it’s IT class and bunch of again soviet personal computers БК-0010. A little bit of Focal on those, a little bit of Basic on later modifications and a little of hacking in ASM. Anyways, it did not bring me much closer to IT, it was mostly for fun and games.

On the last year of high school our school got first IBM PC compatible machine, which I gladly started to abuse and learn. It was beautiful and powerful machine, 286 CPU, with 1Meg of RAM, 20Meg HDD and DR-DOS on it. Better understanding of how things work, better knowledge of English and first hacks came with this machine (our teacher would put password on partition with “Prince of Persia”, and I would clear it – endless loop).

Shortly after I found myself in capital of our newly reestablished country – Riga. Lots of opportunities and lots of temptations. My major goal was to study IT, but soon I realized that curriculum offered by university was long ago outdated and that was not something I wanted to learn on empty stomach (guess what, I was very short on cash at that time), so I dumped studies and got my first job. It was IT related.

IT in private business was new as were private businesses in Latvia at that time. PCs were used mostly as fancy typewriters and folks like myself were hired to operate those things. That was the time when Windows 3.1 came along (I somehow manaed to skip 3.0). So I was typewriting and improving my English.

In a few years company I was working for had 4 computers, homegrown warehouse management system and distant warehouse. I needed to arrange data exchange between main office and warehouse. Modems and my knowledge of FidoNet technologies that I acquired during these couple of years came in handy.

FidoNet became large part of my life, I made new friends and became a node, my address was 2:5100/44. My knowledge of computers, Windows, OS/2 and FidoNet made for a nice jump to real corporate IT world. I got a job as network engineer in State Social Insurance Agency. My main task was to finish implementing countrywide data exchange network between main IT center and branches in regions. I did that and made improvements to the system so that at the end of the day data exchange was rock solid, led to layoff of 10 elderly ladies and run without any noticeable glitches for 4 years until Internet came along. This was the place I first met *nices, namely FreeBSD and AIX.

That was about time to move along. Product called “Navision Financials” crossed my way. By will of powers that be I became co-founder and co-owner of first “Navision Solution Center” in Latvia – NRG. My official position was Director of Finance, my real tasks were those of programmer, translator (first official translation of interface of Navision Financials to Latvian was done by me and my colleagues) and bookkeeper. Later on I became acting CEO for a while too.

That lead me to new challenge and job at local incumbent telco, monopoly at that time. That position had little to do with IT directly, but it was great school of what “big corporate” means and how things work in huge companies.

In one and half years NRG was sold to Lithuanians who were looking to establish their business in Latvia too. Part of the deal was me returning back to NRG. So I continued with Navision, which gradually changed owners and names, it became product of Microsoft. I became quite proficient in Navision, or Microsoft NAV by that time and decided to move on to new horizons.

Next stop – Exigen Services, workflow solutions, international customers and lot of time spent virtually and in person in New Zealand and USA. Nothing much to tell, I am still bound by non-disclosure agreement, but it was lot of fun and those were great guys I got to work with.

After some great projects and great time I decided to take a route of freelance IT consultant, so here I am, yours truly, doing Linux development, infrastructure projects for SMBs and other IT related high-end things for smaller and bigger companies.

Facts:
Name – Raivis Rengelis
Location – Riga, Latvia
Year of birth – 1974
Main areas of expertise – Networks, SMB infrastructure, Linux, Windows, VoIP, CCTV
e-mail – raivis {аt} rrkb.lv
phone – +37129252543
twitter – @raivisr

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