Career Journey: Adrian Franulovich
President of the Australian Computer Society Museum
It’s the year 2000. Olympic fever is spreading, Sydney is electric. It is party time for some, and a time licking wounds for others. The Y2K bug has lined the pockets of many consultants, and the array of millennium merch and products has started to unwind after the strong headwinds of the dot com bust.
I’m about to turn 17. I’ve started my own web development company and I have been consulting since I was 14. I love IT and the many facets of it.
A shy kid who builds a voice through his expert knowledge in IT, having grown up from the age of 4 with an XT Clone, then Amiga, Amstrad, Apple then back to PC.
I take on a modest casual weekend job in Neutral Bay for a brand-new Apple dealership conglomerate, Buzzle. It’s an exciting time, the GST may be in, but the 32% Sales Tax is out. Technology is going through exciting technological developments in leaps and bounds. Every day there is a new product, new business, new website, new merger, new advancement. It’s exciting.
I’m working my first “real job”. I’m not a consultant. I’m not earning the big bucks like I was used to, but I enjoy every moment of the Apple world.
It was either the first or second weekend working as a casual. A gentleman came in to pick up a Mac that was just serviced by our NSW service centre. He asks if I mind firing it up to show him that the upgrade they’ve just completed has taken and is all working as expected.
I oblige, I turn it on and we are greeted with a Flashing “?”. This is a sign the machine can not find its boot disk. I can see the stress and feel the tension increase in the room. He pleads with me if it can be fixed, now... I speak to my colleague, who is our in house service tech. He responds that all we can do is return it for service. I pipe-up and ask if I can try a few things I have learned in my years of supporting the Macs at my High School. Everyone agrees and I tinker for about 10 minutes to discover they have messed up the jumper configuration of the new IDE hard disk, creating a conflict that would inevitably come and go dependent on spin up speeds.
I recall, the gentlemen is ecstatic, he buys some beers for the team – which I couldn’t accept due to my age, then 17. A colleague pulls me aside after, and says, “Do you know who that was?”. I didn’t.
Fast forward. It’s circa 2003 and I have worked my way up the ranks, becoming the youngest Service Manager ever in the AppleCentre chain, turning 20. I get a call from my colleague, David, the sales manager asking me to come upstairs.
I bounce upstairs to meet a new client who has regaled my colleague of a story of a young guywho saved him a few years before. They put two and two together - it was me. I remembered him. It was the gentleman. Peter.
Peter and I would go on to be the greatest of mates with a friendship that now spans over two decades. Back in 2003 when I would visit him to install and fit a new Mac for him, he would turn and point to a photo of the Sydney Olympics ceremony and proclaim, if it hadn’t been for my work all the way back then, that THAT may have not happened. I’m puzzled. He goes on to explain that the plots for the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the games were on that computer. I later learn he is one of the most noted TV producers to ever be born of Australia.
This is just one of my many hundreds stories in my own Australian IT career thus far. When I consider the hundreds of thousands of people who have worked in IT development, software, engineering, sales and support over the decades, there is millions of stories just like mine being lost to time. Stories that should be captured and stored to inspire ourselves, colleagues and new generations of the important role IT has played in putting Australia on the map, with major developments such as the CSIRO’s development of the 802.11 standard, we all know now as WiFi.
I am now the president of the Australian Computer Museum & Society (ACMS). My team and I want to capture these stories along with the hardware and creations of Australia. Come join the team and I at the ACMS by becoming a member, volunteer and help restore these treasures and share your stories and skills with us and the world, before it is too late and these skills are lost to time.
The Australian Computer Museum Society (ACMS) is a fully endorsed Australian Charity and DGR/NFP organisation who needs your support both through volunteering, membership and donations. These ensure these stories and artefacts important to Australia’s ingenious role in global IT is recongised and preserved. The ACMS is based in Croydon, Sydney, NSW and is seeking members and sponsors. The Museum is open most Saturdays