Learning Not to Code

Behold, the TRS-80 Color Computer (CoCo for short) with 16k RAM

By: Gregory L. Shelton

Shelton Law Carolinas

1982. A year of city league basketball, middle school band (cornet, thanks for asking), and my first personal computer; a TRS-80 color computer from Radio Shack.

Before IOS and Android, before red states and blue states, before Team Jennifer and Team Angelina, there was Team Tandy and Team Commodore.

Team Tandy kids ran the Tandy/Radio Shack color computer (TRS-80). Team Commodore kids ran the Commodore 64. Both were excellent platforms to learn the MS Basic programming language (If x>10 then goto 70). Other programming languages at that time included Fortran (science), Cobol (business), and the mysterious “machine language” of zeros and ones known only to wizards.

Our immersive games included Berzerk, Lunar Lander, and Hunt the Wumpus

Of course, not much has changed in the world of computing since the early 1980s. Ones are still ones, zeros are still zeros, right? So I decided to build SheltonLawCarolinas.com from scratch. What, with my blogging experience, my TRS-80 pedigree, and my red-blooded pioneer spirit, what could possibly go wrong?

It was smooth sailing at first. I secured the domain, found a web hosting service, and bought a professional template that captured My Vision. Next, I created a rudimentary two-page website with contact information and a description of my law practice, along with the customary “website under construction” caution tape.

The trouble started during the design/construction phase. I was not using a simple “build your own website” block-over-block template that you see on TV commercials. Nope. I was building on a varsity-level business template with approximately zero hours of training. I’d spend a few frustrating hours here and there working on the site, experimenting with the editing tools, trying to adjust fonts, frames, and links, but it was no use. It was like a shade tree mechanic trying to rebuild a CVT transmission. Or challenging a seven year old to a game of HALO. (I remember only lights. Bright, bright lights.)

“So, Greg, why didn’t you just call the man?” you ask?

Words of wisdom from Surry County

Well, I was stubborn. I did not want to give up. I kept telling myself that I’d build the site “next week.” Next week ended up being the week after that. Week after week passed. The website took a back seat to my cases, to firm management tasks, to planning the firm Christmas party.

The website was out of sight, but not out of mind. It was a looming cloud. A distraction. Like going to the park for some pick-up basketball, or watching ABC Afterschool Specials on continuous loop, when you know you should be studying for the exam.

In the end, business is business. The website had to go up, my pride and determination notwithstanding. So I called the man. In this case, an English woman living in Switzerland who I hired through Upwork. I chose her over other candidates because she sent me a nice mock-up of the home page during the selection process. She did a great job on the website, and I have finally crossed “build website” off the to-do list. I only wish I had done it sooner.

Sometimes its better to just call the man.

Things to Delegate

  1. Heart surgery
  2. High voltage electrical
  3. HALO (vs. kids)
  4. Lion taming
  5. S-Corp tax returns
  6. Cobbling/Tailoring
  7. Haircuts
  8. Building websites

TRS-80 Photo: Attr. WikiCommons

About Gregory L. Shelton

Gregory L. Shelton is licensed to practice in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. He is a South Carolina circuit court mediator and North Carolina superior court mediator. Greg is the Managing Editor of the North Carolina Construction Law Deskbook, the definitive treatise on construction law in the state. He is also Florida board certified as a construction law specialist. He practices at Shelton Law Carolinas. SC: (803) 670-0024 NC: (704) 940-9012 www.sheltonlawcarolinas.com
NC Law

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