Thanks for visiting my website. What an amazing time to be alive! Just 20 years ago, the internet was still in its infancy and social media didn’t exist. Now there are opportunities galore to mark your presence online, build a brand, or make a lasting legacy on the internet.

Whether you’re interested in starting a business online, publishing an e-book, or creating a great website, you’ve made a wonderful decision by joining me in this adventure. Unlike a lot of other so-called gurus (of which I am not), I will look after you, give you tips and tricks, and show you how to make your mark on the internet. I’m not all about making money online, it’s more about the freedom to express yourself, indulge your passion, and build a rewarding lifestyle.

Larry Smith Online

I was fortunate to be an early-adopter of PCs at the dawn of the personal computer age. If it hadn’t been for a low draft number when I graduated from high school which delayed my college experience by four years, I would and have missed the computer age and been a complete dinosaur like many people my age. Instead I enlisted in the Navy to avoid the draft (and possibly Vietnam) and spent four years in the military service.

Larry Smith Sailor and Father
Me as an enlisted man - My father was a Navy Captain

This was critical because I was trained as an electronics technician serving on submarines and then afterwards attended  college in electrical engineering. During a summer job at Xerox, I was introduced to personal computers by a co-worker. This was at the dawn of the computer age in the late 1970s. The Apple II computer had just come out and there were various other now-forgotten brands. Personal computers were just for hobbyists and geeks at the time.

The Apple II computer had just come out (with cassette recorder for storage) and there were various other now-forgotten brands. Personal computers were just for hobbyists and geeks at the time.

When I bought my first PC in 1978, there were only a few known brands available – Apple II, Commodore Pet, and Radio Shack’s TRS-80 (fondly referred to as the Trash 80). My first machine was the Exidy Sorcerer made by a company in Silicon Valley called Exidy. I remember going online the early 80s way before the World Wide Web but it was on a rudimentary text-based or bulletin-board systems (BBS) called The Source and Compuserve (later bought by AOL). The dial-up modem connection was pathetically slow at 300 and 1200 baud. Back then, computers were more about hardware than the slick applications found on the internet now.

Cool Story: Where you aware that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs first met in the late 1970s, when Microsoft main business was writing software for the Apple II? When Jobs began developing the original Macintosh in the early 1980s, he wanted Microsoft to create for it a version of BASIC, an easy-to-use programming language, as well as some application software, such as word processing, charts, and spreadsheet programs.

So he flew up to visit Gates in his office and spun an enticing vision of what the Macintosh would be: A computer for the masses, with a friendly graphical interface. Gates signed on to do graphical versions of a new spreadsheet called Excel, a word-processing program called Word, as well as BASIC. That’s right, today’s popular Windows apps were originally created for the Apple Macintosh computer.


It wasn’t until 1981 that the infamous IBM PC was introduced which was when businesses really started to utilize PCs. 

In 1981, I volunteered to teach a computer class at local high school adult education program. The following year, I was able to hitch up to the University of Massachusetts Continuing Education program which had just installed a classroom with ten or so IBM PCs. Here I was the first one to implement hands-on PC training courses. At one point in the mid-80s, I had a full page of computer classes with topics like Introduction to PCs, Lotus 1-2-3, Wordperfect, dbase II, and BASIC Computer Programming. The World Wide Web was still a decade in the future.

Except for using Windows 95 at my job in the late 90s and doing Google searches, I knew nothing about domain names, designing websites, or internet marketing until well into the new millenium. In 2011, my wife was at a training program in Baltimore for most of the summer, so I took the opportunity to immerse myself in learning about the web (after hours and on weekends). I even took an online training course then by somebody called Chris Farrell. His video training was good, but it didn’t have a good followup series to build upon the original learning. 

If I had it to do over again, the one I would recommend now is well established and has been in business for 15 years. The name sounds kind of spammy but it is called Wealthy Affiliate and is based on a “freemium” business model. It’s a fun and painless way to get get started online and offers a free membership account with limited access to the Wealthy Affiliate dashboard. Some of your access lasts forever such as the training videos and community features, while other features only last for a limited time, such as the live chat feature. I highly recommend you go there and sign up a free account and take it for a test drive. You’ll be able to create a profile and get access to the dashboard where you can really take a look under the hood, so to speak before enrolling in Wealthy Affiliate.