|I was born in Glendale California where I lived for two years before moving to Palo Alto California. After spending a few years in Palo Alto, very close to my fathers work at the time, Ford Aerospace, we moved to Cupertino. Cupertino, known as the home of Apple computing, is where I lived up until I was 22 years old, besides a 2 year stay in France. A two year stay in France turned out to be a date with Michael Angelo, Napoleon and the ways of Europe. As a child growing up in France I was home secluded but fashionably toured. I found my new home quite intriguing, living in the outskirts of Cannes and Nice France amongst the best wine growers in the world. My best friend quickly became a sheep herder. Didn’t know know why, just liked burning the dead vineyards with him and I was astonished at his dogs capabilities. I quickly built a home fort, talked my dad into supplying me with a BB-Gun and the hills were mine to conquer.We would then find ourselves touring such places as the Vatican, Roma, Vincenza, and so many other places throughout Europe I still today cannot believe that in which I was offered to. But my mother wasn’t an average tourist, she would sit in place for hours at a time. I spent hours looking at Leonardo’s work, endless times gazing at the art deco, the love of it, as a child it amazed me, all of it really. Tombs, chapels, the smells still today I can fathom that which it smelt and taste like. You also might think that with such an upbringing there would be some sort of church attendance from the family but there was none. That would come later, for God and me to decide. It wasn’t but a sweet two years of Frampton, Fleetwood Mac, and oh yes, The Carpenters and a cast full of European stars that I would then end up back in Cupertino. You would figure that a kid growing up in Cupertino would be an avid believer and evangelist of Apple and products, and I was that kid, for some time.
Before I got to the level of Apples and computing there were other little technology toys that my parents so kindly introduced me to and shared with me. The new Hewlett Packard (HP) calculators in the 1970’s is where I got my first real technology experience and excitement from. A wonderful HP calculator that my dad had got for applying rocket science equations too allowed for us to actually slide programmable cards through it. Beyond the beauty of this little calculator being a barbaric palm for its time, we were able to acquire a wonderful little mathematical game application for it called Lunar Lander. Lunar Lander, on a programmable HP calculator was what spawned my interest in computing.
As the years passed I was exposed to every line of computing imaginable to the publics eye and beyond. After the wonderful HP calculator came “the Pet” by non other than commodore. Much better than the card sliding programmable calculator, The Pet allowed for us to program straight to a cassette tape. The cassette tape became the hard drive and soft drive and gave us wondrous amounts of additional functionality <<chuckle chuckle>>. The most notable application built on the Pet was Eliza the first known Artificial Intelligence offered to the public. Here is a web version of Eliza, and at the time, she was the $h|+. As I grew more and more into working with the pet and playing with it the most notable game made and played on this computer was known as star trek; semi visual through ASCII characters, I was now being exposed to the beginning of visual usability in computing. This added great spark to my imagination as now I could begin to realize how powerful computing would get in the future.
- As time went on, and Dad and I found more bells and whistles for the pet, we dabbled a little in basic programming and Dad really was able to develop some cool little applications in basic. At this same time my mom began work at corporate HQ at Hewlett Packard HP and as she witnessed my interest in computing, she would regularly invite me into HP to help run cards and sit in a cooled mainframe room. Aside from tagging along with my mom to HP at the age of 12 to watch over mainframes and even get in some green screen live chats between Colorado and Texas, it wasn’t until the very early 1980’s that Apple began to produce computers that became the early forefront of home computing.
- To my knowledge, I think that I may have been one of the very first public school Computer Lab Assistants. Living and going to school on the same road as Apple physically, combined with Apples strategy to market through education systems, lent Kennedy Jr. High and the location I lived in as a place to plant the seeds of what Apple had prepared to do; roll their computing systems though the entire American educational system. From 1980-1981, in 7th grade I may have been one of the first T.A.’s at John F. Kennedy Junior High School in Cupertino California, about 2 miles from Apple Headquarters.
- Throughout high school I began to break away from computing perhaps because it was the teen years and fast cars, chasing girls and having fun was MUCH more important than concentrating on my future. It wasn’t until I joined the U.S. Army in 1988 that my interest in computing again delved into deeper realms. While stationed in Grafenwoehr West Germany (home of state-of-the-art live, battle simulated and peacekeeping training for soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.), I picked up a commodore 64 and then a 128 version and I was off unto new horizons! So excited by the 5 inch floppy a fellow soldier and I began programming and getting visually stimulating games running on the C-64 and C-128. It felt like the same feeling I picture the folks got back when the Wizard of Oz opened… that finally, after all those years, “Houston, We Have Color“! Now we were off unto entirely new worlds!
I will do my best to write a little more as this writing seems to die off around 1985. Let me know if you would like to hear more: Please send feedback by clicking here
Learn some Graf/American History such as what the Beatles, Army, Graf & Heineken have in common 🙂 Click Here
BEGIN NEW CONTENT – 1989 – PRESENT
I have a passion for music as well and compose my own rhythms on guitar. This past year I wrote around 6 songs or so, it was a pretty creative year for me. I will be saving funds this year to try and get into a studio and produce a relaxation CD which should combine acoustic guitar, soft lyrics, perhaps winds and percussions. I have many of my songs recorded and at my website however the quality is poor. Feel free to listen to my songs in MP3 format here.
It’s a little known fact but if you have heard of the band the Beatles, and one particular song they wrote called Sgt Peppers Lonely Heart Club, well that club is actually the NCO club at Graf West Germany. It was a bar for wayward soldiers coming and going from and to missions. A watering hole where soldiers would get a drink, enjoy beautiful waitresses and have a decent evening. Click here to read in depth info on the facts behind the club and how the Beatles came up with the song. So, it is in the club that I met and eventually married my wife Sylvia Bruno. There was one problem though.
At the time, in 1989, the former Yugoslavia was still under communist control, and well Sylvia was from Yugoslavia. She was a very beautiful women and caught the eyes of all my fellow soldiers. I couldn’t help but notice as I brought her on post and eventually to a barbeque where she met my commander. Word soon got out that I was going to marry Sylvia, the communist, and before I knew it I found myself in front of the commander reporting. My commander said that if I were to marry her that he would kick me out of his Army. I thought wow, here I am in total love with this woman and this man is dictating my destiny. I felt that I was a necessity in the until being a top line shot as an expert marksman and packing the M-203 in the stealthiest of sections. I was small, fast and able to shoot and run like a madman. I thought that if the command could stand to lose me over a harmless relationship so be it, I was going to marry this woman.
It wasn’t but a few weeks later and we hit a red alert. Being in section 6, we always moved first and as usual I headed for the arms room. I ordered up my live ammo and weapons and we headed east to cut off any Czechoslovakian over flooding that might occur due to what was happening in Russia and East Germany. The next 6 weeks were nail biters and our missions went well. The Wall fell. Our section loved Pink Floyd the most as they influenced our march towards the end of the cold war which was my first primary mission while in the Army. Here’s a picture of my 6 foot 5 inch .60 gunner Shawn and I behind enemy lines in the east (http://www.scottbruno.com/images-wolfpack/uc_russia.jpg ) you can see me with a peace sign above the Russian soldiers head and Shawn’s hand readily inside his bag in case anything were to go down…. aaaah the wild days of the wall. So people began to feel democracy and the wave of freedom in Berlin. Once we headed back to base our unit was pressured not to take part in any “Wall” gatherings or celebrations and it was stated that no passes or leaves to the wall were going to be issued. Shawn, my brother in arms and M-60 Gunner and I found out that Pink Floyd was going to be playing live in Berlin and there was no way after fighting for two years and listening to them that were not going to witness this historical fete.
Then on a that cold day in 1989 I think it was I found myself in Berlin, dancing to LIVE PINK FLOYD’S “eeeeeeeeew I need a dirty woman” with an 80 year old eastern block woman, atop the rubble of the wall we danced. At the end of the song we both shed a tear and walked our separate ways. That was perhaps one of the most poetic moments of the cold war for me. So many lives taken and lost in the cold war and the wall had finally come to an end and there we were with Pink Floyd playing “The Wall” live to finish it off, for ever more.
Thankfully we were never caught for going to Berlin though we took plenty of pictures and talked openly of it once home in Germany. We did our research before during and after as to assure a safe trip. And we brought Sylvia along due to her fluency in 5+ languages which came in handy throughout the mission. She also shed tears of joy seeing the wall come down and partook in hammering the wall feverishly with passion I didn’t think such a beautiful woman could have.
Once back at base it wasn’t but a few months later and I found myself in the opposing chair of intelligence officers who were going to revoke my clearance. They drilled me for hours upon hours concerning my relationship with Sylvia and even sent people into my neighborhood back home to research me. They got everything out of me. They just couldn’t settle for the truth of the matter that I was in love with an innocent woman and she was in love with an innocent man. A few weeks passed by and my clearance was revoked.
A few more weeks passed by and everyone watched Kuwait become overthrown by Saddam Hussein and the Iraq military. Being attached to 1st Armored Division and out of NATO, with the latest war fighting equipment, we were already feeling that we would be going in on this mission next. Sure enough, our command confirmed that we should take leave and enjoy time with loved ones as we would be leaving in December to another mission in South West Asia. I quickly made plans by proposing to Sylvia and we made a mad dash to Denmark to get married. Once back I wanted to insure that she had something very special to remember me by so we engaged in love and she became pregnant. Shortly there after I found myself again before the commander. This time the commander said, you are now going to be thrown out of my military. I told him and the other leadership that it would be their loss as I was a fine soldier, highly motivated and by excluding me from this mission they would lose morale from within the Wolfpack’s section 6. They didn’t seem to care and suggested that my clearance was revoked and I was going to be sent home out of the Army. not more than 3 days passed and there I found myself in front of the commanders again. This time they all had a different look on their faces. My commander stood up with a piece of paper in his hand and said, “soldier, we have re-instated your clearance, you are going to war with us”! I gave out a huge HOO-AHHH! and went flying out of the commanders office to tell my fellow section 6 buddies. 🙂
While serving in South West Asia I fought in Desert Storm on the frontal attack at the Battle of Medina Ridge. I earned 3 Bronze Service Stars and pending Presidential Citation. To this day I think I made my command proud and I was happy to have served with the mighty Wolfpack and its members, they shall all be remembered for ever. To see some of the pictures of these times you may click here.
I left the U.S. Army shortly after returning to Germany from the desert. Our next mission was to disperse to the former Yugoslavia and the last thing I wanted to do was to find myself fighting against my wife’s loved ones. It would have been a major conflict of interest. I left the U.S. Army under honorable conditions on 9/11/91.
In 1991 I began attending college at Merced where I majored in psychology. I also played tennis in the last two years for the sport at the college as the #1 player and in doing so won back to back all conference awards as well as lettering twice and MVP awards. If you are interested in learning more about my work in tennis you can click here.