About Mark

By admin

Mark hails from a small town in Southern California – San Diego. (Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of it. After all, I did mention that it was a small town…) Since Mark’s dad was at the tail end of his Naval career, Mark managed to escape the migratory childhood so common amongst military brats.

A clever, precocious fellow, Mark found his first love among the Dramatic Arts, capturing several roles in various high school productions. A love of music soon followed. If asked why Mark didn’t pursue music or drama in college, he will cite one compelling reason – lack of talent. He did, however, first enter the world of computers in 1972, where he took a FORTRAN class at the local junior college. There were no disk drives, no flash drives, not even floppy discs. Everything was done using 80-column IBM punchcards. Imagine the thrill of being in a room with about 20 card punch machines, all banging away with wild abandon. No shock-and-awe campaign in the jungles of ‘Nam could have been any more sonically stimulating!

Following a two-year junior college Associates in Arts degree program, Mark became restless and longed for adventure! He found the adventure he was looking for by enlisting in the US Army. Leveraging his sole advantage (his huge brain), Mark avoided the perils of becoming an Infantryman, and, instead, became an Air Traffic Controller. Assigned to a remote site in Germany, Mark perfected his craft. (And, learned how to consume prodigious quantities of German beer!) Remember, the time-frame here is the mid-70’s, so there were no “computers” , in the traditional sense, to be found. He worked with a radar installation that was strictly vacuum tubes along with the occasional transistor. This AN-FPN-40 radar set was Korean War vintage, and bore the serial number 0000005. State of the art…

Leaving the Army, it was time to complete secondary education. (Thank you, GI Bill!…) Relocating to Colorado, Mark attended the University of Colorado at Denver, graduating in 1979 with a business degree. He could have become an Electrical Engineer, because he worked at a local stereo shop with the son of the Dean of Engineering at CU. However, since that would have involved staying in school another year, that plan was OUT! (Hmmm – now, which degree takes the least amount of time to complete? Marketing? WINNER!…)

Since all of Mark’s contemporaries were getting jobs in exciting places like Wyoming, he decided to postpone adulthood one more time by joining the Navy. Mark still had not purged the adventure bug. As it turns out, our hero qualified for the Navy’s flight program, and, out of 2500 qualified applicants for first quarter, 1980, Mark received one of only 25 available flight training slots! Even more impressive, Mark finished the training, and received the coveted ‘Wings of Gold’ in 1981. Mark Eoff, dashing Naval Aviator, was born…

As you know, the ‘80s witnessed the birth of the personal computer. During this time, Mark was introduced to a device known as the Osborne 1, a ‘portable’ computer about the size of a sewing machine with a huge 5-inch screen! Heady stuff! This lead to a succession of computers, including the Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64, some Kaypro device, and, finally, an IBM-compatible marketed by Xerox. It was an XT-class machine, with a 10-Mb (that’s MEGAbyte…) hard drive, a 5 ¼ floppy drive, and a whopping 256 Kb (that’s KILObytes) of RAM. It was roughly the size of a small suitcase, and it was the neatest thing since sliced bread! (Well, technically, the SH-2F helicopter he was flying was even neater, and the helicopter exploits were more likely to attract the attention of the ladies…)

As computers snuck up on people, there were those who didn’t get it and those who did. Mark did. Mark became that guy in the squadron that other guys would come to for help with computer-related issues. Little did he know that tinkering with computers would someday lead to an actual job!

Mark retired from the Navy, and settled down in San Diego. Funny how these things happen. Anyway, after leaving active duty, Mark attended Coleman College in San Diego, where he received a degree in Computer Information Science. His initial IT job as a programmer for a small firm didn’t last long (thankfully), but that lead him to a career in technical instruction. As it turns out, Coleman College had an immediate opening for an instructor, and offered Mark the job on the spot. Seems that Mark’s outgoing nature, goofy personality, and his ability to impart technical knowledge so that your Average Joe could understand it were just the sort of qualities they were looking for!

Since then, Mark has held a few jobs in the Technical Education career field, gathering an impressive collection of computer industry certifications along the way. He holds multiple Microsoft certifications, including Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) and Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional (MCITP) in Windows Server 2008. Mark’s very first computer certification was DOS and Windows 3.1. He also holds several Cisco certifications, including the Cisco Certified Systems Instructor (CCSI), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), and the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP). He rounds that out with a variety of CompTIA, Novell, and Lotus certifications as well.

Mark and Chris have worked together at CED Solutions for the past eight years, where they have come to recognize each other in hallways and the cafeteria and such. One day, Chris contacted Mark about an amazing opportunity to co-host a technology podcast that would come to be known as ‘TechBarbarians’. Chris thought that Mark’s razor-sharp wit and cutting-edge humor would nicely complement Chris’s own ‘aw shucks’ nice-guy personna, so he offered Mark the gig. Mark knew immediately what this meant…all the really good guys had already turned the job down! But, what the heck, Mark wasn’t about to walk away from an opportunity to display his politically-incorrect, lacking-any-kind-of-a-filter approach to a new, potentially untapped audience! Who knows? With this kind of exposure, this kind of spontaneous publicity, Mark might actually BE SOMEBODY! Thus, the legend was born…

Mark currently lives in Marietta, Georgia with his lovely wife Tricia, and his two sons, Luke and Dillon. Also, two cats who live inside the house, and an undisclosed number of squirrels who live outside the house, but are constantly working on new and innovative ways to live inside the house…

  1. That should say:

    As Mark was finishing his distinguished career in the Navy hanging around with the guys and flying helicopters that were older than his father, he was looking around for a noble occupation that would reap him great rewards, lots of alcohol, hoards of beautiful women (well forget the women he was getting over that phase of his life) he began to look around at his fellow Army Air Traffic Controllers, and those fools in the Navy that actually think helicopters can fly (more on that later).