I first met Stuart Kenneth Stokes (who changed his name to S Kenneth Stoke and was always known to me as S) in 1978 when he was my relief teacher at Taroona High School. Some time during the class he let slip that he had a computer and at the end of the class I approached him with “got any software?”
S had bought an Exidy Sorcerer computer from the local Dick Smith agent, Carl Vasos (Aero Electronics) and in those days if you wanted software, you wrote it yourself.
S had some beauties - space trader, star trek and many more. He was a database administrator before the world ever knew what one was.
Over the years S taught me so much. I recall he did an audio recording of my school friend Stephen Hand telling Norse myths backed by recorder played by Tony Storey. This was the first recording session I ever saw and it turned me on to sound recording. I don’t think I would have had my own studio and released albums if S had not been that inspiration.
Later I went with him to 7-THE-fm and watched in awe as he delivered a live radio show. Some years later I tried my hand and eventually became a committee member helping to run that station for a period of time. S encouraged me to run training sessions for new broadcasters and that was probably how I first learned to be a trainer.
There were many other things S introduced me to and many of the practices I use today I learned from S. My daughters will attest to “clean side/dirty side” in relation to the kitchen sink for example.
There was one fabulous night where we were brain storming business ideas. We had this venture capital idea and had figured out if we could take investments and then use that money to pay back the limited number who would want to cash out rather than re-invest, we could steam roller this thing into a right little earner. Then a raucous round of uncontrollable laughter when we realised we had just “invented” the bank.
S was a founding member of “The young independents and S” which became Up and Running Promotions, my first company. After a failed heavy metal concert (Metal Mania), we all went our separate ways and the company became Up and Running Computers in 1993.
There were many parties, lunches and just late nights talking. There were wild ideas and sound ones too. Many came to pass, many did not.
He was my teacher, mentor, business partner, inspiration, and above all he was my friend.
S passed away 26-Sep-2010 at the Whittle Ward after a battle he could not win. He was only 68.
Missed but not forgotten.