Hi I'm Paul. As a young urban planner, I programmed my 1986 Tandy PC to draw a graphic outline that roughly followed the outline of the city I was serving by measuring the vertices from a paper map. Before I wasted too much more time, I discovered that there was an entire commercial industry that had already grown up around computer-based map analysis of databases, and that industry had a name: GIS. I was in love! Back in 1989, the consensus recommendation was to get my hands on a promotional copy of Atlas GIS for DOS and start learning.
Well, it's 21 years and seven GIS platforms later, and I still love GIS. I mean, come on, you can model the world!