About Rudi Schlieben
It’s been 20+ years since the birth of Equadoor Web Design & Marketing Services, and what an amazing journey it has been… My relationship with computers started early in life.
I got a ZX Spectrum personal computer when I turned 17 in 1983. The Sinclair ZX Spectrum was a home computer released in the United Kingdom in 1982 by Sinclair Research. I was a reading fanatic and from an early age enjoyed science fiction and fantasy literature. The Fritz Deelman Science fiction books that I read featured a lot of computers and high tech stuff.
Growing up on a farm in the northern province of South Africa, I spend a lot of time in the outdoors, but my programming career started each night after the family finished watching TV, because the Spectrum used the TV screen as it’s screen! I often woke up next to the Spectrum in the mornings, with new software still running full blast! In a short time I was creating games, music and complex visual presentations, even creating biorhythm readings for teachers and friends at school fairs in the early 80’s. I decided to study electronic engineering at the University of Pretoria to get closer to computers, but my passion for music and my discovery of a social life and the bright city lights proved to much for electronic engineering. The computer nerd metamorphosed into the supreme party animal becoming the heart and soul of the party with a new career as DJ. Failing most of my subjects, it was time for a break from varsity life and I moved back to the farm where I spend a few months windsurfing to help me contemplate my next academic attempt.
This time I did some research, evaluating a wide range of career options. I was now totally clueless and then did every possible test to help me make a choice. And again was told, you can choose anything! So, I took a pencil and closed my eyes and chose, Marketing Management! It was the perfect choice! The subject range was perfect. A bit of everything and plenty of free time to read and party!
In the week I was clubbing, partying and learning from the pro DJ’s. On weekends I was a Mobile DJ playing all over the Limpopo Province. I enjoyed the academic life tremendously, and got my 1st job as Junior Lecturer at Tukkies while completing my honours degree in Marketing. Again computers played an important role in my life and my skill and love computers gave me the opportunity to do post graduate research projects with Prof. A. Schreuder, who became my Mentor and eventually my Study Leader with my Masters Degree Studies a few years later.
My academic life went well and I almost completed my Masters degree before deciding to do my compulsory military service. A Junior lecturer post was advertised offering a lecturing post at the Military Academy in Saldanha. Our family saw a wonderful opportunity to combine my military service with my academic career. After completing basic military training in Heidelberg and an officers course in Pretoria, I moved with my Mobile Disco to Saldanha.
The Military Academy had the best computer lab and we had access to the network and my best buddies and fellow “dienspligtiges” all lecturer computer science. I was thus able to further develop my skills and again had an amazing library at my disposal. I was always addicted to reading and even at school could finish a Wilbur Smith Book in a school day. I was allowed to read in class, except in Maths and Science, classes! Living in Saldanha was the most amazing inspiring experience and I started writing and painting and of course partying, every day, working on my mixes in the week for the weekend parties that I would DJ.
Sadly this amazing army working holiday in the Cape came to an end and it was time to find my next job. I started as Marketing Manager for the Home Centre Timber City Group in Centurion, and really enjoyed my job. I was almost given free marketing reign to apply all my academic knowledge by the owner Johann Maritz. He was an amazing mentor and taught me a lot about business. He was a very clever man and appointed a purchase manager Henda at the same time, that I started as the 1st Marketing Manager of the group. Again, computers changed my life. Henda and myself suggested that we computerize the Home Centre Timber City Group and based on my past knowledge and experience with computers we got the go ahead. It was extremely hard work to get a Hardware store’s stock synchronized with the computer, but once we (management and staff) succeeded after many very late night stock takes the results was amazing.
Business, computers, marketing, advertising all combined from my desktop! The file server was running from my desk, and I managed the whole admin side of the system from the tills in the shop in Wierda Park to the stock movement control in the Centurion Branch. I gained a lot of experience and could apply all my knowledge in a very creative way, from designing the weekly newspaper adverts to radio ad campaigns, and managing the computer systems. I wanted to complete my Masters degree and next moved back into an academic career starting as lecturer in Marketing at the then Technikon Pretoria, now University Of Tshwane.
The academic environment accommodated well with me and I made a lot of amazing friends in the 10 years that I lectured at the Technikon. My new mentor and head of the department Tonie Drotsky, shared my passion for technology, computers and marketing and allowed me to explore new ways of training our students. We run the same marketing game computer simulation that my other mentor Prof. A. Schreuder trained us with when I was a student. And again computers and marketing merged!
Then the magic Sunday happened that would change my life forever and Beyond 2000 opened the door of Business Opportunity for me! I continued for another 2 years at the Technikon while building the company with my friends Willem Knoetze, his brother Gerrit, Elzet, Johan Celliers, Riaan, Johann du Plooy, Bond Freyer, Renier du Toit and quite a number of part time reps and students! Synergy is magic and we all excelled in our fields and offered our clients a superior service and extremely high quality designs.
We strived to exceed our clients expectations every time and succeed most of the time, building a solid client base and expanding our services utilizing the latest technologies. Business does not always agree with a personal life and Christine and myself drifted apart and got divorced after 10 years of marriage. I started missing the farm where I grew up and when some of the members of the team decided to move to greener pastures after an almost success in the computer industry with the eBox an Internet Access Device that connect to the Internet using your phone displayed on your TV with a remote keyboard and mouse.
Some of the previous team members still contribute to projects based on their expertise and others have joined in the Limpopo province. I am now happily settled on a small farm in the Waterberg.
Thanks to technology I am able to work from farm. Fresh air, organic veggies and plenty of windsurfing on the farm dam keeps me charged and inspired to create the best possible eBusiness Solutions for Clients!
We have contributed tremendously to the community of the Waterberg with an initial free business Directory, offering everybody in the Waterberg a free mini website. I am also actively involved in business and community in Modimolle / Nylstroom, being part of the Waterberg Chamber of Business.
Between designing and programming my musical career has blossomed and I have released 5 albums covering a wide range of genres from Buddha Bar Cafe dal Mar style to House, Club, Electro-House, Trance and PSY Trance.
Please visit my website to enjoy my art & music: http://www.ruddha.com