“Our mission is simple… to provide Quality software and Internet Services at affordable prices.” – S.H.Watkins, Sr. – February, 1988
S.H. Watkins was founded, and is owned by Stephen H. Watkins, Sr and his wife Maria. Stephen’s first programming experience came while studying Fortran programming at the University of Illinois at Chicago. While attending the University of Minnesota he learned Basic programming in class, then took it up as a hobby.
While working for the Department of the Treasury, Stephen was asked to write a program to allow IRS Revenue Officers to compute penalty and interest, while they were out in the field, using hand-held, programmable calculators. The completion of this assignment led to three years of intense interest and study in the area of software programming, design and development, and eventually to his learning Assembly-language programming.
In 1988 AFG Software was founded. The biggest most successful products were the “First Class BBS”, a bulletin board system and the “Disk Worm”, a program used by software authors to protect software from piracy when it was distributed to beta testers, and the popular “Pop-N-Print”, a Terminate And Stay Ready (TSR) program. This program enabled users to send printer control codes directly to their HP LaserJet printers from within almost any DOS based program. Due to the success of this release, there were eventually versions released for various Epson, Toshiba and Brother printer models.
In 1991, Stephen became convinced that the Windows® environment was going to be the prevalent desktop environment of the future. Renaming the business WMK Associates, he slowly began to transition into the world of Windows® software development, releasing “PaperMan”, the wallPAPER MANager. This utility, which facilitated setting and changing the user’s Windows® desktop wallpaper, was initially short lived due to a name conflict with another, entirely-different-but-older program. After some retreading, Paperman was later re-released asGUIPaper (freeware).
The increasing proliferation of personal computers in the workplace guided WMK Associates to branch off into the world of computer hardware, becoming a the build-and-install player in the Portland non-profit market.
In 1994 Stephen successfully completed the testing and certification process to become a Microsoft Certified Professional, a certification that he still maintains.
During a ten year period with the Department of Energy, Stephen served first as LAN Administrator and Chief of the Energy Resources PC support desk, then later as the Lead of Application Development for the Financial Services Branch. During his tenure with the Government, Stephen designed or assisted in the development of a number of data-driven applications using ColdFusion® Access, SQL, Visual Basic®.
In 1996 Stephen retired from government work and closed WMK Associates, getting out of the computer sales business in favor of the programming and development world. It was then that he established S.H. Watkins as a vehicle to begin securing programming and development contracts.
Since leaving the government to devote his full time and attention to S.H. Watkins, the company has done programming, consulting, network infrastructure design and installation, server management and application development for a number of companies and government agencies across the United States.