Tuesday, January 24, 2012

computer history

A couple of times now a group of people including me has gone out to a nearby coffee shop to hang out and talk about things other than work search, though sometimes that creeps in. It seems so far to be older people - like over 40. Today I was in between a 65 year old and a 50 year old and part of the discussion was computer history - your computer experiences over time. So here's mine.

In high school I did punch card programming in Fortran and Basic. Freshman year in college I did a term paper on a typewriter. Senior year I did my thesis on the mainframe. Somewhere in there I started doing temp work at companies that used Wordperfect, which had a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface but you could also see the programming behind the scenes if there was something you couldn't fix in WYSIWYG. My first year of graduate school I bought a PC, windows-based, but then was scared by it (when you turned it on it didn't automatically work) so I brought it back and got a Mac (with a black and white screen). Sometime after I got my first job I got an AOL account - I'm sure before then I was using some sort of internet at the jobs I worked for, but don't remember it. So that's my first internet memory. And then, the rest is history.

Hey, at least I didn't say that I had just watched Short Circuit last week and got a good lesson out of it. That was the 65 year old and we made BIG fun of him.

But I also wasn't the guy that bet his friend that he could be the first of the two to get the Mac which just came out in 1984. In the end, his friend won because he got #91, and the guy I know #92.

6 comments:

Mel said...

I forbid computers and the use of the internet in my home.
I have grown children who remind me of this on a regular basis. LOL

And then I got a MAC.

*laughing* It's all been downhill since.

Tara said...

I love my MAC. It was expensive, but worth it!

I think I bought my first computer with a tax refund. It was a PC and I was so psyched about it. I had AO-Hell dial up at the time.

Tara said...

I love my MAC. It was expensive, but worth it!

I think I bought my first computer with a tax refund. It was a PC and I was so psyched about it. I had AO-Hell dial up at the time.

havematwilltravel said...

My father brought home our first computer when I was 5; an Apple ][. He was teaching me to code in BASIC pretty much immediately. I'm glad I started using computers when they were still text based, I have a better understanding of what's going on behind the scenes, and when I get frustrated with the GUI I can pull up a command line and do what I need to do from there.

I ordered the original iMac before it was released, so I was one of the first to have a computer that looked like a beach ball. I'm less enamoured of Apple than I used to be. They still make good computers, but most of their business is now built around fancy (and completely closed source) toys. Linux has more of the feel of the original Apple machines; you can do whatever the hell you want with it, but it takes some know-how.

laura b. said...

Interesting! I didn't begin internetting until I went to work at my first public library in 1999 Shortly thereafter we got a hand-me-down computer at home and had horrible dial up :)

Mrs. Hairy Woman said...

We had bought out first computer from a friend.. it was old school.. Mid to late 90's.. I rememebr doing job searches online and faxing my resume from my computer.. For me that was huge.. and the employer thought it was cool. That happened a couple of times.. I can also remember that I first typed on an old typewriter in grade 9..