In high school I’m not even sure we had computers. If we did, it was nothing I learned to use. I did learn to type on a manual typewriter taught by Mrs. Schroeder, the business teacher. It was a privilege my senior year to take Typing II and be able to use an electric typewriter, what an improvement. I learned where the keys were and where my fingers were suppose to go, but never became proficient.
The first computer I ever remember working on was a TRS-80 my Dad and his partner had for their construction business in the 1970’s. I don’t recall exactly what it was I did on it, I’m not even sure what the business used it for either. But I do remember thinking computers were the thing of the future. At the time I heard someone say jokingly ‘someday every home would have a computer’. I believed it, even though it seemed far fetched at the time.
The first computer I ever owned was an Apple IIc. Anyone remember those big black ‘floppy’ disks? I only had two pieces of software that were useful. A ‘Learn to Type’ and ‘First Blood’ <can’t explain this one>, a game based on Sylvester Stallone’s movie. I sat for hours finally learning how to touch type on that machine, no more look and poke… I probably had other programs but can’t think what they were. I’m talking 1984 – 85… do you know how long ago that was?
By this time I started to use computers a bit more. I had a job where inventory and sales were kept on a computer. Later, I got a job where I spent hours on an IBM PC creating a mailing data base. Then I saw an Apple Macintosh… what a mysterious machine… it had something called a ‘mouse’ and this little blue hard thing called a disk, which wasn’t floppy. Honestly, I was intimidated. One afternoon, a co-worker’s preschool age son walked in and asked “Daddy, can I play on the computer?” He was hardly as tall as the desk the computer was setting on, he climbed up on a chair, pushed in a disk, and proceeded to ‘use’ that computer! “Okay”, I thought to myself… “if a little kid can run this ‘new’ thing, I guess I better learn too!”
Today, <many years later> my kids were taught how to use computers in grade school. I have a computer that most times sets on my kitchen table. I have an iPad, which I can carry in my purse. I’m probably not alone when I say, the first thing I do in the morning is grab a cup of coffee and turn on the computer… <Don’t lie… I know most of you do too> I can read a newspaper, or someone’s blog anywhere in the world. I have a computer in the office. I can’t imagine running a business without one. I sell ‘stuff’ on eBay. I have a website, and can answer a question for a customer anytime of the day not just during business hours. I no longer keep photo albums, all my pictures are on my computer. I chat with a nephew in the military, while he’s deployed in Iraq or Egypt. I’ve published newsletters, started my own blog, post on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, do my own advertising setup, and balance my checkbook. Anything I want to know is at my fingertips, JFGI <just f*cking google it>. Who knows, I might even write a novel. And most important, I can stay connected with family and friends anywhere on the globe!
Can you imagine living without a computer… I can’t! If you’re reading this, I know you’re addicted as I am.