My evolution with computers…


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.

Later… Barbara


About Barbara

A small town girl trying to make a difference in my children's lives, my community, my business and myself. I am always writing a story in my head. One of my favorite quotes: "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." Ayn Rand

2 responses »

  1. How ironic that I run up on this article as I just published a blog post last week that somewhat describes a love hate relationship I have with computers. I can remember leaving Cullom when I joined the Navy back in 1974, and ending up in Guam as a computer operator in the largest computing center in that hemisphere. I had never seen a computer until then and my connection with them has never been lost since. But, there does come a time when you wish you could just get away from it all! You really never believe you can until it happens! I can finally admit that freedom can be achievable…but even as I walk the deserted beaches near my new home half-a-world away, I still have a signal on my damn cell phone. Now, if I can only learn to leave it at home! (short link to article)

    • Randy, I took a quick glance at your blog. I intend to check it out when I have more time… some good stuff there! After living in Jamaica for nine years, I miss the tropics… I dislike the grey skies of Illinois during the winter. Looks as though you have a beautiful destination to retire to…Look forward to learning more about it. All the best to you and your wife for the New Year!
      Later… Barbara

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