Watching my kids as they maneuver (very deftly) through the current wonderful world of technology, astounded by the way that they are able to find their way in an online world, find games on cell phones, are drawn to video games and intuitively figure out anything digital, has really thrown me into a flash back lately.
Do you remember the first time you had a computer? Do you have memories of them being new and exciting things?
I grew up in a tech saavy family, as my Dad worked in the computer science department of a local university. I remember his home office in the basement, that I was allowed to come into sometimes and where I could play early DOS games shooting white lasers from a space ship and a game where you drove a racing car on a street avoiding donkeys. (I looked it up. This game was called, unexpectedly, Donkey, and was developped by none other than Bill Gates in 1981!)
Our first family computer was from Atari. For us, this was a huge deal – and we had many fun hours playing paper boy games and writing things to print out on one of those old printers that used perforated sheets with the holes along the edges. I remember going to friends houses and playing original Mario games and math with Donald Duck.
In the summer as a kid, I went to computer camp at the university where my Dad worked. We had BIG huge floppy disks. During the camp, we learned to program in Basic, making our own mini-programs and playing games.
It wasn’t until Grade 6 that we had a computer in our classroom. It was a Commadore 64 and it was tucked way in the back corner of the room, rarely used.
By high school, we had a family computer that ran a Windows operating system. I even saved up and bought a modem for our home computer so I could access email to check on my best friend who was on a long trip in Australia. Remember that lovely screeching, bing-bonging sound as the modem connected to the internet, and having to wait for the phone when someone was online? Or what about the notification sound of ICQ? “Ut-oh!” (which just happens to be my text sound! hehe)
Computers were still so separate at high school, that we took a typing class on typewriters, and learned computer skills in computer class.
I bought my first computer when I moved away from home. It had 4GB. I thought it was amazing. Today – I think my cell phone has more oomph than my first computer ever had. Crazy stuff.
I can’t believe how much technology has changed over the last 30 years. From huge bulky table tops and floppy discs, to laptops so thin they look like they could break if you pick them up, to cell phones that connect you to the world – it’s ever changing. I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.
I’m so glad that my kids are able to pick it up so fast, love it, and are able to adapt so easily to new things. I know it will benefit them in the future.
What about you? What memories do you have with computers? Do your kids amaze you with their computer skills?
Lisa Marie Fletcher