Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A brief personal history of computer use.

How important has the computer become? Shockingly!

First time I ever blogged, about two years ago my internet connection froze on me. I was amazed at my own reaction...

I was talking with my friend Angie about it when we went out to dinner the other day. I've known her since highschool and we sat and talked about old times, having a good time. Her husband was the very first person I knew who had anything to do with computers. They had a Commodore 64 with a matrixprinter with the chainfeed, remember those?
I recall how impressed I was: You could type something and correct it and then it would print it all out without any typo's. For all you younger people who grew up with computers: the 64 in commodore stands for 64kb, the entire memory of that computer. A far cry from today where a 4 gigabyte memory stick is in practically every pocket.

Personal computers have only been around some 20 years. Angie and her husband gave me my very first computer ever, a 268 from IBM. Green letters on a black screen, floppy disks, WordPerfect, Windows 3.0, they are all ancient history now. Angie remembers reading an article back then about a way in which computers could be tied together to form a network. The article stated that it should be possible to do this worldwise. Those were wild futuristic notions...

So I started my blog two years ago and a computer failure was enough to completely ruin my day. I went to a friends house and typed up this blog on her computer immediately. On another occasion my monitor broke down. That was at 7.00 PM. By 9.00 PM I had replaced it with a brand new flatscreen. Lot's has happened in the past 20 years and like many others I have noticed that I've come to depend on the computer, perhaps more than I should.

There is a part of me that "lives" on the internet and that is looking for selfexpression. The balance between my "real-life" personality and my "netizenship" is sometimes hard to find. I use the fact that I work through the internet as a counsellor as an excuse, but it's no more than an excuse. I can hardly imagine life without a computer, internet and cellphones.
How did we get by in the olden days, some 10, 20 years ago?


Helpful hint:
"Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine"
~Robert C. Gallagher

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