showing my geekitude

okay, since i just answered a bunch of questions here about computers i’ve used, i thought i’d do a little walk on the types of computers i’ve had here. a little bit of history, if you will 🙂

the very first time i ever used a computer was in 7th grade. it was a part of math class. once a week, our math teacher would walk us over to the computer lab and we’d have class there. the first computers were i think radio shacks (ah! looked it up. it was a tsr-80.). all i remembered about it was that it had cassette tapes as its “disks”. we would put them in the cassette recorder, press “play”, and then the computer would load. we’d mostly play games on this, but we did have to do some basic learning on it, as well.

the next year, when i was in 8th grade, the computer lab got some apple iies. these were on one half of the room, and the tandys were on the other, along with a few commodores. we’d usually have our instruction on the apple iies. there was one that was hooked up to a big television screen so whatever you typed, would show on the big tv (the teacher would use this one, but once my friend and i didn’t know, and we sat on that one, and didn’t know that what we were typing showed up on the tv for everyone to see! yikes!). then after we were done with our work, we would migrate over to the commodores so we could play games (the commodores had color screens while the apple iies had green screens, and the tandys had these amber-colored screens, so the color was a big draw!). 😉

that same year, my dad had been wanting to get a computer. i managed to convice him to get an apple iie instead of the commodore 64, which is what most people were buying. the floppies were easier to handle than the tapes, and more and more games and programs were coming out for the apple iie. so he got one. we loved it–so much so, that my mom had to set up a schedule for the 4 of us (3 sisters + 1 dad!) to use it because we would always fight for time on the computer. my sisters and dad would use it for the games, and i, though i used it a lot for the games, too, would use the word processing program to type in my stories. i’d sit and compose story after story after story, printing it out on the old dot matrix printer, with that paper with the holes on the side you rip off–remember that?!??!–and then take it to school so my friends could read it. that was so much fun. and of course, the games were great! spare change, lode runner (my dad & 1 sister’s favorite!), dig dug (other sister’s favorite), and all those goodies…so much fun! as i mentioned in an earlier post, i loved the text adventures. good fun!

i also used it a lot for programming. in high school, i took computer 1 & 2, which were on the apple iies (or maybe they were iigs by then…) and then i signed up for a.p computer science. for that, we used the IBMs. oooooo. when we’d do study groups, we’d meet in the library on the old tandys and try to figure out our problems on that machine. then i’d come home and try it out on the apple. i made this really cool game with “higher” graphics (it wasn’t the blocky ascii type art, it was actual line drawings) and even programmed in my own music. i was so proud. that ended up being my final project and though people laughed and just *knew* it was my game (because of the subject *shame*), it was quite a hit. 😀

but yeah, that apple iie lasted us a long time, and got lots of use out of it from all the game-playing and typing it was used for. then while i was a freshman in college, there happened to be a big sale on computers at the school store. i looked over them and decided to get one, especially since at the time, i was planning on entering the computer science degree program. i had been working close to 2 years at that point and had quite a bit saved up, because i rarely spent my money–paychecks went straight to the bank. at my job, we were using PCs so i was a bit more drawn to those. i ended up calling my dad and asking if i could take out the money for not only a computer, but a LASER PRINTER. woooo. i was going high style!

i got a ibm ps/2 386 computer, with an h.p. laser printer, as a package deal, for several thousand dollars (i don’t remember the exact price). and yes, i paid for it with my own money. so technically it was “mine.” but of course, everyone in the family used it. my sisters were in high school and required to turn in reports that were typed, so they used it a lot. my dad used it a lot for the games. and we even got my mom hooked on minesweeper, so she’d use it sometimes, too. i don’t think that computer was ever turned off! the apple iie still sat by its side, but was used more for the games, since the printer quality of the laser was much better than the dot matrix, but it was hardly used. then eventually, the disk drives went on the apple iie, and there was no internal drive, like the ibm had, so it was boxed away and is sitting in the closet to this day at my mom’s house. sad 😦

during my senior year in college, i had another job which had me working on macs, and so i was pretty bummed i couldn’t take work home to do, since i had the ibm at home, which was being increasingly taken over by my sisters (i had mistakenly introduced them to interact! and hawaii fyi, and they loved it!). my dad had a friend who was a mac person and had quite a few. he was looking to sell his mac classic so he could get a new mac. so i bought his old mac classic, with an external hard drive, for $800. now this one, i kept in my own room! 🙂 and i also got a modem for it, so i started using the ibm less and less, and the mac more and more. i would only use the ibm to print out my reports, since it still had the laser printer. i loved that little mac. even as old as it was, it still chugged away! i also got a little program from a friend that changed the trash icon so that when you dragged trash to it, and emptied it, oscar the grouch would pop out and sing “oh i loooooove trash!” it was soooo cute. i also had a lot of games inherited from my dad’s friend, so i got a lot of use out of that computer.

but we can never be satisifed, can we? maybe about a year after that, i ended up getting the mac color classic. 😀 same as the old one, but in color! neat! that was my little baby for the longest time.

when i moved to my home i have now, i brought along my color classic with me. but as i could see it was coming out of date, compared with the computers i was using in my classroom, i ended up getting a powerpc from office max. oooo, and what a beauty that was! i remember the salesperson being very snooty about it, and kept remarking about why anyone would even bother with a mac when a pc was the way to go, but i ended up getting the powerpc, though with a panasonic monitor (they were out of the apple monitors). it had an internal modem, a cd drive, and a very fast processor. it was great! the only thing i didn’t like was that i couldn’t use my miracle with it–it had to be plugged into the parrallel port, which usually the modems plugged into, but since mine had an internal modem, they covered that port up! i tried plugging it into the serial port but no dice. that made me mad. so i kept the color classic running so i could use the miracle still 🙂

a while later, my dad was getting rid of his pc for a new one, and so he gave me his old one, mostly so i could still play the games i loved that were only on pc. but that was such a headache. it kept breaking down. it now sits idle on the computer desk that my color classic once sat beautifully on. i bet if i were to plug them both in now, the color classic would still run wonderfully! and the pc would still be stuck on the loading screen.

the year my son was born, i was taking a computer course for teachers. it was a 15 credit course where we learned about word processing, spreadsheets, data management, web design, etc. easy way for me to get 15 credits, i thought! i already knew that stuff! well my poor old powerpc couldn’t run the programs they gave us because it could only go up to os 8.x and couldn’t do 9 😦 so i was using our program’s laptop for a while. but then i thought oooo okay, maybe i should get a new one. so i ended up getting my beloved baby i’m using now, a powerpc, which could run os9, as well as osx, which had just come out. i’m so in love with this computer. i’ve made home videos on it. i can make my own cds on it. i just loved it (‘course it came out before dvds were big, so i’m missing a dvd writer on this one). even though newer models are coming out and i look at them jealously, i still love this computer. i’ve had it for 6 years now, and it’s still going strong! (i hope i didn’t just jinx it. wait, what am i talking about? it’s an apple! 😀 )

if i did have the extra money, i might splurge for the new one. or maybe just an imac that my son can use, too (yes, mom hogs up all the computers right now!). but so far, this one is fine. i’m running low on the drive space but isn’t that always the case? i think i’ve gone through that with all my computers i’ve had with internal drives. but wow, just thinking about all the computers i’ve owned–8, by my count!–and how much time i’ve spent on computers, makes me realize that they’ve been a really big part of my life! now i know why i just feel so lost when there’s a power outage–i have a hard time NOT having them in my life. they complete me. 🙂

i am SUCH a geek 😛

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2 Comments »

  1. […] Beets wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt … every student that wanted one was assigned an email address and a uhunix account. so i went one day and signed up for one…. […]

  2. […] Aspie at Pooh Corner wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt … through that, i found a whole list of online bbses, and i would go to them almost daily. i think i had a list of like 90 of them! … i also had a lot of games inherited from my dad’s friend, so i got a lot of use out of that computer. but we can never be satisifed, can we?… … about a year after that, i had been hearing a lot about modems and how you can visit all these online bulletin boards and chat with others or (a bigger draw for m e) play online games…. […]


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