23 January 2014

Computers


Selfie! 

That's my camera. I take most of my photos with it, and sometimes it takes photos of itself. 

 I brought the camera, my MacBook (really the Mrs.'s hand-me-down but I don't mind) and a "tri-pod" called the Joby Gorrillapod on my trip to the States. That's my blogging gear. Except that, Apple did not design this particular MacBook with an SD card reader, which wouldn't be a problem if I had just remembered to bring the USB one I own. 

 So until I get a new card reader, the photos on the above camera will stay there, and that translates to a boring blog. Don't feel down about it though- I have plenty of previous photos that I can cobble together into a topic I've arbitrarily picked out: computers.

 If you're reading this blog, odds are you're using a computer or tablet. Unless you have one of those smart kitchens and you're reading this on a refrigerator. A sucker for all things nostalgia, one thing I like to hear from people is what their first computing experience was, or maybe the first PC they owned. There are a variety of answers, ranging from "I upgraded my Abacus to a UNIVAC" to "I still use a Commodore 64" to "an iMac! OMG I feelz so ooold!" Mine was an IBM PS/1 that my grandparents gave me after they upgraded to a Windows 3.1 PC. It looked very much like this one:

Minus the tennis game. I had Soviet Welltris.
It ran DOS, which had a pretty good selection of games. I remember going to the computer store (remember those?) and picking out games based on their cover art, which almost never depicted what the game actually looked like. 

Much less Godzilla.
 We upgraded to another beige box at some point, of which I only remember it's "Turbo" button that over-clocked the processor from 33 MHz to an alarming 66 MHz.  

 When I got a little bit older and learned about things like video cards and RAM, I started looking at building my own PC. Then I saw how much computer components cost, so I instead started looking at garage sales. I got a used Pentium II computer for maybe $10 from the local police department when they were liquidizing some of their old equipment, which was great to tinker around with. I installed different Linux operating systems on it, mostly because they were free, and free is great when you're in high school, but also because it had Windows Millennium Edition which was just awful.

 Eventually when I was old enough to start collecting a paycheck, I saved up for an iBook G3. It was the fanciest thing I had ever owned at that point. 

Circa 2004. I still use those speakers, believe it or not.
 Between then and now, I owned a couple more computers including a Mac Mini, a ThinkPad, and an HP mini netbook, which I still use from time to time for Linux things. I even collected vintage Apple computers for a while, but that's a whole other topic. The MacBook I'm using now isn't much different than the iBook I used to have design-wise, though the specs are much higher, of course.

See? Same speakers ten years on. 
 So, while I schlep on over to the store to purchase a new SD card reader, why don't you share your first computer memories in the comments below!




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