The Naked Green

2005.1.5 Wednesday

My Computer History

Filed under: Obsessions, Personal — Mr. Green @ 11.22 am

Yesterday’s post may bring up the question of why I would even be interested in an OS designed for Windows® users. The answer is that I am a Windows user. “But why?” those anti MS zealots cry. Here is (part of) the history:

Our family’s first computer was a Commodore 64 and I learned enough to run a few games which was all we had on it anyway. I don’t even remember how to run it, but a friend actually has a working unit at his home. The IBM® compatibles came to the scene and we mostly avoided computers for a while preferring the good ol’ books and outdoors for entertainment. We even did our homework with pencils.

I think it was junior high that I got more interested in computing. I was a DOS man, as most were, and could get around quite well. I played around with batch programming and became fairly proficient in Q-Basic building games and “screen-savers”. I put together a computer for myself out of a warehouse full of old ones at my Dad’s work and paid $50.00 for it. It was a 286 with 256k of RAM and a 20 MB hard drive. It even had a low density 3.5 inch floppy drive (if you have no clue what that is, don’t worry, you’ll probably never see one.) along with the 5.25 inch drive. In high school, between bouts of excessive drug use, I became interested in programming with C, though it was short lived. It was around then that I borrowed a dial-up connection from a friend and got lost in the world of online chat for a while.

[This paragraph belongs somewhere in the middle of the former as far as time is concerned] I was an adamant opponent to the Macintosh® computer. A graphical UI? Bleh, who needs it? At this point, my only contact with a Mac was at school (enough said). When Windows came along, I disliked it even more as the cheap imitation of the Mac it was. At least I could still run Windows only when needed as a DOS shell, but that quickly changed.

So what happened? Why didn’t I revolt? I don’t know, I was young and ignorant I guess. The OS I knew was changing…fading away and I went with the flow. I never had money for my own computer and didn’t know enough about any other OS. I didn’t hear of Linux for many more years. DOS was not powerful enough any more and the GUI was an easy way to accomplish tasks and to play those increasingly complex games.

The first “real” computer I bought (after the 286, which I still have even after trading it for a backpack) was an iBook® running OSX. I took the step to a better OS, but realized that I didn’t have the time to learn it. I was working on learning basic web design and with the loads of information to retain just in that field, I didn’t want something that I wasn’t comfortable with. [hanging head] Let’s face it, I’m a DOS man…all washed up. I sold it (made some money too) and eventually bought the laptop I have now.

I bide my time now…watching, waiting and dabbling. Soon, very soon I may be able to leave the OS considered to be so evil for a Linux flavor. I guess I’m getting old, but I don’t want to just rush into headaches. I’m working on my OS Mobile Home slowly and will have more options then. I want to stay open to “better change” while still making sure to manage my time well.

Not much in the way of history, due to my mixed up memory, but there you have it. Something.

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