How did you get started using the computer?

Discussion in 'ten-forward' started by wildman, Aug 21, 2005.

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  1. wildman

    wildman Registered Member

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    [​IMG]

    O.k. a new thread an a new story.

    In 1971 the Wildman once again entered the armed forces (The U.S.A.F.) an was now a personnel specialist. Computers were just coming into use, an our base was one of the last to capture data an automate it. The base was Otis AFB Mass. Otis AFB was turned over to the Mass. Air guard an the Wildman was on the move to various bases they being March AFB Calif, Kadena AB Okinawa Japan an on to Lowry AFB Colo. The list is not complete, but it is where the story starts. Back in those days the Wildman had some what of a reputation of being a hard ass, but could be counted on to come up with better ways to accomplish quiet a few required tasks. It was here at Lowry that the Wildman found himself trying to clean up a mess with the enlisted an officer evaluation reports. We had the computer, but the Wildman did not know much about it, quiet a bit was still being done by hand. One day the Wildman had a brain storm, an thought "I wonder if that computer could make our tasks easier"? The Wildman found the individual in charge of the computer function an asked him. The Wildman was told that he did not have time to do the work but would show the Wildman how to accomplish it. This was the start of the Wildman messing with the computer. In 1988 the Wildman retired form Reese AFB Tex. an was the Personnel Systems manager. The Wildman also did some consulting work at the Air Force's Military Personnel Center at Randolph AFB Tex. after he had retired. As you can obviously see the Wildman is still messing with the computer, but man have they come a long ways since the Wildman began.

    Now it's your turn to tell how you got started.

    Thanks
    Wildman
     
  2. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    I was about four years old when I first saw a computer in use (or at least I remember it that way). I was intrigued by the games one could play on "scary-looking strange thing". I still remember watching a friend of mine play Prince of persia 1 on a monochrome monitor. This friend has recently gone to New York.

    When I was eight years old, our family got its first PC. I played games on it, not really knowing much about the PC.

    When I became ten (and a half), I found out that some of my games wouldnt work on my currently outdated PC. Thus began my journey on PC knowledge and deep thinking.

    And now, I spend as much time as possible on the PC. :)
     
  3. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    I have always enjoyed working on electronics, I have fixed many tube powered tv's radios and two way radios. A friend bought a Tandy 1000 desktop and a Tandy 1500 laptop and just couldn't get the hang of DOS. So I traded him out of them and look where it has gotten me. Business was so good working on computers I open my own shop in California and in 1989 moved to oklahoma and opened a shop here. I retired about a year and a half ago and found wilders and haven't left since. I still do a little computer work now and then upgrading and custom building one now and then. And set up an ocassional home network.
     
  4. Beefcarver

    Beefcarver Registered Member

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    a friend of mine had a computer and i was facinated by it and he built computers so i had him build me one. Im using it now. Its a real old one with windows 98 I have alot of upgrading to do.
     
  5. wildman

    wildman Registered Member

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    http://www.techhelpers.net/e4u/comp/comp03.gif

    Thanks guys! This is what I had in mind when I started this tread. Come on the rest of you, it's not that difficult, an who knows you may have more in common with us than you thought. You could even get a chuckle or two out of it.

    Thanks
    Wildman
     
  6. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    my first computer was a Vic20, i wanted to play games with it, it was rubbish for games so i learned abit of Basic. i then got a Commodore 64 which i liked alot. we had BBC's at school with those big floppies and modems with two round bits you stuck the phone into. i then played around with the Mac Plus i think it was called, then nothing until this computer with XP. i'm sick i didn't keep up my interest with computers :mad:
     
  7. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    It was in the early seventies in the first year of my math study.
    There was that big mainframe.
    We had to make programs in ALGOL.
    So you first wrote them on paper.
    Then you went to that too hot cellar of the institute.
    There were a few punching machines on which you had to make your punch cards. O those punch machines who failed so often...
    Then up again with your pile of punch cards (don't fell on the stair cause otherwise you'll loose the order of your cards...).
    You gave your cards at the desk, and they were read into the machine.
    You could see all those things turning around.
    But you had to wait; so a coffee.
    And you had to wait some more; so more coffees...
    Finally there was a huge pile of paper for you .... a dump ... :eek:
    So now you had to find out where you made a mistake in your program (or was it that punching machine....).
    Several days later ..... yeah!!! it worked :) :D
     
  8. Capp

    Capp Registered Member

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    My first computer experience was back in the late 80's/early 90's. I would telnet to a BBS on a friends computer and played a lot of BBS "door" games such as Legend of the Red Dragon. I would visit message boards and such. I was 8.

    In middle school, we had new computers setup (circa '94-95) and I was incharge of "figuring them out" as the librarian put it. I was entrigued by Netscape and WebCrawler, and basically spent my time figuring out how to play games and look up information on the books we had.

    In high school, I helped setup and maintain the computers in the library. I was working as a "lab-aid" so to speak so I was excited to learn about the "new" machines (circa '96-'9:cool:.

    in '97, I got my own home pc. It was a pentium 100 running Win 95. We had dial-up at the time running right around 28k. Man that was fast. My senior year I got a new pc running Win98. In 2002, I built my first computer and it is the one I use today.
     
  9. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    I started off with the Atari computers.. my dad had an Atari 800 & 1000 with an xt10,000 CPU unit with a whopping 64k of RAM! (if I remember correctly, my dad still has it, too.) I started off playing the original Castle Wolfenstein, GhostBusters, Joust, and other games. Then in high school a friend showed me BBSes. I asked if I could install our old 1200 baud modem, that my dad used to run his own BBS when I was a toddler, on the XT. My dad said that I could if I could figure it out on my own, he would answer questions but not help directly. I called all the local BBSes, chatting, playing games, downloading.. It was pretty much over from there, just always trying to figure out how to make the computer do more. My parents got really tired of the RAM being full of stuff they had no idea about :D (my RAM still stays pretty full). After getting out of high school I worked for a couple tech support centers and did odd jobs (for home users and companies alike), which I still do whenever I can. Of course the bubble burst put up a temporary road block, but things are looking hopeful. Now reading and getting into deeper stuff than ever before.. it's like the quote that I heard about art (my other passion), it's never finished, only abandoned.
     
  10. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    I forgot to mention that I still have the Tandy 1000 and the Tandy laptop 1500 (with color screen) and they work perfectly

    http://thepcmen.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/tandy1000ex.jpg.w300h288.jpg

    no picture of the 1500

    1000 info
    Intel 8088
    MS-DOS
    256 K RAM
    1 Floppy drive (51/4" 360 K) on right side
    1 Parallel port
    Video - color CGA
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2005
  11. bigbuck

    bigbuck Registered Member

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    Does a slide-rule or abacus count?? :D :D
     
  12. MikeBCda

    MikeBCda Registered Member

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    Like probably most of us, I got started with games machines (Atari, Coleco, etc.), and stepped up to a C-64 to play with music and entering/saving interesting-looking Basic games from books. I even got pretty good at translating from standard Basic into that gawdawful Pet-basic, which had no provision for things like if-then-else constructions.

    One of the most interesting things about the C-64 was that because so much of its memory was "dedicated", in the sense of being reserved for a specific purpose, you learned to get comfy with peeks and pokes.

    Later on I convinced my office manager that a computer was the way to go for handling repetitive tasks at work. (I was accountant with a small mfr. of plastic plumbing parts and fittings). Our first one was an Osborne, bundled with SuperCalc and Wordstar and (eventually, though it took over a year to finally arrive) DBase and a few other things. And I convinced the manager that we'd probably be better off if he'd let me play with DBase for inventory control, sales analysis, etc., rather than buying "standard" packages for those things off-the-shelf. What the heck, we'd undoubtedly change our minds over time as to what info we wanted, or even what input info was available, and the programmer-on-staff approach was (to me) the obvious way to handle that.
     
  13. NOD32 user

    NOD32 user Registered Member

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    I often tell people that I really grew up with computers. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of sitting on my dad’s knee late at nights as he literally built an 8085 from scratch, and then later entering the machine code as he prompted me, a simple program to make the old 7 segment display count in decimal. I was about three years old then. Later the 8086 became available in Australia, and so we were at it again. :)
    I began entering programs written in BASIC at about 5 years old and was writing my own BASIC code before I turned 9. Around my 12th birthday I got a book on programming in assembly code for the 6809 (Tandy COCO) and proceeded to write myself a print spooler so I didn't have to find something else to do for a half hour while my 3 page school project printed out. Graphics and Dot Matrix Printers still really don't play well together :D
    Thankfully from then until now I’ve retained the marvellous sense of awe at the wonderful things that can be done with a computer.
     
  14. wildman

    wildman Registered Member

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    http://www.techhelpers.net/e4u/comp/comp14.gif

    Ah yes I also can remember using the good ole key punch machine. The equipment I used through my stint in the U.S. Air Force, I think ran the gambit of computer technology for the period. From the key punch to the IBM series-1 main frame, all were in my office at one time or another. Perhaps a story in this regard will appear in "The Wildmans life stories" thread.

    Thanks
    Wildman
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2005
  15. Trekk

    Trekk Registered Member

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    I got into computers when my father died 17 years ago. I was pretty bummed out and needed somthing to do, so my mother offered me 500 dollars of his insurance money. I bought a computer, I think it was an old 8088, took it apart, learned how they work and it progressed from there. Since then I have worked as an Network Engineer, Project Manager, IT Manager and now my current job Network Security Analyst. I do get pretty bored with I.T anymore, but knowing how I got started, and how it pays, I doubt I will ever do anything else.

    Trekk
     
  16. Peaches4U

    Peaches4U Registered Member

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    I started on computers as a big surprise. I arrived at work one morning and there sat a computer & printer at my desk with 3 huge manuals. I looked at all this and broke down in tears and wondered what on earth and how on earth I was going to deal with something I had no idea of how to even turn on. No one else did either. The boss said to me "business as usual". I told him he was joking as tears swelled my eyes. Did I get sent on a course - no way, so it was learn as I go. Well, I was not going to let this machine beat me [I would show them] so buckled down and started to read the manuals which went over my head like a 747 that was supposed to land in one city but bypassed and landed elsewhere. Words I uttered under my breath cannot be repeated here. I was not going to be defeated so went out and bought a computer. After many days, weeks and hours things started to click and I was moving right along. Oh, during this period I was offered a 4 hour course but wouldn't you know it - this course was the after I had spent a whole weekend partying at a high school reunion and jet lag too boot having gotten off the plane that morning at 7:00 a.m. My instructor kept filling my coffee cup to keep me awake as I kept falling asleep. What a hoot!! Today, I often wonder how I ever managed without my computer. ;)
     
  17. wildman

    wildman Registered Member

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    :) These are great guys, keep them coming. I also am glad to once again see some of the familiar avatars, I get nervous when they don't appear for a long period of time. Look forward to hearing more of your adventures with this "wonderful" machine. Perhaps another story in this regard will appear on the other thread.

    Thanks
    Wildman
     
  18. greyfox

    greyfox Registered Member

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    My other half and I have been doing genealogical research since about 1971. We had accumulated a lot of data which was all on paper and it was getting hard to keep it sorted out. I kept reading about computer genealogy programs that could create your family trees and print them out. That sounded like just what we needed. So about 1992, we got brave, went to a computer store and bought a (I think) 381 with Windows 3.0 installed. We found a genealogy program we liked, installed it and we were off. Our then teenage grandson showed us how to get started and it wasn't long before I was doing it all and loving it. We used that computer until October 1999, when we decided it was time to get a new computer and get on the Internet, so we purchased a Pentium III, with Windows 98SE. We are still using it and I know before long I'm going to have to think about upgrading, but this has been a good computer. I'm the one who does the trouble shooting and I'm proud of the fact that I added more memory myself. I love the computer and the Internet and I don't know how I could get along without it.
     
  19. abhi_mittal

    abhi_mittal Registered Member

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    In fourth grade at school, there was a compulsory computer course. It was very basic in nature, but I learnt a bit of LOGO.
     
  20. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    Let's see - mid-70's - programming Fortran on puchcards to do numerical analysis since I wasn't so great with developing the analytic solutions, some programming and hardware design for instrument control (simple stuff), stuff like that. Pretty standard route for anyone in the physical sciences at the time.

    Blue
     
  21. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    It is great Wildman I agree. But my story is boring.

    I was very much afraid of them. I had not been shown how to use one and believed all the stories about them taking over and no one would have a job unless they all became computer whizs. :( My first experiences were terminals hooked up to main frames. No PCs as we know them today. Like BigC I like to mess around with electronics and even went to tech school at night for sometime, getting basic theory and such. Never attempted to make a living at this like he did. Anyway we had two systems one was an ATT Unix based system and the other was the big main frame. I learned a lot in those days despite my fears when an IT Admin girl befriended me. Then the IT Guy replaced her and he befriend me too. Learned even more. He helped me pick out a custom build 1994 machine. from a small shop owner. Someone like BigC for sure. This machine was a toy and I spent lots of money for a machine that did not do much except Quicken helped with money issues. I switchhed jobs several times and PCs were in use. Learning curve really shrinking now and my confidence is very high. I will not be left behind after all. :) :cool: Then in 2001 I got my Compaq Presario hooked up to BroadBand. This was like going from tricycle to rocket ship overnight. :eek: :cool: :cool: Not to long after that I found the Wilders. :)

    I will stop here as that would cover the topic...but I am still having fun and still learning and that is very, very :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :) :)

    Note: I used this Compaq to send this post. I just love this machine and compared to some of your systems this really is not much of a system.
     
  22. Id Girl

    Id Girl Registered Member

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    :D When I was a little bitty thing I would sit on grandpa's lap and he would teach me my ABC's and we would play games on his computer. As I grew up, I asked my mom how to do various things on the computer also. I am still rather young but look at me I'm typing away, [​IMG] and I learn more each day. *puppy*
     
  23. yogishree

    yogishree Registered Member

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    I started using Computers out of sheer boredom .

    Though they were very much in use at our work-place since about 10-12 yrs but they were then being used more as a typewriter than anything else.I never had the time or the inclination to learn operating them.

    It was about 4 yrs back , during a period that i was more or less idle, that i purchased one and started operating it with the first initial lessons being provided by my then 9 yr old daughter and from then onwards there has been no looking back.The impetus basically being provided by the NET.Now the scene is that after spending a full strenuous day in the office i regularly just have to spend 3/4 hrs-sometime more-on the net.

    Though the learning curve is proving to be steep at my age of 50+ but I am at it with especial interest in security.
     
  24. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    i began using my dads computer when i was around 10 but i only surfed the web. some time afterwards, a technician added more memory to my moms comp and ran norton windoctor, thus i became more interested in maintaining my comp and poking around the win98 OS. afterwards when i was 12 or 13 i started reading computer magazines to learn about computers. and since then i have been reading Maximum PC and researching various computer components although i know i can never afford anything.
     
  25. Under0ath

    Under0ath Registered Member

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    I was thrown into a giant pile of computers and told to swim my way out. When i finally was able to get out of hte pit of PC's, i was rewarded with my own. I began playing Pong instantly.
     
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