My interest in computers began in the late 1970s. It was about the time that having CB radios in your home was all the craze. Everywhere you looked, there were massive aerials attached to the sides of chimney pots or on the top of garages; ours was in the loft. Where was yours? All the local kids were using them, even if it was just to speak to their friends who lived next door. OK, I know Citizen Band Radios have nothing to do with computers, but they were a trendy technology at the time, so I thought they were well worth mentioning here. Did you have a CB in your house back in the day?
The first games consul we had was the ‘Binatone’, which was a black and white pong game. We had the choice of eight games on this machine, including football and tennis. The favourite game was tennis. When our friends came visiting at the weekend, we would be queuing up to play against each other, and after a few drinks, it was hilarious.
We then moved onto shooting space invaders and chasing Pacman around the screen, in glorious colour, on our Atari VCS. We had quite a few games cartridges for this machine, but Space Invaders and Pacman were most definitely the favourites.
The next addition to our collection was an Atari ST. This machine loaded games off audio cassettes and later, floppy disks. My girls were always up early in an attempt to beat each other to the computer, to play games such as ‘Jet Boot Jack’, which was a great favourite with them at the time.
The Atari ST was also programmable using ‘basic’ code. I spent many hours typing this code from magazines to the computer only to find the program would not run. The reason was almost always due to a typo; usually, an ‘m’ instead of a ‘comma’.
I enjoyed using computers so much that I even took a course on ‘Basic Computer Language’ at our local Further Education College. The course was filled with students and was very enjoyable; in fact, I still have all my printouts and the floppy disk, which I saved my work on, gathering dust somewhere.
The Ataris’ are long gone. I have two computers just now, an Apple desktop and a Windows 10 Lenovo laptop. I did own an HP laptop, but that’s another story.
My job at work taught me the real power of using computers. Doing payrolls and accounts work on the computer took a fraction of the time it took to do these jobs manually. I could process five small payrolls in the time it would have taken me to do one.
What sort of computer journey have you been on over the years? Was it anything like mine, or do you have a different story to tell?
I am now following a different tack on the computer. I have joined John Thornhill on his ‘Partnership to Success’ internet marketing coaching programme.
I’m totally enjoying this course. John is very patient and will answer any questions you ask. He would sooner help you with any problems you may come across than have you struggling to find the answer yourself. You might spend hours trying to solve a problem when he could help with the solution in no time.
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