How Tech Affects My Life
Computers and tech have been in my life in one form or another for a long time — ever since the early 1980s. After I read Kyle’s piece I started thinking about the different computers and other electronic gadgets I’ve used since that time — I wanted to take the time to talk about them in a Medium post.
Early 1980s (1980–1981-ish)
My parents bought a TRS 80 MC10 computer. This was back in the days before Windows or even DOS — the computer language was still BASIC, which back then stood for Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. It was simple commands you could use to write programs that did things. And these programs weren’t stored on CD-ROM or even disks at that time, they were stored on cassettes that looked like regular audio cassettes, but they stored computer programs instead of recorded sounds.
My parents bought our first DOS-based computer, a IBM-compatible computer. It wasn’t an actual IBM computer, but it worked just as well as one. I remember my dad spent about three hours on the phone with my uncle while he walked him through how to add the programs we had loaded on there to a menu so we didn’t have to go through and figure out what the .exe files were and type the name of the .exe file to run it and use the program. This is also when we bought our first printer. It was a printer that was similar to the ink jet printers we have today, but didn’t print anywhere near as good quality, and was REAL loud. I used that computer through junior high school, and I think possibly even into high school. I printed reports and essays with it, and even wrote a few books for Young Authors with it.
I begged my parents for a word processor that I could use in my dorm room at college to type up papers. My parents bought me one and I used it to type papers for my college classes my freshman year. This was also the year I got my first email account at college — I had to go to my college’s Academic Computer Center, or one of my friends’ dorms or apartments if I wanted to check my email though, which was inconvenient, so I begged my dad and stepmom to get me a laptop computer I could use to check my email in my dorm at college.
I get my first laptop. I forget what brand it was, but it had Windows 95 on it, which was pretty advanced for back then. It was so nice to be able to write papers and then just take the disk to the Academic Computer Center to print them. I could also check my email from my dorm room, but I had to do it at night when no one when no one was on the phone (at this time there was no high-speed internet that didn’t use the phone line).
I got my first pager. At this time cell phones weren’t quite portable yet, and I wanted a way for people to be able to reach me when I wasn’t at home, so I would at least know they needed to talk to me.
2000 or 2001
I got my first cell phone. I had gotten a job at Cingular Wireless (now AT&T) and it came with a free cell phone. At this time cell phones were still pretty stupid compared to the “smart” phones we have today, but it was nice to have a way to call people (or to have people call me) when I wasn’t at home, especially since I decided to go back to school around this time and get my Paralegal degree.
2012 approx to present
I got my first Kindle. It was a lot smaller and chunkier than the Kindles that Amazon has now, but it was nice to have a way to do things like check my email and social media accounts when I wasn’t on my computer. It was because of the Kindle that I started reading books again. Now I have a Kindle Fire tablet, which I can almost use like a laptop because I bought a case for it that has a Bluetooth keyboard built in.
Of course, tech still plays a big role in my life (I am typing this on a computer, after all). Today I have a desktop computer, a Kindle Fire tablet, a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, a Garmin vivosmart HR fitness tracker, and an Amazon Echo Dot. Tech will never die, it will only keep getting more technical.
How has tech affected your life? Feel free to comment below. If you enjoyed this, please recommend it by clicking on the heart.