The history of my love affair with computers began in 1975 when I joined Canadian Pacific Airlines as a reservation agent. When I first started with the airlines there was no computer system. We took airline reservations on cards and then put them on what looked like a mobile washing line. It then moved round a large room to the front where individuals checked if there were any seats left on the flight in question and then it came back to us so we could call and confirm the flight. It is amazing people got to where they wanted to go.
That year Canadian Pacific moved over to a computer system called Pegasus. It was a major event, the size of the system took an enormous space, but that was when my love affair with computers began. However in 1977 there was a huge layoff in all areas of the company and that included me. So I got married instead and had three sons. A good use of unemployed time.
When my oldest son was about 12 we were moving about quite a bit so I decided to homeschool. Included in my plan was computer training because I could see that in the future computers would be very much a part of every home and job.
In order to teach the boys it was necessary for me to attend courses at night school. I remember my first DOS class, it was very difficult, I found, especially as I had not yet purchased a computer. I would take copious notes and then they didn't seem to make sense when I returned to class. The word processer available then was WordStar and it was certainly not intuitive. A lot of Ctrl this and Alt that to remember. However I did finally learn enough to feel I could go ahead and buy a second hand computer, because I could not quite manage the price of a new one.
One of the things I had my boys do was create a picture, but they were not allowed to draw on it, for this exercise anyway, they had to do it by pixel counting. However they did create a lot of artwork with the computer. We did a lot of desktop publishing of essays and when we hooked up to the internet the downloading frenzy began. We all learned simple html and started designing web pages. This was long before the schools were getting computers in the classrooms. I found the computer to be a major motivator in getting school work done. My eldest son went on to design computer games, the youngest delves into 3D animation, but the middle son just uses it as a tool for keeping in touch although he plans to use a laptop to give presentations for his business.
I went on to teach computers, I had a small classroom of nine where I taught DOS, Wordperfect, Windows, Microsoft Publisher, and various other specialized one-on-one courses. Later I worked for a hotel and implemented their computer system and took them through the scare of 2000, but nothing happened of course.
I bought myself a new computer in February of this year, but decided it would be wise to stick with tried and true Windows XP rather than get Vista. I am glad I did as I hear that Vista is still a trifle unstable. I have obviously had several computers since the first, second hand, one my favourite was a lap top, I still might get myself another one.
The village where I live recently made broadband available, so the next thing I must do is get hooked up to that, as dial-up with Telus is driving me mad. It is so slow and it keeps bouncing me off the internet.
I find that people are always asking me to help them with their computer problems and to the best of my ability I do, but I am aware that I am fast falling behind in knowledge. I don't suppose I need to know a lot of the information anymore, but I am hooked on any type of 'techy' blog and read Lifehacker and KillerStartups as well as a variety of blogs dedicated to help one improve their blogging skills.
So that's 32 years of my history with computers, and it is not likely to stop as it is a major hobby for me and I spend most evenings doing something on my computer.