I remember my first computer system well. It was one of those Atari video games unit in the early 80s given to my two brothers and me by our parents as a joint Christmas present. It was a classic machine, one which I wish I still had now, and I still have fond memories of countless hours playing Pac Man, Space Invaders, and Asteroids.
A couple of years later, my brothers and I upgraded to a Commodore 64. As well as play games, it could do other activities such as simple word processing given the right software. It was an impressive little machine in those days although I remember getting frustrated with the time it took to load games from cassettes (floppy discs would not become popular until about two years later).
The Atari and C64 were my introduction to the world of computing but I saw them as nothing more than electronic toys. At secondary school, I had the option to take up computer studies but I did not. It wasn’t until I was in the sixth form in 1986 that my interest in computers was truly ignited. I took up keyboarding and word processing as two of my optional subjects and once I had a taste of WordStar (one of the earliest word processing software available), I was hooked for life. I knew then that I wanted my very own computer!
First Serious Computer
I bought my first “serious” computer when I was studying at Southall College. It was an Amstrad PCW8512, a delightful machine designed primarily for word processing. I loved it as it allowed me to produce beautifully presented assignments which became the envy of my college friends. Before long, I was doing other wonderful things with my Amstrad. I became very creative as I was exposed to desktop publishing for the first time with a program called MicroDesign2. With this, I produced our family newsletter, posters and other publicity materials. It was the beginning of a passionate love affair.
When I was working in the Philippines (in 1996, I think), I bought my first personal computer, a 486 model. I upgraded to a Pentium 2 when I went back to the UK in 1998 and in 2002 I bought a more powerful desktop to meet my growing computing demands. In March 2005, I bought my first laptop, a Fujitsu Lifebook P7010, mainly for wireless internet connection and to carry “work” wherever I go.
I cannot imagine life without my computers now. My life practically revolves around them these days. It touches almost every aspect of my life: I can do online banking 24 hours a day, order books and DVDs from the excellent Amazon website, research any information I need, and book discounted plane fares.
Yes, the internet has had a big impact in my life and it has eclipsed every other activity that I do with my computer. I still do a great amount of desktop publishing and word processing but the internet is now my Number One reason for having a computer.
Web Design and Social Media
I started dabbling in website design in 1999. My first efforts were not very good and it took a lot of patience and enthusiasm and a couple of short courses for me to be able to create semi-decent sites. I completed my master’s degree in digital media in 2007.
Social media, desktop publishing, video editing, web design … these are just a few of the things that get my creative juices flowing. I love the power that technology gives me to express myself.