My history with the Personal Computer

My history with the Personal Computer

This was the first PC I ever got my hands on, it’s a BBC Micro.

The primary school I attended had one of these to share between about 400 pupils. It was wheeled between classrooms, each class getting a month’s worth of its presence every year, this meant I got to use it for a few hours per year, this was always spent using the word processing application (I never saw it being used for anything else). It had 3 text sizes small, medium and large and no automatic carriage return. I remember watching the dot-matrix printer loudly ream off my work being very satisfying.

The first PC that we had at home was a Radioshack TRS80 Color Computer, it was kindly donated by a relative that couldn’t find a use for it. My memories of this computer are trying to follow a 400 page ‘program your own card game’ tutorial. I don’t remember ever getting the game to work.

Shortly after this we were the proud owners of a Commodore 64, we mostly used this for watching psychedelic loading screens between brief moments of game playing, I did however dabble with some programming, but in the absence of the internet and any other supporting literature or expertise it was difficult to get much further than an “Hello World” application.

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At secondary school the IT rooms were full of various different models of this compact Macintosh. My IT GCSE lessons using one were divided equally between learning how to use spreadsheets and playing Shufflepuck Cafe:

For me the rest is just a blur of forgettable, progressively faster and less beige Intel/Windows based boxes and laptops, all of which have served me very well in my software development learning and career but none are as memorable as any of the four classic machines above.

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