Random Musings

Gen X and late bloomer

Write about your first computer.

February 3, 2023

8:12 pm

I was born in 1971 and now considered Generation X.

Growing up heavily influenced by Star Wars, Star Trek, and the possibilities of future technology.

Yet, by the time I was 18 years old towards the end of the 80’s I had never even seen a computer. My high school typing class got a new computer lab at the end of my senior year which meant the graduating class behind mine would get that opportunity.

Then I joined the military and went off into the Air Force.

I failed out of my first technical school because of the lack of computer knowledge. I had no idea how a microprocessor worked or even what it was.

Yet, as I continued on, I began to learn.

The first computer I ever worked on was based solely on the advancements in weather radar and forecasting technology. I was sent to a training school for 3 weeks to learn how to use this system and then came back to train others. I was only 20 years old then and that was a first of many training sessions that I would do or conduct for the next 20 years of my military career.

That was all related to work and career, it would be another 8 years before I owned a personal computer.

In 1998, after being newly married for a year, my then husband decided that we should give this home computer idea a try. I, at first, was dead set against it. I did not see the purpose of having one? I was a stay at home mom to four small kids, I worked part time in the military, and went to college but could not see why we would need one.

It took a few months of learning how things worked and then we got AOL to go online, another big first for us. That is when I got hooked on it all.

The computers and television consisted of these bulky and heavy components that took up too much room. Yet, it started slowly becoming a part of my daily routine.

I started relying on it do papers for school, bringing home work to do on the weekends, and searching out learning sites to teach my kids beyond what I was already showing them.

I also started finding the creative side of home computing with various drawing, video and photo editing software as the years went by.

I would make these little home movies of my kids and burn them to cd’s. I still have a lot of them. My kids are all grown adults now but they remember those times and hope that I will “accidently’ lose them one day. I am still holding onto them despite the cheesiness of these homemade videos.

Then we discovered video games which changed the dynamic of our married relationship. This also turned our household into a two computer house, he had his and I had mine.

Looking back at it now, that was the beginning of the end of our relationship. He was seeking out others while online and it went on for the rest of our marriage. I was totally blind to it all, until after he passed away, when I found out the truth while clearing out his computer.

As time moved on, the computers and televisions got thinner then smaller, the resolution got clearer and speeds got faster. The home computer was no longer a “nice to have” but became a necessity. Then as the kids got older, we as a family, began purchasing laptops.

I use both at this time. My laptop is great when I want to sit at the kitchen table or on the couch with my coffee early in the mornings to write. My desktop is used mainly for work, schoolwork, managing my household, or more intensive computing.

I kept moving along with everything and not only learned how to take apart a computer, fix various components or upgrade them. I also learned that I liked having that knowledge. I was no longer afraid of it.

I discovered how to put my own websites together and used them to promote my part time hobby jobs. The knowledge was continuing to grow. It is to the point now that I sometimes get calls from family to help them with their technology issues.

I have gone so far as attempting programming and learning coding to further expand my knowledge. I am currently on a break from the school I am attempting until early summer, so I have few more months to decide if I want to continue in that direction.

Now, today, I sit here and write this to you, the reader, on my own blog. The one thing I never fathomed doing, putting my thoughts into writing and posting for anyone in the world to see. It has been a tremendous help to my recovery process from major depression. It has been my safe place the last seven years.

To think it all started 25 years ago when we hooked up that Dell computer and turned it on with that Windows 98 logo going across the screen. This was well before Google and the multitude of changes that came afterwards.

In that moment, my eyes were being opened to the future of possibilities.

Thank you for stopping by.

Have a fabulous week!

Peace, love, happiness, and good vibes, always!