Ghost of technology past

For some reason, thoughts of old computers have been running around in my head the last few days, so I thought it best to just jot my memories down so I could get some sleep! That’s the plan, anyway…

From as far back as I can remember, we’ve always been a technology-filled household. This is partly due to my parents both being teachers and having access to new technology at their schools which they brought home, but I would also attribute it to Dad’s love of gadgets. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on the situation), I have home videos of our family from the time I was about 5. Few people my age have the opportunity of seeing themselves at that age (photos aside). As it turns out, I was am rather bossy (oldest child syndrome), or at least I seem to be in the selection of videos my youngest sister keeps playing…

Fast forward a few years, and I can remember our first home computer: an Apple 2e, green and black screen, complete with floppy disks for saving. Do you remember those? I was 9 or 10 years old.

Photo Credit: Luigi Rosa

Photo Credit: Harshad Sharma

My sisters and I thought this was the best thing ever. Until we upgraded to the Atari Computer (not those things you plugged into the TV). The Atari was (get this) FULL COLOUR! It had a black and red joystick just like the one in this magnificent picture below:

Photo Credit: Blakespot

On the Atari, my younger sister became the master of games. This was fine by me, as we often teamed up to play: she would take the controls; I would be tactician. My favourite games of those times were Black Lamp and the Summer Olympics. Ahh, good times. The Atari worked the the all new disks, which were not floppy at all, but hard and much, much smaller.

Photo Credit: psd

From then on, it was a succession of different PCs which all just merge into one really. They didn’t make as strong an impression as those first two, as the improvements made were minor in comparison with going from green screen to full colour, from floppy disks to the harder variety.

As a teacher of ICT, I now find it amusing that the kids I teach today have never used, much less seen the floppy disks that provide the icon to ‘save’. Even though the technology has moved on through the use of CDs, to thumb drives and now even online storage, Microsoft still clings to the historical image of the floppy disk. I love it.

The latest addition to our technology-loving household is an Asus Eee PC for our live-in helper, Raquel. So far it’s working out beautifully for her, and I hope it continues to do so. I confess to being a tiny bit jealous of it, and certainly would like one for myself. Still, our Macbook Pro is still going strong, so I shall have to be content with that for a while.

I feel pretty confident with computer technology, but am being left behind on mobile phone tech. I’d love an iPhone, but the only service provider currently in Singapore is for Starhub, and we can’t get reception with Starhub in our apartment! No doubt that will change soon enough (or we may indeed move apartment!), so it’s next on my list of things to buy. I’ll mention it to Santa – after all, I’ve been a pretty good girl this year…

2 thoughts on “Ghost of technology past

  1. My first computer was a Spectravideo, I remember waiting for up to 20 minutes or more while the tape played to load a game. Crazy, but it was so exciting too. I even was into writing some of my own programs using ‘basic’. The 80’s huh?!

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  2. Pingback: The icons of today’s generation | Tip of the Iceberg

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