Re: Computer Reminiscing!(Formerly Re: Extropians Mailing List - Approval Procedure)

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Fri Nov 10 2000 - 02:02:22 MST

Sabine Atkins wrote:
> You guys were soooooooo lucky: I always was interested in computers, but
> my Dad wouldn't even let me touch his computer. My Mom finally could
> afford a computer for me when I was 17, it was a Commodore Amiga 500. In
> 1995, I finally got a Pentium-I-60Mhz box, and I was almost 25 years
> old. Living in Germany, my Mom and I couldn't afford internet access
> until the end of 1998.
> So, I want to take this opportunity to thank my husband Brian Atkins for
> uplifting me into a world I dreamed of for such a long time: A private
> network, consisting of 9 computers. He helped me building an
> AMD-Athlon-700Mhz box, I got an Apple G4 cube (just for the looks of
> course :-) and an OpenBSD server.

I didn't see a computer until at 16 I and a bunch of other area math
nerds were invited to a free introductory course on programming they
new-fangled things. It was awful! Key-punching decks in Cobol. Why
they would teach such an idiotic excuse for a language to math people I
will never know. Sadistic. The computer was some huge IBM iron in the
basement of this huge complex. When you opened the door all paper not
weighted down would fly everywhere from all the roaring wind. They poor
elaphantine mass was an electronic simpleton. The compiler was a bad
joke. I was so disgusted I didn't go near the things again until some
years later when the first microchips were available to roll your own
with, which I proceeded to do.

> wrote:
> >
> > Well, as long as we are reminiscing about computers, my first experience in
> > computing was with the lovely Apple IIc, programming BASIC and LOGO right
> > from the command prompt. I guess that was about 1980, I was in 2nd grade

Aging myself still further, after I got back into computers through
early chips I was hanging with a bunch of techno-hippies in the
Haight-Ashbury. Half of these people were on SSI, brighter than any 10
people but non-functional in the everyday world. I was at a friend's
build-your-own microcomputer class one evening. At this class you had
to learn to concentrate despite all the pot being passed around. What
can I say? It was a different era. There was a knock at the door. He
opened the door and these two long hairs were there holding a wooden
box. He introduced them as Steve and Steve and said they had built a
new computer and were putting together a company around it. It was the
Apple prototype. We sat around and argued about their CPU choice and
such. No one there had the slightest idea how much money was riding on
that little box.

Foolishly I stopped hanging around that group mostly not too long after
that because I couldn't tell the geniuses from the crazies any more.
If there was any difference. Instead I headed off to college to study
math and computers in what I thought was a more profitable and thorough
way. Silly me.

- samantha

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