I ride the edge of the computer era… slithering in as the home computer craze began, but when it was still so young that home computers were about as useless as boobs on a birch tree. My first computer was a Commodore VIC-20 which actually had a whopping 5 KB of ram, although only 3.5 KB was available after startup:

It did nothing. You had to program it yourself, using cassette tapes as the storage media and the idea of professionally-scripted, commercially-available software for this machine wasn’t even a thought in anyone’s head. So, I wound up doing nothing with it and it found it’s way into the trash or a garage sale or something. I don’t even remember.

The computer I had really wanted was that bad boy, the Apple IIe. That beast was sold for about 11 years, which was and still is a ludicrously long time in computer time. I didn’t get it. I didn’t get to even use one until I was in graduate school.

A long time ago, in a state far, far way I had a husband. And he was actually a computer person in the age where his Master’s project was done on punch cards. He was also rich, and when he decided to get a home computer, he went all out. I can’t remember the name, but it was a Mac and cost an incredible $5000. And this was around 1991. Why so pricey – it had a color monitor. That was absolutely cutting edge. When I ran screaming from that marriage, I was left with a need for a computer and no idea what to get and no money to get anything worthwhile. So, off-brand for me. It was the first PC I’d ever worked with and the company was called ProGen. I have to give that machine credit. It was cheap. It worked. It had a modem, which was a trendy luxury now that the Internet was becoming something more than three people in any town had heard of. I got an AOL account and paid a fortune for the dial-up connection, since there were no local, toll-free numbers in my area. That machine was a monster to get software installed, but every computer had that issue. What was it – something like 9 floppy’s to get Word on your machine? Thankfully, I could use 3.5″ disks…

Now, I have more computers at my disposal than I need. A couple of laptops, a netbook, an all-in-one desktop… each have their own purpose, but each is just really a security blanket for the heavenly event that the more toys you die with the better room you get in the afterlife. None of them are top-of-the-line… none would inspire anyone to salivate. Computers have finally caught up with my computing needs, which are not likely to increase substantially in the future. When the day comes that I have to buy another machine it will be so far beyond my needs that it will seem like an embarrassment of riches. But, I’d rather been embarrassed by riches than anything else…

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