What Device Created Your Interest in Technology?

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There’s no doubt that our writers here at Make Tech Easier have a huge interest in technology. After all, we not only use it, we write about it, research it, and wait for news about it. But how did we become interested in it? This week we asked our writers, “What device created your interest in technology?

For Christopher, it was the Nintendo 64. “Video games got me into technology since I was a child,” and this led to him working with PCs. “Video games captured my imagination as a child but also gave me a degree of tech-savviness that evolved into full enthusiasm over time.

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Mahesh started out playing games as a child as well but also enjoyed worked with apps on a Pentium-I when he was in third grade. “Playing games on it and working around apps like MS Word and Excel made me realize how powerful computers were, and I could easily see their potential as to what great things they could achieve in the future.

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Derrik started when he was young as well on a PC from his parents’ work that originally ran Windows 98 and later Windows XP and Debian. “That computer and I went through everything. I took it apart, messed with the parts and learned how everything worked. I learned about operating systems and even some networking stuff too.

It was a similar experience that brought Miguel his love of technology when his mom got him him a PC at the age of 8. “I started fiddling with the OS a bit. It was a yummy experience. At 10 I got my own computer, took it apart, broke it, then fixed it.” He realized “those five painful hours in which I was basically trying to fix something in tears seemed like a lot of fun!

Judy started with a more simpler device, but it didn’t lessen her enjoyment. She spent one of her first summer job paychecks as a teen on a WebTV. “It just woke up my interest in knowing how everything worked and why it worked the way it did.” She became a “chat addict” and loved that she could “communicate with people in another country with ease.

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Phil’s love of technology may have started decades before we had personal PCs, that but didn’t lessen the experience for him. It was a Viewmaster 3D, “a tiny grey plastic photo viewer into which you inserted circular reels with matched pairs of 3D photos on it. Lying on the bed with my face right under the room light around 1966 looking through reel after reel of 3D vistas from around the world, I wondered if in the future we might be able to see anywhere in the world.” Now fifty years later, “we have Google Street View and VR.

As for myself, I came into it when personal computers were on the scene but way before they were the norm. It was 1983 and I was a computer typesetter and using a pre-programmed computer with much coding to do my work. It fascinated me so much I quit college to do it full time. Five years later I sat behind an Apple Mac IIx, and I was amazed at being able to do my typesetting without coding and with only visuals.

We all took slightly different paths and in certainly different eras, but we all ended up at the same place. How about you? Do you have a love of technology? If so, with what device did it all begin for you? Let us know below in the comments section.

Josuewiki1990, Shankar, and allaboutapple.com via Wikimedia Commons

12 comments

  1. Bought a Tandy 1000 in 1989, didn’t know how to use it for 1 year, took 1 class to learn at the local comm college, 37 years later retiring from my computer business w/MBA in IT.

  2. My interest in technology came when I discovered the 80 column punched card. Imagine … 80 characters of READ-ONLY data that would fit in my pocket!

    It grew when I saw a 96 column IBM punch card … WOW, a 20% increase in storage density in half the space.

    They still make great reminder lists … and fit into my shirt pocket nicely

  3. I guess I am an old-timer. Since i was 5 I was tinkering with electronics as my dad was a pioneer in TV broadcast. He worked at the FIRST TV network in the country. I would always go in and was amazed at what electronics could do. I began my IT career on an IBM 407 machine doing plugboard wiring (writing programs), fast fwd a few yrs and I was building an Altair 8080 system from scratch out of a popular electronics magazine with a KST-33 teletype, complete with punch paper tape!
    After my 407 job, I was a systems programmer for am IBM Mainframe (360-30) with a whopping 16k of memory and a huge 5meg disk. I wrote all the application software in assembly lang. Then onto a 370, 4330, 4340, 4381, Amdahl 5880, then back to IBM s/390, ahhh the good old mainframe days where things actually worked! On the PC end I worked with so many different O/S I cant remember, from dos (all versions) Windows (all versions) Minix, Cohernet, BeOS, OS/2, to many flavors of Linux.
    My mainframe days were the best because of extremely reliable hardware and solid O/S, and out of my 13 programming languages I still remember, I love assembler the best.
    Just my $0.02USD

  4. I started with a TRS-80 with 4K of RAM in 1978 running L1 BASIC and a cassette tape drive. The basic package cost AUD$700 and I spend thousands of dollars upgrading over the next 3 or 4 years.

  5. My attraction was quite early. My high school procured an Olivetti Programma 101 “desktop” computer. It was stunning and powerful (considering it was the 60’s). It had a programmable metal memory card, somewhat longer than the 80 character punch card, upon which to enter formulas. It was located in the Mathematics office, so we used it for homework. The computer did standard deviations in a snap, but we were content to punch through the quadratic equations and trig!

  6. My interest in computer technology was sparked in the early ’70s while taking a prerequisite computer programming course in college. It involved creating simple programs written in Basic language on a terminal connected to a university mainframe. We never saw the actual computer and sat in a room with maybe 20 terminals all rattling off teletype-like output. Probably one of the reasons why my hearing is not as good as it used to be. Funny thing is I didn’t pursue the major I was studying at the time and I am practicing just about every kind of computer support and technology except formal application programming.

  7. Put together an Apple 2 clone for my first real computer I had built a Cosmac Elf from an article in Popular Electronics. . Along came Visi-Calc and wow managing newsprint supply for a Canadian National Newspaper became a snap. Still have original copies of Byte Magazine.

  8. My first interest in tech came from a Dell XPS something or other with Windows 98. It got on AOL with dialup and was generally really neat. It was a bit crashy, but “that’s how computers are” my dad would always say.
    What really fueled the fire was a Bondi Blue G3 iMac in my kindergarten class. It worked well and looked so much nicer than the beige box we had sitting on a desk at home with a rat’s nest of cables behind it.
    From then on, I was hooked.

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