• Francisco Perez

My first PC


Forty years old, am I. Oh, how time flies :-) Last week, I overheard a comment from a colleague, saying his little boy didn’t know the meaning of the disk symbol in Word for saving files. Yeah, I guess it’s something for ‘old’ people. It made me wonder about my first real x86 PC. Well, actually, it was a 8088, so it was almost a PC ;-) My parents bought it for me when I was about 12, somewhere in 1989. By that time, that particular model already existed for five years, but I didn’t care. To me, it had the most beautiful green screen ever ;-) I wasn’t complaining, however my parents were: the machine nearly took two months of salary. I still remember the exact spot in the store (a shoe store nowadays :-() where we all went to buy it. Magic. And. Startling too, when I found out at home, they didn’t pack the power cable... Of course, the shop was about to close for the day and I’m sure it’s my best-bike time ever to get there, just arriving in time to collect the cable.

My PC experience was literally zero at that time: I didn’t know anything about these things, not even how to connect them to power. However, my parents had decided these machines would determine the future, so they purchased one to make their son’s future a success. Mum and Dad: thanks! Sincerely! I was still playing with LEGO at the time, but with the introduction of the PC, I left that behind me. Day and night I spent behind its green screen. I could start it with something called a diskette and once booted, it displayed:

C:\>

It was pure magic to me. And. I had no clue what to do. Luckily, my parents were friends with a programmer and they talked him into helping me. His name was Evert and he was my hero during these days. He was a genius: I didn’t know what he was doing, but he could perform magic: “dir” showed the contents of a directory and with “cd %name%, you could actually enter that directory :-) I learned to create and delete files quite fast. Wildcards like *.* too. <sigh> Oh dear: threw away my OS. “Eh, Evert?”. “My PC says, can’t find any OS”. “Can you please help?”. Which he did. I’m still thankful to him for helping me every time, when I screwed up (@Evert: thanks!)

Do you remember your first PC? And I mean a PC, right? Not a game console ;-)

#technology

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© 2020 by Francisco Perez van der Oord

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