Monday, June 16, 2008


I'm not sure why I was thinking of my first experience(s) with computers the other day.

I remember my first experience with a computer. I think it was a commodore (not sure which model). I was in the fourth grade. There was one computer for our entire elementary school. It may not have even had a mouse.

The computer was on a cart so it could be moved around. My teacher asked us how long we thought it would take the computer to count to one million. We gave different guesses, ten minutes, thirty minutes, etc. The longest guess was twelve hours. I think it ended up taking one week. It was amazing to sit and watch the computer (blue screen) with the numbers flashing.

Another memorable experience - we used to have "computer time" in the school library. I was in fifth or sixth grade at this point. This was a different school.

This is what the computers in the library looked like:

And we would play different games. One game I distinctly remember was The Oregon Trail.

I loved this game (future history major in the making, I suppose). Since computer time was only 30 - 45 minutes, I never made it all the way to Oregon. My family would die around chimney rock (you had to love those graphics) or time would be up. (The only way to get very far was to choose to be a carpenter, to fix the broken wagon wheels. You could be a carpenter, blacksmith or something else).

My children have already had lots of experience with computers. They know where the Thomas website is and the princess website (don't ask). They haven't quite gotten the hang of the mouse yet, but they do know where the first letters of their name(s) are. And so if I e-mail any of you and there are extra letters, you will know it was because I had a three year old on my lap begging me to hit the "G" (for goose, my daughter) or "N" (for Noggin, my son).

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