- Posted June 27, 2008 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
End of an era for computing giant
People Won't Buy Personal Computers -WRONG-
My wife still reminds me every now and then about a statement I made around 1979, "people won't buy personal computers, I don't know why I would need one".
Within a year I had purchased my first computer, a Commodore VIC 20 with a whopping 5 Kilobytes of RAM. I was hooked on programming within 5 minutes and out grew that machine within 3 months.
I went shopping for either an Atari or Commodore; Apple was not considered because it was over priced and underpowered.
First I checked out Commodore, found a machine in a shop and played with it, typing some demo programs from the manual. Most of the demos wouldn't run because of the terrible manual. Commodore convinced me to go with Atari.
I purchased an Atari 800 with floppy drive, tape drive, and printer. Total cost right at $2000.
I took two weeks off work to learn to program the Atari, it was different, and after the first week I was ready to junk it, but I kept at it and had fairly mastered it by the second week.
I wrote many commercial quality programs on that machine in both Basic and Assembler.
Next I moved on to an Atari ST, I went with the ST because it was faster than a Mac, and much more advanced than the PCs at the time.
I stayed with the Atari ST until the 486 based PC came out, it was the first PC that would out perform the ST.
I spent thousands of dollars on this "hobby" averaging 50$ a week minimum. I would jokingly tell my wife that someday the investment would pay off.
Now I make my living working for a fortune 500 company as a network security analyst using a PC all day, everyday and can hardly believe the ignorant statement that ‘I don't know why I would need one'. If not for personal computers I would still be repairing electronics for a living. (I enjoy electronics work, but computer security is more challenging).