My Early Computing
Recently I was reminded about some of my early computing adventures. While my earliest memories were that of playing games on an my neighbor’s Apple IIe, most of my early adolescence was spent in front of an unknown AT&T PC running DOS. No, I don’t remember specifics on hardware or OS version.
Countless hours wer spent just messing with the thing, from both the hardware and software side. I would break it to the point where it no longer would boot, attempt to fix, fail at that, call technical support to get it fixed. It’s easy to say that I had no idea what I was doing, but enjoyed it. Pure exploration… one of the few things in my early life that I did explore outside of sports.
Athletics dominated the majority of my extra curricular activities growing up and it wasn’t until 10th grade when I embarked upon my first programming class. Sports and general studies came easy to me. Programming, I had to work at. I had to bend my mind in ways to make the computer do things I wasn’t sure how it might go about doing. I literally would spend hours trying to wrap my head around loops so that I could alternate the red and white stripes of the American flag as I flailed to draw it to the screen.
Programming was fun but wasn’t something I dedicated too much time to outside of class. However, it perked enough interest for me to apply to the Computer Science Department at the University of Colorado. I remember looking down a list of possible areas of study when applying and seeing the words “computer” and “science” and then thinking to myself, “Hey, I like computers… and science is pretty cool!”
I honestly had no clue what I was getting myself into at the time. The thought of using programming to solve scientific problems didn’t even cross my mind. Yes, naive is an understatement. All I knew is that I wanted to do something with computers. That was it. The rest I would figure out when I got there.