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Old 04-30-2014, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Orlando
1,994 posts, read 2,640,314 times
Reputation: 7600

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I got my first computer some time in the early? mid? 80's. It was a Zenith and I remember that the word processing program was WordStar.

I took a short course in Basic programming, and I probably have used some Dummies books now and then to help me learn to use other programs. When I went to law school in the early 90's I was taught Westlaw and Lexis, and every job I've had since then has necessitated using a computer. Now I cannot function without at least one working computer in the house. If I were a young person now instead of an oldie goldie, I'd probably major in something having to do with computers.

I think the only way to really learn how to use a computer is to just do it. Like learning how to ride a bicycle -- you can watch all the videos you want, but you have to get on the thing and practice.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Asheville NC
1,604 posts, read 1,314,873 times
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Default In a college class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
I'm not going to ask this on the tech forum: I strongly suspect the posters there never lived without a computer.


So did one of your kids/grandkids show you? Did you take classes someplace? Did it come naturally
or does your mind go into system overload when someone talks to you about cookies, applets, upgrades, and such?
The computer was the size of a small apartment. Used punch cards and dot matrix printers.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Florida -
8,767 posts, read 10,851,233 times
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I was involved back in the late 1970's when IBM first began selling small business computers. At that time, almost all IBM'rs went to school for 6-months to learn computers, and programming and then split into either Systems Engineering or Business Development. I was in the latter. I was also active in Business Intelligence when 'Mosaic' (Internet predecessor) hit the market (At that time, everyone thought it would never catch-on).

With computers, I've always found that "If you don't use it, you lose it", particularly when it comes to applications. Likewise, the computer technology has advanced over the years (communications, clouds, blades, virtual, etc) to the point where I can't keep-up. My son, however, is in computer engineering and explains things whenever I fall behind.

An interesting phenomenon today, with palm-size computers everywhere (more powerful than computers that used to fill-up an entire room), is that people have mountains of instantly available 'data', but, aren't much smarter because of it! Computers have actually increased the need for 'critical thinking;' ... an ability that remains in short supply, despite computers.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,358 posts, read 10,348,905 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post

An interesting phenomenon today, with palm-size computers everywhere (more powerful than computers that used to fill-up an entire room), is that people have mountains of instantly available 'data', but, aren't much smarter because of it! Computers have actually increased the need for 'critical thinking;' ... an ability that remains in short supply, despite computers.
Interesting observation, jghorton. A computer is no substitute for a brain.


Guess the problem I'm having is that with my macmini, all the info is in the computer. It doesn't help much if you don't even know what to ask.

There was a local sales rep but they took away his store rights (if that's what it's called) because he didn't sell enough computers.


Guess I'll look for one of those dummy books.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:34 AM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,435 posts, read 1,672,610 times
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Our first home computer was a TI99 in the early 80's and we've continually updated through the years since. I was hooked from the beginning.

I used computers in nuclear medicine, CT and MRI for work. I never had fear of them, they were tools to do what I needed. I never had a choice on whether I would use them or not.

I worked on an MRI machine from a new upstart company. It ran dual computers, mine and one for the engineers to capture data and find problems during the machine's processes. The troubleshooting programs were written by Stanford grad students. The clean up program was named DB Cooper, they had a sense of humor. An enjoyable part of my work life.

One machine I worked with required the computer being rebooted and 10 components being shut down and brought up in a specific order. If I wasn't done correctly, it had to be started from scratch again. A few years later one button pushed on and off did the same thing. Change and progress are good.

With all the million $$ medical equipment and home computers I quickly learned whenever there was a problem, a shutdown and reboot solved most problems. This holds true for pads and smartphones today.

Last edited by jean_ji; 04-30-2014 at 10:44 AM..
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:45 AM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,966,925 times
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From my wife who bought a IBM personal computer when they came out. She had already used computers at work.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
1,886 posts, read 2,301,847 times
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I purchased a computer in the mid 80's. It was $4500 and my wife said what in the hell will we ever use it for.

I self taught myself on how to use it. It had a CD drive and it took a week to figure out which way the CD went in (label up or label down) it went in .
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:52 AM
 
191 posts, read 282,743 times
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I learned at work, first we had email, then we had windows-back in the 90's. I remember learning how to use the internet very slowly by trial and error. Now if there is anything I can't do, I just google it. I have even fixed several computer viruses by googling them on DH's computer and finding the step by step solutions which I followed and saved a couple of hundred dollars at the computer store. I don't consider myself a techie at all, but I can follow instructions!

I taught my parents how to use a computer when they were in their 70's. Mom gave up. Dad monitors a couple of sites, and he really doesn't understand more than what he is already kdoing, just how to get to what he needs. Whenever he has a computer problem, one of the kids has to help him out.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Ocean Shores, WA
5,081 posts, read 12,977,599 times
Reputation: 10648
First worked with computers in 1960-66 in the Strategic Air Command.

Worked with Apple II and Apple GS in the late 70's early 80's.

Worked with Macintosh 1984-2014.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:51 AM
 
Location: SoCal
6,071 posts, read 9,535,742 times
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Out of high school, I worked as a secretary at Honeywell (early 70's). They were thinking of starting a programming school and were looking for people to be the "first students". I learned COBOL, FORTRAN, and the Honeywell assembly language. Later when I went to university, I bought myself a PC and taught myself from there on. I'm currently in the process of learning HTML5/CSS3.
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