It was sometime around 1984 at the age of 14 when dad bought my first computer, an Apple II+ with 48KB RAM, two 5-1/4″ floppy disk drives, and a monochrome monitor. I had taken a course in Apple BASIC programming the year before and couldn’t wait to have a computer all to myself. I was hooked. Over the next few years I wrote hundreds of programs, and even audited the 6502 assembly language course at my dad’s college when I was about 15 or 16. BASIC and Assembly were my real programming roots. The combination of high and low level programming allowed for a deeper understanding of how the computer worked, and opened the doors for so much more learning.
The Apple II+
12″ Monochrome Display, 1MHz 6502 CPU, 48KB RAM, Dual Floppy Drives
Sometime later, around 1987 at the age of 17, I audited the C language course at the college and began working more with IBM PC systems. I spent the next few years saturated in the PC and programming, and even started my first programming job shortly after starting college.
iMac Late 2009
21.5″ LED Display, 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, 4GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive
Fast forward to yesterday, more than 25 years since I got that first Apple that sparked my interest in computers, and once again dad was there to buy a new Apple iMac for me. It’s not only an incredible gift, but it also meant a lot to me. Clearly the specs have improved over the years, and it’ll be OSX and iPhone programming instead of Apple BASIC for me today, but the enjoyment and fun exploring are still the same. I haven’t departed ways with my PC, though. For now, my Windows 7 custom-built PC is still my main desktop, and there’s even an Ubuntu Linux box next to it which serves as a test system, firewall, and MySQL server. But I’m happy to say I finally have a long desired missing piece with my new iMac. It’s good to come back home.