my history with computers

  • c. 1981 - TRS-80 Color Computer 1 (16k storage).  One day dad brought home the TRS-80, and set it up on a card table in our home office.  It used a TV as the monitor, and had a cassette tape as the storage.  I remember him saying that we would be able to do banking on it... I'm not sure what my parents ever used it for, but I do remember it had a few games like chess.
  • c. 1984 - IBM PCjr (64k storage; 4.77MHz processor).  This was mostly used for games.
  • c. 1988 - Compaq Portable (10MB storage; 4.77MHz processor).  This was the first computer that I had in my bedroom and really used as a computer.  I used it to program a simple game in BASIC, and created text files to organize my life... as a 12 year old.
  • 1989 - Compaq Deskpro 386s/20 (80MB storage, 6MB RAM, 20MHz processor).  When I moved to California, my dad got me this computer as my moving gift.  I used it for several years for school.  When modems became available I got a modem and used it for dial-up services like Prodigy and BBS's.  At one point I got an expansion hard drive (probably 100MB or 120MB), which I believe cost several hundred dollars.
  • c. 1990 - Prodigy account
  • Built my own desktop
  • c. 1992 - Started HamBBS online BBS
  • October 23, 1993 - saw the internet for the first time when Barry Bakalor introduced me to the world wide web by showing me one of the new web sites at that time: The Library of Congress.
  • (c. 1994 - Online dial-up internet accounts)
  • 1994: Taught myself HTML and wrote my first one-page website
  • 1997 - Toshiba Satellite 105 laptop. In 1997 I was preparing to go to law school, and I believe my mom purchased my first laptop computer for me. It served me well during law school. The ethernet adapter was an external dongle that plugged into a compact flash expansion card.
  • February 1999 - Acquired domain name for website
  • (2000 - Started using work PC laptops).  In late 2000 when I started working for large companies (PricewaterhouseCoopers at first), I stopped buying computers.  The laptops they provided were modern, replaced every few years, and I didn't see a reason to have multiple computers.  I retired my Toshiba laptop, and started using the computers provided by work.  I remember using Dell, H.P., and Lenovos.  The Lenovos were my favorite - they were rugged and dependable. 
  • (2000 - high speed internet).  In 2000, I moved into my first house that I owned, and got high speed internet for the first time.  In the early days of high speed service the availability was based on distance from the nearest switch, and initially I was too far to get good service. At various times I had DSL, a wireless line-of-site service, and cable internet.  Starting in 2008, I relied on cable internet.
  • 2010 - Converted to MacBook Pro (2nd generation).  When I started working at Google, the company made a shift from PC's (Lenovos) to MacBooks.  I switched as soon as I could.  The MacBook Pro laptop that I got was incredibly dependable - it never crashed, and it was beautiful.  At some point in late 2011 or early 2012 I upgraded the OS and it started crashing randomly. 
  • 2012 - Converted to Chromebook (Samsung Series 5 550).  In fall of 2012 I had the opportunity to switch to a Chromebook, and did.  I found the transition easy, and wrote about it in this blog post.

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