I had a very enjoyable week in KL and Singapore – a good conference session in KL, with lots of discussion, and a similarly positive session at the iKMS meeting. (Not to mention the food, the sightseeing, catching up with old and new friends, the food, the shopping and – did I mention the food?)
The kind people at iKMS gave me a copy of Patrick Lambe’s (previous) book The Blind Tour Guide: Surviving and Prospering in the New Economy. I have only had time to read the first few pages, but it has already given me fuel for a post here! This relates to the distinctions we make between our personal and professional lives – but more on that later.
Reading the book gave me cause to wonder how long I have been dabbling in computers and web sites. I could probably dig up some old archives on floppy disk at home to be more precise, but a good way to look at the history of any web site is to use the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
This tells me that a copy was saved of my first web page on 3 Dec 1998. I set it up a bit earlier than that – the copy here is a later version. However, if I use that date, that means that I have been editing web sites for just over eight years. This is pertinent to the discussion to follow.
More dates of significance – I first saw a computer and started programming (in BASIC) in 1973, at the Gordon Technical College in Geelong, Vic. This was my first year out of secondary school, when I started a course in Electronics. (I eventually graduated in Computer Science in 1994, at RMIT.)
The programming had nothing to do with the course – a few of us just got interested. Student use of the computer was via grey plastic ITT teletypes, with perforated paper tape storage (I managed to almost completely miss out on punch cards over my whole IT career.) We had access to enough memory to program it to deal a hand of cards – but not enough to play a game!
I remember that the computer itself was a SuperNova. Later research indicates that this was a Data General computer. Little did I know that 13 years later (1986) I would commence five years’ work programming its successor, a DG Eclipse MV/10000.
I bought my first PC in the same year – an XT clone. By coincidence, this was also the year my daughter Renée (aka Paris) was born. We still have the computer, but the poor old CGA monitor finally failed just recently. Renée has commandeered the computer to keep as some sort of a memento.
While I am still working with web sites, computers and software, I really see my IT career as having finished in about 1990 – I am now on my third career since then.