WP Daily Prompt: 3 February

Write about your first computer.

WP Daily Post

The first computers in our house were not mine, they were David’s. It must have been around 1995 or thereabouts because I think he had turned forty. David had always been interested in computers, unlike me. I had been introduced to computing in high school. A school in the area had a mainframe computer and my class was taken over there to use it a few times. We had to program punch cards which I was never able to manage. My printouts came back with “syntax error” and I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. The computer itself was in another room and we students were not allowed in there with it. I was seriously underwhelmed.

Getting back to David and his first computer he bought a Commodore Vic 20. It had a cassette tape drive which was separate. Later he bought a Commodore 64 and soon added accessories and games. He even bought an acoustic coupler. He had a word processing program called TasWord which he tried to teach me to use. I had no problem typing a letter or document but I could not understand the editing commands and was always having to call him to help me. I didn’t really like doing that as I was using it to write personal letters to my penfriends so on the whole I preferred the typewriter.

I didn’t get really interested in computers until Windows was released. David was happy playing games and trying to write programs but I wanted to be able to do something without a lot of mucking around. I think that the first new Windows computer we bought was a Pentium. It ran Windows 95. David did buy some used 286, 386 and 486 machines that he liked messing about with. He learned MS-DOS. I couldn’t be bothered with it.

When we bought the new computer I suddenly realised that David had no more idea how to use Windows 95 than I did. He was using computers at work. I wasn’t but was concerned that management might suddenly decide to give the cleaning section a computer and that I’d be expected to use it. (Never happened). I didn’t like the idea of being taught to do a particular task without understanding anything else about the computer so I enrolled in a class and Naomi decided to come with me. We did it at the local TAFE college nearest to me and as we learned about both Windows 3.1 and 95 we became quite enthusiastic about what we could do. At that time there were computer software shops everywhere, they were as prolific as video rental stores and 4 hour photo processors. We spent a lot of time browsing and buying games or other software. I remember that we had Microsoft software that came with the computer, I remember Encarta, it’s encyclopedia and Microsoft Money and Cinemania. I can’t remember what the others were but I feel there was at least one other one. I also had Microsoft Greetings but I think that I bought that. I loved that program.

I remember using the computer to create and print out all the documents for our first trip to Tasmania in 1998. I had such a lot of fun making pages showing things we could do and decorating the text boxes with Word Art. We had bought a printer and a scanner as well.

We didn’t initially have the internet I think we got it on about a year later. The first time that I ever used the internet was at an Internet Cafe in Adelaide. I think it was 1997. It was the day that the Adelaide Crows first won the AFL Grand Final. I remember that because people were driving around honking their horns and waving their footy scarves for a couple of hours after the game. Even a non football fan couldn’t avoid hearing about it. Anyway, not too long after that we got dial up internet at home. Our plan only allowed us 5 hours of internet per day so David and I had to share it. It was years before we switched to ADSL broadband and had the luxury of internet that was always on.

Since that time I have never been without a computer.

My new computer.


I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.


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