The first time I saw a computer


Floppy disk

My first interaction with a computer was way back in 1989. I was in the eight standard.

Our school had started a twice-a-week one hour computer class right after the regular schooling hours. Pay 900 rupees and get enrolled in that special class. I don’t know what prompted me to join the classes (maybe a couple of my friends/schoolmates were joining it also), but I paid the requisite fees and got enrolled.

I was itching to see what a computer looked like. Would it be a room full of wires and electronic circuitry, I thought?. But our first day was a theory class. All they taught us that day was boring stuff about how a computer functions and what it is made up of. I didn’t get to see the it that day.

After the class ended, a few of us sat around and did some idle chatter – “A computer can solve all problems”, “A computer knows the answer to all questions” etc. Somehow we all imagined the computer to be a know-it-all machine that could just work without any problems.

During our next class later that week, we were taken to the lab. The lab was where the computers were located. All I could see were black and white television sets arranged on desks all across the length of the wall. They were placed on top of a beige colored dull looking rectangular box. The school had converted old television sets to be used as monitors :-)

The lab instructor booted the computer with a bootable floppy. Back in those days, most of the PC’s didn’t have hard drives and you had to boot them using a bootable disk (floppy). It was all DOS based. I wrote my first progam in GW-Basic (Gee Whiz – Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). That was my first interaction with a computer.

More later…


Author: anand

Currently CleverTap. Founder & ex-CTO - burrp. A techie and an entrepreneur at heart. Have worked in US, China and India.

One thought on “The first time I saw a computer”

  1. hmm.. wonder what it would be like to boot using a floppy drive ! not that I want to know..Im pretty happy with red hat just the way it is right now.. but yes Ive worked on Basic too.cant remember much but it definitely remember falling in love with the “goto” statement… twas just lovely..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s