Bill Ponder

“When was the first time you saw/used a computer and what kind of computer was it?”
The first computer I used and in fact purchased for the medical and drug treatment company I ran was in 1974. It was a “minicomputer,” Microdata Reality* with 64k of virtual memory and a 12” 10 MB platter for storage, a tape drive, mostly used for backup and drove 4 CRT terminals. Languages were compiled data-basic, English* and Proc procedural language. Believe it or not, Microdata actually was able to register trademarks for Reality and English, which is why computers that followed with natural language interfaces had to say they had an, “English-like” query language. It also had a virtual database and at the time we wondered how we would ever fill up 10 MB of disk. 
“When was the first time you actually owned a computer and where/how did you get it?”
A Mac Classic shortly after it was introduced. My wife was a partner in an Ad agency which bought several and we got one for home. Been all Apple since for home but mainframes and minis for work and unfortunately all PCs. Hated that about my job. Loved the Mac. Progressed along with it through every iteration of hardware and software. Interesting aside — much later in my wife’s company there were a few coffee tables in the offices with four old classics as the supporting legs. 
How have computers and technology changed your life?
When I started in business it was all typewriters, mostly Selectrics by then. The most copies you could have was five because that’s the most you could get that were readable with carbon paper. There was the commercial printer for mass mailings but otherwise five copies had to do. You could use mimeograph stencils but they were considered generally unacceptable in business but were common in schools and churches. Loved that smell. Then the Xerox was invented and the world changed. Over time speeds increased and cost decreased and the mass destruction of forests began. PCs added greatly to that trend and secretaries began to be replaced by administrative assistants. Everyone became a typist. Younger folks learned touch typing and most of us old dinosaurs got really good at hunt-and-peck. At home as a kid I listened to the AM radio. When I was 6 a neighbor got the first TV in the neighborhood with three channels ABC, CBS and NBC. I’d go over after school and watch Howdy Doody. Then we got a TV, about 10 inches and of corse all were black add white. I’d watch westerns. Hop Along Cassidy (Hoppy) was my favorite but also Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and The Lone Ranger. My love of SciFi began with Captain Video and his Video Rangers; Tom Corbit, Space Cadet and of course Flash Gordon as he fought Emperor Ming with his girlfriend, Dale Arden. Slowly but surely everyone got color TVs with growing screen size and some independent stations, even PBS. Now I have Dish satellite with hundreds of channels and a DVR with Google assisted voice remote and a DVR with 17 tuners allowing me to record 17 shows simultaneously. 
We went from a party line phone to a private line where you placed calls through the operator to a dial phone to push buttons to a flip phone to a smartphone. I haven’t gotten to a smart watch yet. My 3-speed manual shift-on-the-column, manual steering and brakes car with bench seats without seatbelts, roll-up windows, heater and AM radio option has gone to a six speed automatic transmission controlled with a dial, bucket seats with 3-point restraints with full airbags, climate control, power everything, sunroof, AM/FM/Sirius XM radio with CD, Bluetooth, Apple Play and Sync, hands-free phone, Navigation and voice control (but no spare).
My first flight, age 10, was on a DC3. My second was on a Constellation (3 tails and the first pressurized cabin), then a 707 all the way through wide bodies. In the early days everyone dressed up to fly, suits and ties and Sunday dresses. Now it’s shorts, tank top and flip-flops. I once sat next to a guy who took his shoes and sox off and picked his toes the whole time. 
Who could have imagined?

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Dawn Reynolds

When was the first time you saw/used a computer and what kind of computer was it?
The first real computer I used was when I worked at the State Police post back in 1977. I used the LEIN (Law Enforcement Information Network) .
When was the first time you actually owned a computer and where/how did you get it?
We owned a computer in 1988 that was bought for my son . He had leukemia and he used it for mostly games. I have no idea what it was but it was nothing like computers today.
How have computers and technology changed your life?
In a good way they allow me to travel and still work part time. But the best thing is being able to travel and stay connected with family. The worst way is you never escape and everyone knows everyone’s business.
What did you not see coming?
The loss of jobs for those in retail, the loss of privacy and the inability for youth to interact face to face. It has made a very lazy society.
What do you expect from future technology?
I think it will eventually ruin humanity people will lose purpose.
Tell me of a time when technology saved the day?
When my husband needed his aortic valve replaced for the second time in less than 3 years. For his first surgery he had to have his chest broke open and his heart put on a heart machine. The second time they were able to do a TAVR procedure and thread the new valve up through his groin and place the valve he went home the next day.
Comments?
Technology is amazing I just feel there needs to be limitations. I keep wondering if jobs continue to be replaced with technology who will be left to buy the products. Factories are replacing people with machines and now they are making cars that drive themselves. I just see ultimate disaster.
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TekXJim

When was the first time you saw/used a computer and what kind of computer was it?
Ibm360, yavapai college 1980.
When was the first time you actually owned a computer and where/how did you get it?
Tandy color computer 1982. Gift from parents.
How have computers and technology changed your life?
I was going to be a drunk skateboard riding farm worker but instead I was a drugged out computer engineer.
What did you not see coming?
My years of working with porn stars.
What do you expect from future technology?
Puerile Decadence.
Tell me of a time when technology screwed up your day?
From 1981 until 2014, basically every moment sitting in front of one.
Tell me of a time when technology saved the day?
When the internet went down at work and they sent us home.
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