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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Trevor Hedden

1. The first computer I can remember with any certainty was a TRS-80 that a friend had. Before that I remember accompanying my dad down to the local university computer lab so he could submit his computer punchcards to the university computer person to print his thesis paper (or something along those lines). I remember the punchcards more than the computer though, for why I cite the TRS-80.

2. 1980 roughly. Dad got the family an Apple ][ Plus for Christmas – including a dot matrix printer, stylus and mouse. We used an old TV for a monitor until getting an Apple monitor /// later.

3. Computers have been my source of employment, a tool to use at many of my jobs as well as a source of recreation and communication. Computers have also allowed me to learn more about any topic one might think of: Old Time Radio, quantum physics, “hobo nickels”, medical conditions, Ramune, foreign TV shows and endless other topics.

4. The domination of “the instant” versus waiting. The weather forecast going from newspaper to phone information to smartphone app… Shopping going from driving to a different town to find an obscure item of interest to purchase to a few mouse clicks on Amazon… Getting your photographs developed at a Next Day shop to a drive-through One Hour Photo booth to digital cameras… Even commercials have gone from 90 seconds to 30, to 15, etc and they still feel long and obtrusive.

5. At this point, I want a good AR and VR device that exceeds my expectations.

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Dann Niegocki

First computer I saw was an apple Lisa in Jason Switzer’s house, though i remember going to the UA where my dad was programming a computer with punch cards. 

I bought a radio shack color computer with my paper route money. I also picked up a dot matrix printer, color TV and a cassette recorder to save all my projects

As design/printing slowly was eaten up by digital solutions, design and ability moved from specific jobs to a general job and then back to specific jobs. I couldn’t imagine doing what I do with paper, waxing machines, rubylith and screens

I wouldn’t have imagined how quickly devices became small and their speed. An SSD brings life back to the slowest of computers, and there is more computing power in a happy meal toy than my first computer

I would expect that much of what we use smart people for will be replaced, and the last hold out will be creativity. Even that will fall one day, but what will we do with all the people – what do we get to do?

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Roland Bachelier

1. When was the first time you saw/touched a computer and what kind of computer was it?

It was when I was I Jr High at Apollo. I can’t remember what kind they were, maybe Radio Shack

2. When was the first time you actually owned a computer and where/how did you get it?

I bought our first computer in 1995, from Circuit City

3. How have computers changed your life?

I use a computer everyday for work. Never imagined I would be dependent on it for the information I need at work. 

4. What did you not see coming?

Cellphone technology where it is. Integration of computers in the operation of modern automobiles. 

5. What do you expect from future technology?

More things like Google glass, where people are integrated with technology. Exosuits, with heads up monitors.

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Harry Bowen

1. When was the first time you saw/touched a computer and what kind of computer was it?

1978 Spring – Computer Science room in the Learning Resource Center at my High School. 
Don’t recall the model, but it was a cabinet with a teletype w/tape (like watching stocks on ticker tape is what it reminded me of) 

2. When was the first time you actually owned a computer and where/how did you get it?

My Dad bought a TRS-80, Model III, September 1983 – I used it, learning how to code, saving my first ‘spreadsheet’ as well as Graphic to a cassette tape – I tracked on a daily basis my Money Fund Account with Franklin Money Fund, tracking the interest earned and new total daily.

3. How have computers changed your life?

Going from just a closet nerd of a kid, I am still doing computer work today. Starting with AOL in ‘95. 

4. What did you not see coming?

Macintosh – Never heard of it until the semester before starting AOL.

5. What do you expect from future technology?

Expectation is to be fully immersive, with the ability to test and deliver software any time, any where, whether in the office, at home, on vacation, etc – I’m pretty optimistic regarding what the future will hold for my kids/grandkids

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Jay Koester

1. When was the first time you touched a computer and what kind of computer was it? 1983, it was a Texas Instruments Ti994A. It had 4k of RAM, a tape backup system, and while I was in Germany (still ’83) I got a 5 1/2 floppy drive for it. It played what I still consider one of the best D&D RPGs. It had a rudimentary.Basic and I wrote a D&D dice rolling program foir it, and crashd the 4k of RAM. That’s when I knew you would never have enough RAM

2. When was the first time you actually owned a computer and where/how did you get it? The same Ti994A(1983)

3. What was the first job that you had which required you to use a computer? Military Personnel in the USAF.

4. When was the first time you got online and how did you? -Was it a BBS, AOL, Netscape etc.? First time online was Prodigy. Hated it, could never get back to something that flashed across the screen.

5. When was the first time that your job required you to have internet access? Getting hired by AOL in Aug 94.

6. What did you not see coming (in the computer/internet industry)? I really didn’t for see terabyte drives….

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Richard Kozlowski

1. I do not know the kind of computer it was, but it was at a U of Illinois (Champaign/Urbana) open house, the monitors were big monsters with smallish black screens and green text and the U of I students had made a Start Trek Ship plotting combat type game. This would have to have been around 1975-ish. They also gave out few Asci Pictures on that large 3-foot-wide computer paper.

2. In 1981 I got a Ti-99/4a computer that I continued to use until I got my first 386 PC. My Dad and I bought it used off another family, and I added in the floppy drive as well but never got a printer. {side note the dungeon crawl for the 99/4a was indeed a lot of fun]

3. My first job that required an actual Computer (as compared to a computerized Cash Register) was with AOL.

4 & 5. My first time online was when I started working with AOL (1996), I didn’t have a modem at home until 6 months into the AOL job.

6. What I did not see coming was how many people would take to tablet pc devices.

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Scot Wilson

1. ‘78 with a TRS 80

2. Christmas of ’82, TI-99/4a (Best present Evah at that time!)

3. Working @ my parents boat surveying business. 2 Mac 512’s & a DOS based PC – no clue on the processor.

4. ’94, AOL

5. ’94, AOL

6. “Free Music” Didn’t see that coming. I recall thinking in 7th or 8th grade after cd’s came out that we’d be able to store all our music on a small chip, much like SD cards became, & that we’d could carry it around & plug into stereos, walkmans, etc. BUT we’d still have to go to a record store to get more music put on it.

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