Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Monday, March 03, 2008

My Parents' Smart Choice

At some point in 1982 or so my parents had a choice -- should they buy a VCR for the family or a mini-computer?

At the time, VCR's were well known and many people were getting them in, and sharing movies left, right and centre.  It was all the rage.

At the same time, there were a few articles coming out in Time magazine about"'mini-computers" that were hard to understand with a whole strange new language and unfamiliar jargon.  RAM? ROM? disc?  Monitor?  CPU?

To my parent's credit, they decided to invest in the future of this new thing... and I got my hands on the first computer which at the time cost some $199 -- a TI-994A. It turned out somegood things:

-- I learned how to play video games
-- I learned how to write programmes in TI-Basic
-- I got a summer job using the first IBM PC's in 1983 and 1984 (the ones with 2 floppy disks)
-- I was able to quit my first job cleaning up garbage from the dorms in College, for a nice computer job paying more (without ever having to show up for work once)
-- I got an A- in Computer science (my first A)
-- I was able to get the most Engineering Co-op jobs as my computer background, and my working background  were so deep compared to other students

It started a snowball effect that has lead me to today, writing several blogs that I am about to monetize in different ways (this isn't one of them, BTW) and to publish my first first e-book -- perhaps the first one published for working professionals in the Caribbean region.

And of course, my parents eventually  bought a few VCR's, and a couple of DVD players.  But they have been forgotten, pretty much, and become as useful as the radio or television.  In the meantime, the computer has only grown in leaps and bounds, and become more than just a console to play games on.

To say the least, I'm glad they made the choice they made.


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