My First Computer

When I was going off to Wabash College in 1987, I got my first computer. This was early, mind you. It wasn't a Macintosh. It was an IBM computer with an amber screen. It was fine for word publishing but not a whole lot else. A lot of college papers were composed on that computer -- both mine and my wife's.   And then, of course, we printed them off on a dot matrix printer.

The computer actually came to my rescue one day.  I had turned in a paper for a religion class but, when the papers were being handed out, the professor spoke to me and said he didn't have a paper from me.  I said, "But I turned it in.  If you want I can be back with a copy of it in just a couple of minutes."  So, I ran and got my paper and turned it in.  Well, what happened is someone had taken my original paper and taken off the cover sheet with my name and merely wrote his name on the paper, claiming it as his own.  When the professor read my paper, and realized he had just graded one like it, the other student was caught.  I don't know what happened to him, but, since that day, I put a "footer" on my papers with my name on each page.

At college there were computer labs. And that's where the fancy computers were -- the Macs and the fancy printers. Sometimes I was able to bring a floppy disk with my stuff over to the lab to get a good copy.  But that was only for the special, important papers.

This all seems so long ago.

I wonder what my own kids will look back on see how far they've come -- iPods, computers, cell phones, TVs? Probably all of the above.

(The picture above is from over at  It was just about the only way I could find a picture of the computer I used to have.)