Back in 1998, we were living in New Port Richey, FL in a little 2 bedroom apartment. I was working as a graphic designer for a crappy little company that provided newsletters to all the retirement communities in the area. Yes, I knew all the bingo & shuffleboard standings of every man & woman over the age of 60 in Pasco County.

What I didn’t have was my own computer, and I wanted one bad. There were no Apple stores back then, so I had no clue where to get my hands on a Mac. Oh, and it had to be a Mac. No self-respecting graphic artist would consider anything else. There was also the cost factor. Times were tight back then, and there was no way we could shell out the dough needed to buy a new computer. So, like I’ve done most of my life, I simply did without.

Enter the family connection. My sister in law had a brother who was looking to unload the mac that he had bought. I guess he realized that he was more the PC type – he was willing to take $100 for it.

Yee haw! I remember buying a really cheap computer desk at Staples – nothing more than a particle board box – and setting up that faded tan beauty with the little apple logo on the front. The first time the little smiling mac OS face flashed on the screen I swear I got goose bumps.

That first year of my journey into the world of home computers was one filled with discovery and awe. I had my first email account, but had very few people to send emails to. I mean, I have a sister who just joined facebook a month ago. Hubby and I went out and bought a pack of really lame games on CD. There wasn’t very much for macs back then – hell, there still isn’t compared to what you can get for PC’s – but we loved playing games like Snood, Apeiron, and Oil Cap Pro. I worked it out with my boss that if my daughter was sick, I could work from home. My little Mac Performa had Pagemaker, Illustrator & Photoshop. I was all set!

And then there was the internet. It was nothing compared to what you can find now but it was still a world of wonder. Hell, I was Googling people, places & things before “Google” was a term. One of my first search engines that I used was Snap mainly because they were running a contest where by using the search feature you could instantly win a prize. I actually won too – a book on the making of “Titanic.” Hey, back then, that movie was all the rage.

Then I discovered Google. Yes, I can honestly say I have been using Google for my search engine/home page since 1998. I liked that simple colorful logo right off the bat – I guess it appealed to the designer in me. I really can’t recall what was on the internet back in 98. It was obviously nothing compared to what there is now. But it was still a world of absolute wonder to me.

And here we are 14 years later and it’s a completely different world. I mean, really think of how things have changed since then – the leaps this innovation has made and how it’s affected the world. Back then I could barely email my family because nobody but me and my one sister had email accounts. Now I can play 8-Ball pool with some dude in China.

Facebook, Twitter and Email has all but obliterated the art of writing letters. Last night we were watching an episode of “Friends” where Rachel pulls out a box of stationery & her address book to “catch up on her correspondence.” As I watched I realized what a foreign fucking notion that is now. Stationery? Phone Books? How antiquated they have become in such a short span of time.

14 years ago I was a graphic designing mother of one in complete awe of her first home computer. That girl never would’ve imagined that she’d be connected with every friend and family member via Facebook, or that she could send a Tweet to Howard Stern. And she certainly didn’t think she be sharing her thoughts and life with people all around the world via WordPress.

I’ll tell you, it’ll be fun to see what’s around 14 years from now in 2026. I hope at 61 I can enjoy it.

Advertisements