My First Computer

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.

Mom and I finally went up to Computer City on the Daniel Webster Highway in Nashua, NH to buy my first computer. It was a night that my Dad would be out late drinking and theoretically, we’d have nothing to fear. I could get the computer upstairs before he was any the wiser. I’d been looking for a few weeks and I’d picked the perfect one and Mom and I went into the store and we bought it.

It did involve applying for a line of credit, for which she cosigned. And it did involve dealing with a salesman who somehow got us to buy a couple of extra things. It didn’t go exactly as planned, but I got my first computer and I couldn’t wait to get home and open it.

It was a Pentium 166mhz with MMX. It had 2.1 GB of hard drive space and probably 32 mb of RAM. It was a family machine so it came with all sorts of educational software, but it also came with SimCity 2000, which I thought was the coolest. It had a 32x CD-ROM drive and a floppy disk and a big 13 or 14 inch monitor and God, I was in heaven.

We got home and I had to hook it up to the phone line to register it and get the code to unlock my copy of SimCity 2000. It was a big to-do in the dining room, Grandma, John, and my Mom all pretty impressed with my purchase.

I got it upstairs and played around with it for the rest of the night and I got really depressed. The music sequencing program I’d bought was essentially useless without a musical keyboard. I had no internet connection yet. SimCity 2000 was only so interesting. I was ready to go to sleep thinking I’d made the biggest mistake in my life.

I’d eventually make great use of this first computer and it would serve me well for almost two years. My friends were all jealous for about a month until they got their systems upgraded. It took a while but I really grew to like having a computer of my own. I think I expected too much the first night.

The worst thing though, was that I had to start working the next day in order to pay for the damn thing.