Tech Talk

Growing up with Technology: The Double Edge Sword

I was born in 1979 which means I was a member of the first generation of kids who grew up with computers in the home. My first computer was a TRS-80 Micro Computer System otherwise known as the TRS-80 or Model 1 and yes it was from Radio Shack

Radioshack_TRS80-IMG_7206

TRS-80

My first experience with coding was with the TRS-80, in the (rather large manual) that came with the computer, there was a section on creating pictures. The code was massive and sometimes took more than one page and hours to type but if you stuck with it and entered everything correctly you were rewarded with…..an apple.

Needless to say, my first experience with computers was like…WTF…no way I’m doing this again. That was almost forty years ago and as I write this, I have been a Desktop Support Technician for the better part of a decade. I stuck with computers and learned and grew with them. Today (2018) our smart phones and smart watches can run circles around my old TRS-80 but I will never forget that brick.

Computers are freaking awesome, they allow us to be connected on a level never dreamt of in human history. A world of knowledge is now at our finger tips. They have progressed to the point where we can put them in our pockets or on our wrist. They have become so advanced, they respond to our voices and can play our favorite music or order a pizza for us (I’m looking at you Alexa).  And so much more. I love the challenge of building new computers or upgrading old ones, I love that I’m able to start with an empty tower and create a custom computer and I love that I can help others with their’s as well.

But it’s a double-edged sword; because we are so connected, we are exposed to so much more negativity and noise that we were not exposed to before, in fairness that has more to do with the advent of the Internet than with personal computers but the digital world we now live in would not be possible with other both of those aspects. We have to be on guard at all times: spam, spyware, malware, ransomware and scams are rampant online and predators are a constant danger.

Which is where the love/hate part of this post comes in, I love that computers and technology have brought so many people so many good things but have also made it possible for bad people to find us easier than ever before. Like I said, it’s a double edge sword but I wouldn’t go back to TRS-80 for all the security in the world.

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