The Tech My Dad Banned From Our House

Interesting read. I suspect her dad must have been an interesting fellow.

For some reason I find myself remembering Ma mentioning my father counting out a roll of a hundred stamps as one of his quirks; I’ve always wondered how he must have gotten screwed over or otherwise ended up so pissed off once upon a time to go that far. Everyone has their quirks, pa’s notion of cutting vegetables to uniformed size at least made sense, but I’d have to have been positively mental at some event to ever do the stamps thing myself, lol.

As for my childhood I was probably fortunate. We pretty much had a computer and some form of game console my entire life, not that I will ever really fathom how our mother afforded the Tandy. I know Nanny and the local pawn shops was often involved in my brother’s drive for expensive things.

But for the most part tech considerations weren’t really imposed upon me. We had to deal with a rather tight income, but my widowed mother did her best to make her children happy. More effort than I think she should have, or more than we should have received, but those were her decisions. My brother and I certainly benefited from that side of our mother.

Should we say the tech side had both sides of that. If we could afford a PC game that I wanted, I’d probably get it eventually. If I wanted new hardware I’d probably be better off asking for a used car fund 🤣. Such was life.

Our first computer was technically my brother’s, but I was really the only one that used it very often. What really got my family interested was the Internet. WebTV was very limited but also a highly effective gateway drug to modern computing. For ma and me: it was a pragmatic thing to end up with a PC.  For my brother I imagine it was the ability to play video games and surf the Internet, but he had moved out during our WebTV era.

Someone at church that taught computer classes and such, gave us an old Pentium/32MB machine and even took the old Tandy 1000 off our hands. When it died: we ended up with our pastor’s old Packered Bell with a Pentium II/64MB. After that died, my brother naught a Dell simular to his Dimension, and ma paid him back until it was paid off. A snazzy 2 GHz Pentium 4 and probably 512 MB. Whatever, it finally had a hard drive big enough to actually install games and the best graphics card we had seen since the old Tandy!

It was these Pentium based machines where I actually had any competition for using the computer. Which was both a good and bad thing, but mostly a good thing. By that, I mean the only way we got broadband is eventually phone calls screwing around with her email was the last straw, because if my bitching and moaning wasn’t enough to drive that decision: our combined grumbles eventually did, lol.