I remember when I was approximately Dev’s age and computers were huge, often not in color and required floppy disks that were actually floppy. I can see clearly in my mind the old-school CRT monitors and the lousy pixilation with the constantly blinking DOS cursor. Clunky keyboards were common and I’m pretty sure there was no such thing as a “mouse,” we used the arrow keys to navigate. Back in the day the best games were at the arcade and the stuff we played at home were great in their own way, but awesomely craptastic by today’s standards. Speaking of arcades, many kids, I would assume, have never heard of or been to an arcade because their flat panel TVs are running some of the most advanced gaming technology (available to the public) in the world. When I was six we played the little “shooting man” version of Oregon Trail like it was Halo.
I purchased my first HP computer when I was 16 or 17 after a summer of working and saving. Got it from the now-defunct Circuit City and it cost about $1300. I signed up with a free online service that plastered me with ads, but that was fine. I was online and a few of my friends were not. I was on the cutting edge in comparison, or so I imagined. I got my first hotmail email account when the cool names were still available. I crawled through the internet looking at nothing in particular. There was no DSL so an online session could drag on forever between dialing up and loading the few pages that existed. Blogs had not yet emerged, but I did feel part of a special online club nonetheless. I’ve been an avid (some may even say rabid) internet user ever since.
These days Dev is gaming online as well as researching his birthday list. He watches some of his favorite shows on the computer, has worked on some school-related research and has found definitions of words via the web. He has even read a few of my blog entries. He doesn’t type very well, not that he should, but he’s a master with a mouse and a touchpad. He’s learning and using the tools needed to be competitive in the ever-evolving and tech crazy world. He kind of has no choice but to learn his way around a computer. His fascination with all things digital including phones, my new Blu-Ray, and the computer are kind of fun to be apart of since I know how far we’ve come with technology.
There are bonding opportunities online too. Every now and then we hook the laptop up to the tv and play a game of hangman or watch a classic episode of Yu Gi Oh (the good ones I watched with Dev when I was home with him for the six months leading up to his first birthday). He likes to hear my uncanny knowledge of the earlier episodes of the show and listen to the stories of how we used to eat lunch and watch the duels. High tech gadgetry and crapetry isn’t all bad.