Computers over the years have become part of almost every person’s life irrespective of their economic status or interests, by computers, I mean the standard desktops or the notebooks and laptops, it has gone as far as being a requirement for all employees to at least have basic computer knowledge in order to be employed, some countries have taken a bigger step and prioritized their IT sector so that the commonest of the citizens also gets an opportunity to harness the power computers provide. In Uganda, simple survey would actually prove that not even half of the population has the basic computer skills; a quality I believe is detrimental in this 21st century. Having given that simple background let me now get into the more important part of this particular blog.
It was in 2003 that I got the opportunity to make use of a computer(Desktop) which was one of those times I like to describe as memorable, it was in primary 5 while at Mbarara Preparatory School where we had a small computer laboratory and some few computers (about 10). At that time, the only activity our class was allowed to do while in the lab was to play games simply because we were not old enough to make use of the other computer applications. I remember in those years, the floppy discs were very popular and I owned at least 5 of them on which I stored the simple games like Dave, Commander,Pacman. Having had a not so firm computer background, I was mostly an observer during the computer sessions because there were other students that appeared to be superior in that area(It s always good to admit when you do not know something and there is alot to learn simply by observing those that know instead of pretending which will only embarrass you in the long run.
A year later, in primary six, our chance came and we started having actual computer lessons that started from the basics of turning a computer on and off, the main computer applications like Ms Office, it was only then that I realized that interest I had gained in learning more and more about computers, my strategy was that I should choose those friends that would in all ways get me all the information ( by information, I mean the latest computer games). Our conversations were mostly dominated by how far we had gone in a particular computer game level and the descriptions of all the tricks adopted to get there. This gave us an advantage over some of the other students as we were known as the pros in the field of computing, now the popularity also comes with that confidence gained when you know that in a certain area, you are really good. On the other hand, it was expensive to maintain that status simply because personally we never had a computer at home which made the task of keeping up to date with the computer games even more difficult, Buying the Floppy discs was also a challenge as I had to save up from my little transport money, thankfully I managed to survive and still keep up with that status.
In Primary seven, its like God all of a sudden heard my prayers and provided a computer at my disposal. At that time, my dad was completing his masters degree and so he thought it wise to purchase a computer In order to ease work and cut on the typing and printing costs, it was if I remember correctly an IBM,Desktop with 8GB HDD storage capacity, white in color and the best part is that my room was also used as a study so practically the machine was a few meters away from me at any time of the day. I was very much excited and so I made sure that my peers got the news loud and clear, all the free time I got was invested in making sure that I find out how this machine worked and how best I could use it. I even crashed the computer more than once and that put me in my dad’s bad books as he started to limit my access though somehow I managed to be a good boy and the limits were slowly reduced to an understandable number……..
Continued in Part 2