Day 9406 – Be an Early Adopter

appleii-systemThere are many more significant days in my life than this one, but day 9406 is technologically significant. This is the day I bought my first computer, the Apple II Plus.

I had seen a TRS-80 (Radio Shack) and at work we had a few IBM terminals that attached to the mainframe, but it wasn’t until I sat in front of the Apple II Plus, with its 5-1/4″ floppy drive and green character monitor that I knew that I would find a hobby in computing. With a whopping 48K of memory, no hard drive, 40 character screen, and Basic built-in, I began to spend the kind of hours my son now spends in World of Warcraft, even more maybe.

I was so new to this that I had a basic word processing program, and kept hitting the return key before I got to the end of the 40 character line. It wasn’t until I saved enough for a dot matrix printer that I realized all my formatting was screwed up! Everything printed within the 40 columns! When the IIe and IIc were introduced, I bought both of them and marveled at the 80 column display.

No mouse, no external speakers, no color, and no Internet.  Just me and the machine. There was color capability, but no color monitor. You had to hook it up to your television for that.

So what’s the lesson? Be an early adopter. Always. Some of the technologies you adopt will go away (how many of you reading this have even held a 5-1/4″ floppy disk?) and some things will stay with you, even if it is just keyboard proficiency.

By the time line of the Apple II, I wasn’t an early adopter, but in terms of my peers, I was into computers early, and that has paid off in my life in so many ways.

What early adoption has paid off for you?

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