Keep up the good things that you do

Comment from E-mail

I realize you're swamped with emails, but I had to send this...

I was first introduced to computers (Apple //+ at the time) when I was 12 years old, and began programming in BASIC on the Apple at age 13 (this was back around 1982/83)... Since that time, I've been hooked on personal computers, from the Apple //e, the Mac, the Amiga, and of course, the PC. I've used them all.

However, if not for the Apple //, and the opportunities that it opened for me, I don't know what job I would have today. The thought of not using computers, quite frankly, disturbs me...

Today, I too am a teacher. I teach a number of computer courses (computer graphics, design, video editing, etc), as well as media courses such as television production and broadcasting. It's a great and satisfying feeling to be able to share my computer knowledge and experience with my students - I truly enjoy it.

I'd like to thank you for opening that door for me by designing and building a computer that was affordable enough for my parents to buy, with an elegant design that allowed seemingly limitless experimenting and tinkering.

And here's a personal account for you. I still remember the first time that I ever saw an Apple //. The memory is still vivid, even from age 12. My father had brought me into a new college computer lab outfitted with Apples, and was typing in a BASIC program. When he backspaced over the text to type in a correction, I asked how he did it, and he showed me the backspace key. That was all it took - I was entering my own programs the next year.

I respect the fact that you're teaching children now. I respect that very greatly... You're opening doors for them in the same way that you opened a door for me some 18 years ago, and hopefully, many of them will find their own career path in the same way and return to thank you as well!


Your first Apple ][ memory is a good one. Those of us who were there can see what it means to have an outstanding memory from age 12. It's a very life shaping thing to see a program correction made for the first time ever. I remember the time I ran a wire up the block to a friend's house and we hooked up telegraph keys (we could both do Morse code, and I myself was a ham radio operator) and speakers. I heard my friend talking and was shocked. The speakers were also microphones. That took our neighborhood intercom to a new level and we got mikes and amplifiers from then on. Unexpected surprises are the best way to learn, because it means more.

It's this exact sort of experience that I've wanted to bring to young kids my whole life, and which is a major part of the reason that I like teaching. It doesn't happen every day but it's wonderful to see when students unexpectedly 'get' something.

Keep up the good things that you do.