The Austin Woman staff take us back to the days of DOS paper and NES.
I feel incredibly lucky to have grown up with technology. When I was really little, I used to steal my dad’s old Nokia cell phone and play Snake for hours, or just scroll through all the different ringtones over and over until someone got annoyed enough with me to take it away. And don’t even get me started on the internet in the late 2000s. I was in chat rooms, virtual worlds, you name it. I even ran an advice blog as a 12-year-old. Spoiler alert: I gave terrible advice. I’m an #extremelyonline person, and I love learning about the latest trends and innovations. You can catch me updating the Austin Woman website or on one of my three different Instagram accounts.
My first memory of technology is being in the computer lab at my elementary school. The teachers would give us typing tests, and afterward we would get time to play games on the computer, encouraging us to have fun with technology.
As a kid in the early 2000s, my childhood involved a lot of computer games. I would take turns with my older sister using the family desktop if neither of our parents was using it. Depending on if the game was multiplayer or not, we would play games like Oregon Trail and Game of Life together. There were a lot of puzzle-solving games like Putt-Putt Joins the Circus, and I would recruit my sister to help me when I got stuck. They were technically single-player games, but they were really hard for a toddler. Eventually, we ditched the computer games and got a Wii console. Our parents seemed less concerned about limiting our screen time with the Wii than the desktop. I think it was because they preferred us playing sports simulations to sitting down at the computer all day.
My earliest memory of technology is in the computer lab of my elementary school. They were getting us prepared to work with this technology. It was all clunky IBM computers, DOS paper, and the most ridiculous games. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, Math Blasters and Oregon Trail II where the highlights of the week for me at school. (I was a hardcore nerd in the making, y’all!) Back then, with no internet, we relied on the encyclopedias, maps and almanacs for our answers. If we needed to print anything out, it was on this massive printer that sounded like a Velociraptor when it got going and produced huge reams of green and white DOS paper with perforated edges we had to tear off. sigh Good times, good times.
For Christmas one year, my guess is probably ’87 or ’88, my brother and I got a Nintendo and a small 13″ TV to share. We, of course, played for hours on end. Our dad would force us to stop playing and do chores or go play outside to be sure our brains weren’t turning into “mush.” The cords were so short that you really did have to be right up on the TV. No remote…but it did have buttons to change the channel versus a dial. We thought it was the coolest thing ever. A few years ago my husband and I got the new retro version Nintendo with all the games and wireless remotes. It’s fun, but you really miss out on the full experience of not having to blow on the games to remove the dust and push the cartridge up and down 50 times in order to get it to start! #IYKYK