When I Started Computing

I graduated from high school in 1983. My New England school had a book storage room that had been converted into a “computer lab” with about 6 desktop computers. Two were standalone computers with programs loaded from 5 ¼ inch floppy disks inserted before the machine was powered on. The others were connected to Dartmouth College’s shared time computer for high schools. I used the standalone machines a few times, and watched others scroll through screens filled with green text to accomplish something, but I am not sure what, on those connected to Dartmouth. 

   Then I read Joy Lisi Rankin’s The People’s History of Computing in the United States.  While there is a rich narrative that the technology gurus in Silicon Valley were the innovators who built the computer revolution, Raskin claimed the timesharing that my classmates participated in using those computers connected to Dartmouth were more important in laying the foundations of our current computing landscape.