My History With Computers
I love being an Accidental Techie! It started way back when my mom took my younger sister and I to the movies to see WarGames in 1983 (I was 17), I was hooked on computers. I even asked my mom as we were walking out of the theater if she could buy us a computer. She said no.
Thankfully, about a week or two later, I saw a notice at school of a Computer’s Explorers Group meeting. I begged my mom to take us to this meeting and after doing my chores and getting all of my homework done, she did. It was held at the Southern California Edison building located on Walnut Grove Avenue in Rosemead, CA. It was exciting to see their big computers up close during the tour and to be able to work on a few smaller version too. I was in heaven! Unfortunately the meetings didn’t last very long because the school year was almost over and I was about to start my senior year in a few months.
All was not lost though, after graduating I worked for a few months then went to Pasadena College. I was half way through my program at PCC when I saved enough money to purchase my first computer, a Commodore 64.
Yup…I had that computer and I paid a whole $450 for it which was a big deal for this 20 year old. I loved it! Soon, I outgrew its functionality and speed and upgraded to a TRS-80 by Radio Shack or as others have teased me…my Trash-80. Its ok though, it was a useful and I put it through the paces with my school work. I eventually needed a newer computer and got rid of my Trash-80, er…TRS-80.
I finally had my first legal secretary job and at work, we used computers. My work computer used a DOS operating system and I learned how to use it. Unfortunately, for my personal computer use, I couldn’t afford the newer computers that were coming out.
It wasn’t until after I got married, that my husband (now ex-husband) and I purchased our first Mac computer (my ex-husband had used Macs before our marriage and was used to their operating system.) It only took a day or two for me to figure out their operating system but I loved it. We upgraded the operating system a few times with our Mac desktop throughout our years of marriage. I upgraded this Mac a few more times starting in 2003 until it became too expensive to purchase Macs anymore. I finally got my own PC computer and had to figure out how to use this “new” operating system on my own again. I learned how to defragment the hard drive, how to maintain it weekly and monthly properly, and how to create my own personal genealogy website using HTML. Now, several computers, operating systems, and website design software programs later, I can troubleshoot most of my computer problems and fix them myself along with creating most of my own graphics and designing and updating my two websites on my own.
My Accidental Techie Journey
I am a member of the Los Angeles City Employees Chicano Association and in November, 2013, I was on their website looking for information on their Holiday Toy Drive fundraiser. When I first went on their website, I got a headache from trying to interact with the site. The website didn’t seem like it was updated since 2012. There were no current events, some broken links, outdated information, nothing that showed that anyone paid attention to the website. It was chaos.
In January 2014, after visiting LACECA’s website, I ran into one of the board members and asked about the website. I was told that they did not have a webmaster and didn’t have anyone who knew about websites to help them. It was then that I became an accidental techie. With my then 4+ years experience with blogging and my own two websites, I volunteered to help them with their website. After I moved their website to WordPress, it was easy to update and maintain. I am now their Webmaster and Social Media Manager and the rest they say is history. I have maintained their website and helped get LACECA approved for the Google Apps for Non-profits program. I have switched LACECA from their previous email server to the Google Apps – Gmail servers and have created for the Board members only, a training website so that they can learn how to use Google Apps for Non-Profits. I love my work with LACECA and enjoy it very much.
What genealogy technology questions do you have? Post them in the comments below and I will answer them all.