Were We Really That Excited about Computers in the 70s?

by AlphaGeek

Thu, Sep 15, 2016


In 1977, when I was 9 when my father moved my family to Saudi Arabia. We lived in Dhahran, an American compound for ARAMCO employees named after the Saudi town right outside the gates. Back in The States the microcomputer market was just getting started. There were numerous “kits” that could be purchased that you could use to build a microcomputer of your own. The Apple I was popular but there were many others.

I remember when my friend in 1978 got his Apple ][ computer. I was over at his house and he was showing me what he could do with it. He was into music and had some synthesizer software for it. We recorded some music he wrote. I was so excited by all this. Not because I was some great musician, I wasn’t and never have been, but because I could see so many possibilities. I played that music for my dad later that evening and told him that if we had a computer we could do all sorts of things.

My father is an electrical engineer. So I don’t remember it taking much convincing. He wanted to use VisiCalc to help manage the family’s finances. My brother and I wanted our own computer to pursue our interest in computer programming and to play games. Dad ordered the computer without telling us.
We found out when he built a computer desk to put it on. He says it took 3 months from the time he ordered it to when it arrived.

I relay this anecdote to make a point: Yes we were that excited by technology in the 70s!