New Tech Talk – looking in the past to explore the future

commodore-64

Welcome my fellow tech enthusiasts to the New Tech Talk blog on The Site Company! My name is Mark Prestash, and I’m the lucky guy who gets to write the general tech column for this website. Why am I so lucky you ask? It’s because technology is a passion of mine, and writing the general tech beat blog on The Site Company’s website will allow me to write about all of the different things in the technology space that interest me. Before I go into more detail about the types of features you will be reading about in future columns of New Tech Talk, let’s go back in time to see just how I got to where I am today.

The year was 1983, and I was 9 years old. My father bought the family a Commodore 64, which was my introduction to the world of personal computers. At first we hooked up the Commodore 64’s keyboard (all the computer components were housed inside the keyboard on the C64) to an old television we had in the living room. Turning it on fr the first time was magical to me. After a few weeks the C64 was moved into a more permanent location, my brothers room. Over time we added a dedicated monitor, an OKI data printer, and a hard drive that used cassette tapes to store data!. At first I played games on the C64, but eventually I started to buy programming magazines that were commonly found on magazine racks in those days. These magazines were full of code that would reward the user with some animation, graphic, or any number of other wonders to behold on your screen. What fun that was! I would sit in my chair for hours and copy lines of code from the magazine to the C64 in the hopes I copied the code exactly right. Success was so sweet, while failure meant reviewing the code line by line looking for your typing mistake. I was hooked on computers from that day forward.

Flash forward 10 years to 1993, when I was a Freshman in college. I spent many hours in the school’s computer lab, slaving away writing term papers. While the PC had evolved in the 10 years since I was introduced to the Commodore 64, I viewed it as a glorified typewriter because that was the need it filled for me. Word processing was much easier on a computer for someone like myself who made frequent spelling and typo errors. It was during this point in time I was introduced to the world wide web – and my mind was blown away! The web back then was not as robust as it is now, and searching for things was not as easy as it is today. Yahoo and Lycos were the kings of search, and Netscape was the browser of choice. Despite the limitations and at time hard to use features, I saw the future, and it was filled with the binary code of 0’s and 1’s. I resolved then to learn more, to do more, and explore as much as I could about the personal computer, and all the things it could do.

Our last flash forward is to some time in 2002. It finds me utterly frustrated by a crippled store bough PC. I had received a Sony VAIO desktop PC as a gift, and had upgraded every part of that PC except the CPU. By this point I realized how easy it was for me to add new RAM, a bigger hard drive, or add in a new graphics card to a PC. I marveled at how much more powerful I could make my PC with a bit of money, a screwdriver, and some time on my hands. Back then the CPU to me was the final frontier. The quest for the holy grail. A line that I knew if I successfully crossed meant I was truly a geek, and would have some real credibility to back up my words (not to mention bragging rights with my friends). After doing much research, I discovered that Sony had locked the CPU speed in the BIOS, and no matter how much faster a newly purchased CPU was, it would still run at set speed of 2.6 GHz on this PC. Sony’s solution was, not surprisingly, to buy a new PC with a faster CPU in it. I felt betrayed – here was a device that was designed to be upgraded, and the manufacturer had taken that ability away from me. At that moment I remembered my earlier resolve to learn more, to do more, and explore what computers had to offer. I knew then I had to build my own PC and take my passion to the next level.

From that moment forward I never bought another pre-built PC for myself, and I have built many PC’s since then (for myself and for friends). I find it exciting to spec out the parts and read the reviews, deciding between speed or capacity, and if the latest technology is really worth the premium price that early adopters pay to be on the cutting edge. Technology has infused into who I am, and how I live my life. The first thing I do in the morning is turn on my PC, and the last thing I do to end my day is turn my PC off. In a way my computer defines who I am, because it helps me do the things I want to, get the information I need to do it, and ultimately do the work needed to complete what ever task I throw at it. My friends say I’m a power user, and I think that I finally believe them. I push my technology to do more, do it faster, and to do it better. I love trying out the latest beta software. I spend time trying to speed up my boot time, overclocking my CPU, or rooting some piece of hardware to do my bidding.

That brings us up to the present, and the New Tech Talk blog on The Site Company. In this column I plan to write about a wide range of technologies, software, hardware, and how to guides. I will also share my opinion on current tech topic every once and a while, generally in cases where I feel the topic is of critical importance to you the reader. There are a number of technologies I’m using and are interested in exploring that I will be writing about in the future. These include Android based cell phones (and the Android OS itself), Apple iOS4 devices, the Windows 7 operating system, virtual machines, beta software, apps, media slinging software, wireless devices, and consumer electronic set top boxes just to name a few.

I hope that in writing this column you too can share in the passion for technology that I have, that you may learn a few tips and tricks along the way, and make your technology work for you better. I want you to be better informed and well versed in the ways of technology. This column is for you the reader as much as it is for me the writer. I look forward to the exciting journey we will be taking together. I welcome your comments and feedback as I write about the various technology this blog will be covering. All I ask is that you be constructive in your comments and feedback to me. Please be specific in what you like and dislike. That’s the only way I can get better at delivering the content you want to read about.

Cheers!

Author: Brian Marshall

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