Filed by Donnie Jenkins
I was watching my daughter play on my computer last night, and I tried to imagine what it must be like to have such a tool and toy available to you at the tender age of five. She of course takes it totally in stride, just one more thing with which to be creative.
All of us who grew up before computers were a common household appliance had to come to terms with these new beasts, but to her its just there for the enjoyment. She is totally open to all it offers. And she is already competent on it.
When I first became involved with using a computer, like her, it was pure joy. My first computer was a Commodore 64, a very advanced machine for the time with a music chip (unheard of then as there were not yet such things as sound cards) and extremely good graphics at the time. I bought it to play with, never thinking that, horror of horror, it could be useful in some way.
Yet within six months I had taught myself to touch type with the help of that machine and a $3 book. I also purchased software that turned the computer into a music sequencer, a tool to make serious music with a technology called MIDI-Musical Instrument Digital Interface. I still use MIDI to this day: in fact I used it to create the theme for my Techcast podcast online. That first computer introduced me to the most important tool I would ever use in the creation of music.
Today I use the computer for every aspect of my business, from creating music and video, writing this blog and my column, the Internet of course, and on and on. I should be somewhat jaded, I suppose, used to all it can do. However, I find myself still in awe of what this tool, this instrument, lets us do. It has been said that if NASA progressed in space at the rate that computer technology has changed, we would be three solar systems away by now.
I want the columns, blogs and podcasts to be informative, of course. But above all, I want to keep us all reminded of how amazing it is to live in a time when such a device exists and when so many opportunities exist because of it. More later.
E-mail Donnie Jenkins at firstname.lastname@example.org