My First Computer
posted on Oct. 3, 2011, 8:48 p.m. by Tonya Melvin-Bryant


"When was the first time you used a computer? What did you think of computers then, and how has your outlook evolved over time?"

I received my first computer for christmas (1981). It was a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A and came pre-installed with Basic and tennis, which is the equivalent of pong for that little guy. I was able to buy cartridges to expand the usage of my computer to play wandering games, not too much unlike pac man. The fabulous black and white 9-inch TV that I hooked my computer to kept me entranced for hours :).

What kid would not love this state-of-the-art technology at home (so tongue-n-cheek). Seriously, I fell in love with programming playing around with the Basic language available to me. Imagine my excitement when my TV screen blinked "Hello Tonya"! I am not sure if my mom or my grandparents knew what they were creating when they bought me this wonderful device, but from Basic, I set off to find anything "computer-related". This curiosity led me to Clemson in the summers for 3 years, where I learned SAS, FORTRAN, and more Basic. My last summer was spent at NCSU in the Site program, which solidified my interest in computer science (not a part of engineering at that time) and sparked a new interest in electrical engineering.

For a piece of history:

I've enjoyed the ride! And I plan to keep riding. I thought computers THEN were wonderful and exciting. I cannot even express my awe of today's technology. I see nothing more than limitless opportunities.


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