When I was at school…secondary it was, we been told about the internet thing that was going to be the future’s magnet. “Teknologi Maklumat” or simply translated as information technology.
It was a very simple explanation by our teachers ( I could not recall who was the teacher that actually mentioned or tasked to introduce us to this IT thingy) about the use of internet to communicate. I was from a kampung that is far-flung from the modern gadgets that the city boys and girls were exposed to. To us, internet was like a cheddar cheese to a grandmother in the remote Malaysian village. It was a strange word and we paid no attention to even getting to know the meaning of it.
My first introduction to a real computer in 1990 when I was 16-year-old. My teacher did not even allow us to touch the keyboard. The only computer at my school was placed in a room next to the headmaster’s chamber….secured with a doubled padlocks. It shows how valuable it was to any school in Malaysia.
After use, the entire unit would be covered in a plastic sheet that comes in the box. To avoid getting spoiled by the dust. All the window in the lab would be closed to avoid pilferage of dust.
When it is switched on, it produces the vibrating sound that was so high-tech to our young ears and it took several minutes before the screen comes alive with a little cursor on the upper left of the dark screen. I did not understand then and still do not understand now on how to use that new (old by present definition) computer. My teacher then would press a few commands and the CPU would make more oddly but pleasant vibrating sound before the screen actually show something on it.
Back then, when my teacher allowed me or my friends to press “ENTER”, we would giggle with an excitement ( 16-year-old boys we were) as if we would be bitten by the keyboard once our fingers wrongly touch any of the keys.
In the class, our teacher would have to place or register the usage of the computer in order to get the chance to use it. Can you imagine how was the “bruhaha” that erupted when the teacher announced that we are going to the makmal (computer’s lab)? A 25 pupils behind teacher’s back, trying to take a peek a black and white 14 inch computer screen and trying to figure out what he was fiddling with those keys.
It was a dumb computer with no access to the internet. It was just a unit with a word processor’s programmed to process a few words and pictorial graphical images. Those days, teachers were excited too in showing off their skills at using the computer. They would print out their assignment adorned with some graphics like bird, a witch on her broom, a rabbit etc and we would gawked at these “drawings”. Hand drawing was indeed better looking than those computer printed ones but…it was a brand new technology that we were freshly exposed and everyone seemed happy to show their expertise in using the computer.
Fast forward 21 years later, I am using MacBook with multiple functions, high definitions quality pictures, streaming all sort of decent and no so decent images and videos, typing this article and be posted online with no hassle at all. The must do thing like “facebooking” has never crossed my mind to even think that we would someday be connected the way we are today.
I still do not comprehend well the full usage of information technology but it dictates every move that we make today. We have come a long way….let embrace it!