When I was a kid, everything I ever wanted was to own a personal computer – thing which happened many years later. I first laid my eyes on a PC when I was about five years old and I couldn’t stop thinking about it ever since.
Thinking about it today, things have changed quite a lot. I’ve got to own not one but many personal computers, either brand new or used, but the excitement was never the same as for my first PC. Guess you can never forget your “first love”, right?
I often nostalgically remember my first days in the world of computing, learning how to use a PC – specifically, learning things which kids learn in school these days – but we didn’t have computer study class in school back then, so I went to special courses at a now defunct little company called “New Systems S. A.”, which offered courses in a few areas like computer usage, foreign languages and food health inspectors (I really have no idea what that was about).
All of the images below are thumbnails. You can click on them to open the large version.
The last one in the this series is actually from another little company that provides the same type of tutorials and courses, and I decided to get a diploma in hardware and software debugging, sort of what network administrators do nowadays anyway.
Speaking of which, later on, in faculty, they introduced Cisco courses as part of the standard faculty programme. I got a few diplomas, but I never got official certification – not that it would really matter anyway, because it expires every few years and you have to recertify (take the annoying certification exams again).
As you can see, we’ve started off easy, with simple concepts. To me it was piece of cake, since I’ve done that before and on my own for years because I used to go to people’s houses and fix their computers. I’ve never done it for money, I just did that as a favor to various people I knew, but sometimes they insisted on giving me money – which made me feel really uncomfortable…
That being said, that popular joke about the friendly advice to never tell anyone you know anything about computers… it really isn’t a joke.
There’s a guy who calls himself “The Oatmeal.” He has his own website, and it’s a kind of blog, but in the format of web comics. Some are purely satirical, others are real life stories. Click the advice I gave you below to check out what happens if you don’t follow that advice – it’s one of his comics, but I swear it’s true and it happens to me every day!
After that, we finally got to the good stuff, the interesting stuff – interesting to me, at least… You see, most people immediately go for IT software when they hear about working in this kind of environment, but I never really enjoyed computer programming, even though I’ve made my little graduation thesis in computer programming, ironically (but the only reason for that is that it was the easiest subject I could choose, and nobody else seemed to want it).
My real "love" here had always been computer networking – IT hardware, switches, routers, servers and anything related to that, so as you can imagine, working with real Cisco switches and routers made me feel like I was in Heaven...