I make my living now telling computers what to do. People who do this tends to romanticize the first computer they owned, especially when they did not grow up with one.
Mommy had no idea about my interests in this area, nor did she try to or get in the way. Simple people can be great this way.
Mommy had never go near a mouse in her life. Of both varieties. The closest she got to being digital was dedicated Tetris handheld game machine. She really enjoyed, I should have made her play more mobile games.
Despite all that, mommy bought me my first computer.
It was a Wintel clone with 486 CPU, probably close to 1GB of RAM. I forgot how much of storage but it's probably in multiple megabytes.
The timing coincided with the launch of Windows 95, which is a watershed moment in computing history. Maybe a bit of social acceptance to having a computer at home has something to do with it.
This is a big deal because this was a household that was a fiscal survivalist.
For RM2,800 (no credit or installment) with no sure indication of value, it was big gamble that a computer is gonna amount to anything at all. That was easily two months worth of business profit for her. Afterall had I ended up to be a car salesman, why bother?
For a hawker woman to spend that kinda cash on something with unknown return of investment, it was either pure stupidity or love. Maybe they're the same thing.
It was non-trivial purchase for no reason other than the fact that I really wanted a computer to do something with. I could maybe what those are but it wouldn't make sense to her anyway. Maybe she was counting on me being clever enough about it.
There was no internet at home at this point. This was a PC with pure potential. Being able to use Microsoft Office was something you put in a resume. Sim City 2000 was a revelation, so was X-Com.
Without internet, curiosity got quenched real slow. It took me quite some time before trying my hands at QBasic, coding piece of text to roll up the screen. The was my coding experience before doing Hello World in college.
Mommy did not seek to understand modernities that were beyond her. She rolled with it and focused on the simple things that she can manage, namely food and Chinese TV.
Today is mommy's birthday.