I love Technology
Always and Forever
Ever since I was a kid I felt attracted towards technology, in particular computers and video games. I was fortunate enough to also being exposed to them. I was able to go with my dad to his workplace, where he had a computer running Windows 95 or 98. Same thing with my mom, but in her workplace, I was able to interact with some computers with older hardware running even older software than Windows 95.
Later, my mother was able to buy a computer for me, when I was a very young kid, maybe just 10 years old or something. She argued about how the computer would help me for my education and that sort of stuff. Now, if you ask me, I’d say that’s a stupid idea. Why would a 10 year old, back in around 2003, need a computer?
Like I said, I was very young, just a little kid. I had no idea what I was doing, I remember mostly clicking stuff around, drawing stupid shit on MS Paint, typing nonsense on MS Word, and of course, trying, and trying a lot to install and run video games. This was a recurrent theme. I remember being able to play some video games but I also remember being contantly unable to play lots of games, because of the hardware I was running; I have no idea what hardware that was, and it even embarrasses me a little to admit that I don’t remember what even happened to that PC. I should know, but I don’t.
However, I was still able to play some of the classics, such as DOOM 1993 and some other more modern games (for the time) like Midtown Madness 2, just to mention one example.
Enough about video games, this post isn’t precisely about video games but more about Technology in general.
It seemed as if I had forgotten about it until the moment the idea for this post came into my mind. I haven’t thought about theese memories in ages. But now I realize that of course those moments had a huge impact in my life. That early exposure really shaped most of what I am today. Even if I was just a 9 year old drawing silly stuff on MS Paint one day and breaking the OS another day, I was learning. I was using, breaking, and sometimes even fixing technology.
My mother just had to notice this and so back then, she also made sure to take me to an elementary school that offered a computer course for kids (thanks mom). Everything just got deeper there. I can remember that (of course) we were taught super simple stuff, if anything at all (most of the time we were playing video games). But I also remember some of the actual computer teachings by John, the teacher that taught us both computers and english classes. He became some sort of older brother figure because he was way too young back then. Some of those teachings were basic understandings of Microsoft Windows, like copying files and such, and at one point even writing and sending emails.
Years moved on, I grew up, went to middle school, got my first job as a teenager attending an Internet cafe every day after school. Oh man, those were the golden days. I feel so lucky to have the blessing of being able to have experienced the internet in the decade of 2000 - 2010. And I do not mean only the aesthetics, but also the general vibes and cultural elements of daily life back then. I was pirating lots of music, listening to new stuff every day, I was starting to read blogs, I made my first approaches to social networks with Taringa! (which was similar to Reddit but for spanish speaking users, except it was a thousand times better because Taringa’s users shared lots of stuff like music, movies and even video games for free. It was awesome) and Microsoft Messenger., and at some point around 2010… visited 4chan for the first time. This was way before Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and all that other stuff came along and centralized everything within their reach. But in my opinion, and other similiar minded folk, everything was and worked better back then, it was like the Wild West. It was so fun, and it encouraged the user to learn and explore every day.
The thing is, I kept on learning and like I said, exploring; for better or worse. I was talking every day with people, met some girls, formed relationships (I was talking every day with the girl who today is my almost-fiance); at some point I discovered pornography (not proud of this), I kept playing (most times through pirating) lots of video games, kept installing new software, and so on. At some point I learned to crack WEP passwords so I was able to connect to the internet from my house using my neighbors WiFi (not proud of this either). At some point I installed Ubuntu and tried to use it with little success, and so on, and so forth.
Fast forward lots of years, the time had come to choose what to do with my life, and as most kids, I was told to go to college. What should I study? Fun fact: I wanted to be a lawyer; and I still believe to this day that I would have been a great lawyer. But you know, I just didn’t take that road. At some point I decided to study Computer Science, and it made all the sense in the World, right? I always loved computers and had a good understanding and ability to grasp technology concepts ever since I was a little kid. This made sense for everyone in my life, including me, of course. Unfortunately, there were no college or university near my town in which I could study Computer Science. Instead I had to go for Computer Engineering at my local University. The thing with Computer Engineering is that it is a mixture of Computer Science courses and Electrical Engineering courses. The concept is amazing, to be honest. This would form engineers with similar formation to that of those recent fathers of computing. Those old school hackers were originally mostly Electrical Engineers, mathematicians, or physicists, that kept digging into and formed what we now know as Computer Science.
Remember how I told you that it made sense that I picked this as my major and how it should have been good and easy? Well it came as a suprise but it wasn’t easy at all. It turns out I was (and still am) am an awful student. I had so many problems through my career, I thought of quitting multiple times. Many courses/subjects were quite hard for me. Hell, I even remember having trouble with Computer Programming I, in which we learned programming with the C Programming Language. I still have nightmares about the first time I tried to draw a Mario-like pyramid on the terminal using C. The Electrical Engineering and math courses were even worse. I struggled so bad with those, my mental health was at some of its lowest points of my life so far. Anyway, I struggled, I suffered, I tried and failed and tried again, I cried, and I pushed forward and here I am. A Computer Engineer.
The most important thing or idea that comes and stays in my mind when thinking about how hard my studies were, is that in the end, even if something was very hard and I couldn’t wrap my head around it, I still liked it. I hated builing circuits, but I liked to be able to try. I liked the concept about it. I hated Digital Electronics, learning Binary and binary operations, it was annoying and I didn’t want to do it, but taking those little steps into the most basic elements of what actually is done by a computer at its lowest level… that is amazing. Even the parts about technology that I like, such as computer programming, algorithms, software engineering and stuff, I sometimes find too hard for myself. Maybe it is reading a book on algorithms and feeling overwhelmed. Maybe it is practicing C++ and feeling how much harder it is than Python and that maybe I’m not good enough for it. I constantly, probably every day, get visited by the ghost of imposter syndrome, but I still enjoy it a lot to be a part of this world.
I can’t get enough of the ideas and concepts of this culture. I love learning about stuff every day, even if it tires me, overwhelms me or stresses me the fuck out. Like I’ve said on my About page, I hate webdev, and I still love the feeling of accomplishment that I get when whatever I’m trying to do works (small exercises using Flask for now). I love the idea of trying to use hacker-ish stuff, like for example using command line programs, or using a non-common text editor like Emacs. I love the aesthetics of the 90’s internet and the hackers of those days (even if I didn’t get to experiment that). I want to dig deeper into this rabbit hole and learn more about all of this stuff every day. Every time I am trying to write some stupid little script and it doesn’t work and I turn off my computer out of frustration, I strive for those sweet accomplishment chemicals released the next day (or the next week) after finally being able to make it work. And now I realize that my entire life has brought me to this point. And I feel confident for the future.
Yes, I love Technology, but not as much as you, you see…
But I still love Technology
Always and forever