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Home >  Blog >  Computer repairs that shaped EUROBYTE

Computer repairs that shaped EUROBYTE

Posted by Mario on 2 April 2013

I'm finding it hard to believe that it's been (already) 20 years since I discovered my passion for computers. I used to live in Germany at the time, working as a TV technician. Btw I was toying with electronics as far as I can remember. When I was 6 years old I got this shiny robot toy, which could walk and talk and do other nice little tricks. We're talking 70s here, so this toy was a big deal for a 6-year-old boy back then. And what did I do with it? I disassembled it, took the electromotor out and used it in an attempt to build an aeroplane. So no wonder I ended up doing electronics in school and then ended up working as a TV technician as soon as I was out of the school. Now back to Germany… I still remember traveling from Nürnberg to Mannheim (some 250km) to visit a good friend of mine (another TV technician and electronics buff). He just moved into a new place and was excited to show me around. The first (read: only) thing I noticed was a white box with a monitor placed on top of it. "Is that a computer?" It was one indeed. And it was a "mighty" 386 PC with 1MB RAM (yes, you read that correctly… not GB but MB… imagine that?). I spent quite a few hours playing silly (as some would say) games on it. Needless to say, my mate ended up spending more time in front of his TV than talking to me… and I ended up spending more time in front of his computer than he did.

As you're probably guessing, I got myself a computer as soon as I returned home. It occupied the best spot at my place… with views, close to the heater and kitchen, and reasonably far from the TV (as I didn't want any conflict of interest). I purchased a number of peripherals as well: a printer, a scanner, a joystick, big speakers... Interestingly, although their prices have dramatically dropped since, the actual peripherals haven't changed much. That is in terms of how they look and how they work. What has changed though is how we connect them to our computers. Back then, you had to be very (with a BIG emphasis on 'very') tech savvy to be able to install a printer (for example), or anything else for that matter (hardware or software). There was no such thing as 'plug and play'.

These were the times of Duke Nukem and Descent and many sleepless nights :) These were the times of the (scary) black window called DOS in which you had to enter commands and instructions. These were also the times of so-called T-Online. I didn't quite understand that internet thing back then (and it wasn't really internet as we know it today), but I was happily doing internet banking, booking travels, and checking out tourist information about Nürnberg and surrounds. People around me were in awe with the computer. I remember a friend of my mum's asking me, now that I had this machine that knows everything, to find whereabouts of her cousin "whose name was such and such and who went to such and such school".

So, I found myself spending a lot of my (free) time on computer tinkering. I even joined the (long) queue outside Conrad (a German electronics store chain) wanting to buy Microsoft Windows 95 on the first day it was released. Soon enough I was assembling a computer for my brother… then for a friend… then for a friend of a friend… and, although there is no a clear separation line (or things are getting a bit blurry as I get older), I'm pretty sure it is around that time that my hobby became my life.

About: Many years in IT, today a Senior IT Consultant and running a computer sales and repairs business in Hunters Hill NSW (and a big coffee drinker). I’m a techie who loves challenge and enjoys solving problems.
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