Learning to program Basic from a photo copied thing that came with my second hand commodore 64 in 1987. My uncle's hand me down was the best thing ever and him including some manuals set me on a path to becoming a software engineer. I had a tapedrive, no disk drive, no modem, and did not know how to save my programs :-). My only sources of information were those manuals and library books. Everybody I knew at the time knew nothing relevant.
Using a browser for the first time after queue-ing to use the single terminal in the faculty with a gateway to the world wide web using mosaic in 1994. I had my own home page on the faculty's apache server a year later. HTML 3 seemed like an amazing upgrade.
Cycling home from university the next year with 27 slackware disks, which I downloaded from one by then 3 (!) internet capable HP UX terminals at the university. When I got home, I got busy installing and then had to cycle back because one of the disks was corrupted.
Teaching Java to first year students in 1996 and being amazed how well wordperfect ran in a beta of Java 1.02 for HP UX. By 1998 I was doing Swing applications (with the beta release) and implementing serializable application state that you could send over the network to another PC. Amazing progress in just a few years.
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