When I heard the word “computer” for the first time, I was only six. Of course I didn’t know what it meant so I asked my mother, who told me that she wasn’t really sure either. However, she had heard that it was a device that “answers anything that someone asks it.”
Later on there were some cartoons on TV in which a frog operated a huge computer by its voice. That was in the 1980s, and the world was yet to know of the digital revolution that would occur a decade later.
In any case, I grew up and went on to high school. This was when I saw a micro-computer for the very first time. It was a 186, one of those that operated with a MS-DOS system. Back then, learning about computers was just plain boring, at least compared to what my mother had told me.
I didn’t learn too much about them. The only thing I found out was that computers were not the grand oracles that could answer any question asked of them. Instead, I discovered they were a means of storing and processing any type of information.
But then came the p1, p2, p3 and p4 —and with Windows installed— which completely changed the panorama of working with computers. Now these machines were really starting to get interesting. By that time there were several companies in Cuba that had them, as well as some musicians and other powerful figures. But me? – I never dreamt of owning one.
The years went by and a girlfriend of mine on one fine day bought a computer, one that was spectacular at that time. From her I learned almost everything I know about them, plus I discovered my vocation for computers.
I’m not saying I was going to study computer science or become some IT professional, but I did in fact become an amateur computer geek. It felt great. Nevertheless, one day we broke up and she took the computer with her, leaving me with a double emptiness inside – one romantic and the other technological.
It was then that I decided to try and save to buy one for myself, though it was just a dream given their high cost… In stores, the cheapest ones go for something like $600 CUC [$750 USD]. It would have been better to think about a cheaper one, from those people buy new ones and sell their old machines at a lower price.
But to buy even one of those you need around $200 CUC [$250 USD], a sum that never in my life have I had in my hands at any one time.