Early Software

My first computer as a kid.

My first computer as a kid.

I  have no idea what the first software I saw working on a computer system was. I’m sure it was some  basic demo program on a Vic-20, which I convinced my mother to buy for us. I remember learning to program on this machine for a year or so before saving up enough money to get an Apple II system. I purchased a few games, but most of the software that ran on my computer was written by me. Programs to solve chemistry and physics labs, early attempts at making our own Dungeons and Dragons programs and even a baseball statistics program to “replay” games from the past.

The first real software I saw in a business setting was a construction estimation program that combined a spreadsheet with some basic CRUD application for managing projects. A neighbor had a business and hired me one summer to help him get it running in his office and train his staff to use it. I’m not sure how well it worked, but I remember being amazed at how much effort and paper it reduced for his company.

Since that time computers have evolved and software has grown tremendously to incorporate many more graphical elements than I imagined as a kid. However those early programs still stick in my mind and I’m sure have influenced the way I view the world today. Dave Winer wrote about early software and how it’s influenced the applications we have today. I do think there are a lot of influential programs, and the wide variety of them, and the different ways people reacted to them, resulted in what we have today. This Friday, I wanted to ask you this:

What software first inspired you to work with computers.

What programs changed your career, or perhaps motivated you to work more closely with the data and less with the programs. Is there any software you really enjoy working with? Do you wish you could build something similar? Let us know today.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

We publish three versions of the podcast each day for you to enjoy. Today there are no podcasts due to various issues, but the podcasts will return on Monday.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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