1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


My Favorite Computer Story
Barry Worrell - April 11, 2010

In Dan Duff's latest article on "Undo", it appears it might manifest into computer stories. Rather than use Dan's article for that subject, we will continue it here.

I'm certain we all have had fears and frustrations that have resulted from computers, and most of us at one time wanted to run to the shed and grab that 10 pound sledge hammer and beat our pc until it is totally flat on the table. At our age I wouldn't commit that much physical exertion for the length of time it would take to accomplish the feat, even if I were able. Even though many times I have wanted to inflict that kind of damage, it's not my favorite computer story.

Around the mid 90s, my son went to a computer school in Virginia and chose computer repair as his vocation. Graduating, his first job was with an company for sales and repairs for certain manufactures. One of those brands was "Wang". Certainly not a household name, but was one of those companies trying to be relevant in early development of home computers. Wang was on it's last legs and people were trading, or trying to, their Wangs for IBMs.

Basically they weren't worth anything and I got a Wang pc, printer and monitor for nothing. My first PC. This three piece combo was worth 30,000.00 new. Some things do come down in price, don't they.

Later, my son called and said he had a 386 IBM pc for me and to come and get. I was pleased to get something I could run "Windows" and be a little more up to date. I asked him is he wanted the Wang so he could sell it. By this time he had started his own business and had just built his office and shop on top of his garage. He said no, throw it in the trash, it wasn't worth anything to him. This goes against my better judgment. Throw away something that works? Never! After a lengthy discussion on the subject, I convinced him to take it and sell it, so he said.

My son was then living in Damascus, which is a good hour plus drive from my home in Clinton Md. I loaded the equipment in the car. The printer would have made a good boat anchor, for it weighted around 60-70 pounds. When I got to his place, I had to lug that thing up 30 feet of stairs into his shop and set it on the work counter. I also carried the monitor and the pc up the same route. After I caught my breath, I joking asked if he was sure he would sell it. He then grabbed the printer, walked out on the porch of the stairs and threw it to the ground, 30 feet below. It sunk in the ground about 6 inches, but it didn't break apart! I felt like dying from the three trips up the stairs, but now I knew I would die laughing.

About a year later, my son replaced the 386 for a 586, but this time I didn't ask if he wanted the older one, I just threw it away.

Stories welcome below.