John Head has written about moments in technology that make one stop and stare. It’s a really interesting topic, and one for which I feel much affinity. There have been a number of moments in my life when I have just stopped… and have been “gob-smacked” by the hi-tec world. Let’s go…

  • When I first ran a program on my ZX81 (aged 9)
  • When I bought a 16KB RAM pack for said machine (aged 9-and-a-half)
  • Talking to my late grandfather about the EMIDEC-1100
  • When Michael Botwright and I “published” our first technology article, on a cassette tape, designed for distribution amongst ZX Spectrum owners at my school (aged 12)
  • The Domesday Project when I was at school aged 13. It just seemed like such a cool idea.
  • AMDRUM on my Amstrad CPC6128 (1986)
  • When I first set eyes on a Mac “in the flesh” (1987)
  • When I first saw a Macintosh LC running a QuickTime video, whilst waiting to see a movie (1991)
  • When I got my first Mac (1992)
  • When I first really played with UNIX (1993)
  • Discovering Lotus Notes (1995)
  • Started programming with Notes for a living (rather than as a way of avoiding auditing companies) (1998)
  • First colour Mac (1998)
  • Jaguar (2002)
  • Everything since

Phew! How about you?


  1. I'll never forget my first encounter with a computer lab - it was a room containing about 16 RM Nimbus 186 processor PCs, running DOS3.1 and Windoze 3.0. Special.

  2. First Program: Pascal, CS100, University of Queensland, 1981
    First Assembler Program: PDP-8, 1982
    First Macintosh sighting: 1984
    IMS + Transactions: 1984
    Local Area Network: ARCNET 1985
    OS/2 2.0: 1991
    Lotus Notes 2.1: 1992
    Apple WWDC: 1995
    Galileo and Jupiter: 1995-2003
    Groove: 1999
    Broadband Internet, wireless gateway + laptop: 2 weeks agoJustin Knol#
  3. The first time I used a 'Search Engine' on some new fangled thing called 'The Internet', typed the query "How do I tie a bow tie?" and got detailed intructions, including pictures, in less than a second. I was pretty impressed. And so was my date - she had been refusing to be seen with me until that point. Now we're getting married! All thanks to some "gob-smacking technology". Nice.Chris Molloy#
  4. [1] Mike, very cool: I remember Research Machines!
    [2] Justin, wow. You really have been round the block (I mean that in a good way ;-))
    [3] Chris: poor old Andi… bu that's a truly heart-warming tale :-D Ben Poole#

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I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.