1985-1996: The Earliest Years
My earliest years of technology invovled a Commodore 64 and GEOS, an 8-bit operating system that ran on the Commodore 64.
This very familiar-looking 1986 operating system that looked just like an early MacOS - funny that...
It was in GEOS that I learned about Managing Preferences, working with a Desktop, managing space on a computer and using very early word processors and drawing tools.
Image By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=991052
Some years later when I found myself working with selling Windows 3.1 and 95-based computers I thought it would be a good idea to actually buy a computer and learn more about how these things worked. My beast of choice was a Packard-Bell running a 386 processor and boasted a massive 250MB hard drive. Whoah. It was on this machine that I learned all about Online Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) where you'd dial in to read message baords, chat with strangers and sometimes play games. It was where I first used a modem, discovered the Internet (via Compuserve, Apple's eWorld and Internet Relay Chat (IRC).
Over the many years since that early foray in to the World Wide Web I learned how to build websites using a simple free tool called Netscape Composer (part of the Netscape Communicator suite which included the browser, Netscape Navigator.) This simple tool was one of the earliest HTML page builders that let you code in HTML and easily preview your creations locally on your own computer. In fact, this was my primary way of building websites for people from 1996 through to about 2002 when I started discovering the Coffee Cup and Adobe tools that let you preview your work in-line.
Back then I was building websites that I hosted out of my own computer, using my own internet connection that I pointed domain names to. At my peak of pre-content management system web development, I hosted around 40 webites that were on my own Windows computer using my Cable Internet connection. And all of this was a hobby for me. I made only enough money to pay for my internet access. I had to work at other jobs in call centres, bars, toy stores and restaurants to pay the other bills.