In 1985, when I was twelve years old, my father bought the family a
computer. This was a key turning point in my life because prior to this I had never seen a computer in real life!
We had just recently arrived to Australia from Chile and my English was
poor. This made learning to use this computer very challenging to say the least - specially when the programs we were obtaining for this computer had to be manually typed in from magazine articles.
Together with my father and two older brothers we spent many long labourous hours typing away and checking a lot of programming code. This is when I suddenly realized that computers were not the super intelligent machines I had grown up believing to be. Instead, they were machines made up of circuitry and memory spaces waiting for someone to instruct them what to do.
It was at this time that I became excited over the idea that this machine would accept commands and execute them accordingly. Interestingly enough, I did not know the Spanish translation of many of the commands that I was using to instruct the computer. For example, when I instructed the computer to
the computer would write
on the screen. It was only many months and years later (when my English was improving) that I realized that many of these commands had a real "human" meaning. Interestingly enough, I learnt the
programming language even before I learnt English!
From these early days till the present time I have had the privilege to explore and create many worlds and systems based on this digital medium. It surely takes (me) a lot of time and effort to orchestrate how these evolving machines, operating systems and programming languages should interact; but in the end, it is really worthwhile to see a system you created work according to your rules and instructions.