My parents ran a computer store in the 80’s. They supplied IBM compatible home computers just as the tidal wave of interest in home computers started. Needless to say, they were very busy.
But it wasn’t an overnight success. My Dad had always been interested in technology and electronics all of his life. His first foray into owning his own business was servicing electronic organs. But he would dabble with gadgets at home. We were the first people on our street to have a microwave. We were the first people on our street to have a VCR. And he kept himself so well informed, he knew that whilst Betamax was the better product, VHS was going to be the market leader. So we had a VHS video recorder…with a remote control. Which was just a button on the end of a long cord, but still. Our home was part of the leading edge of technology at the time.
How I wowed my teachers.
I remember when word processing tools were launched, Dad gave me access to it on my own computer (yes, we had more than 1 at home!) and I would write my school assignments on it, then print them out. I have a vivid memory of writing a Year 10 history essay on the word processor and adding a cartoon picture at the end of it. Cutting edge stuff. I got an A for that essay and I think most of the marks were for the picture.
When Dad saw the home computer market taking off, he and Mum took the leap and Clarke Computers was born. So, I’ve been around technology and computers for most of my life. I guess it’s no surprise it’s now what I do too.
This will be my Dad’s last Christmas.
A few months ago, my Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His approach to the final months of his life has been ‘I’ve done what I wanted to do, I’m content’.
Whilst technology has been a huge part of his life, when we talk about the things he’s enjoyed most, it’s been spending time with family, travelling and enjoying great food and wine (and in some cases, a 20-year-old whiskey).
As we say goodbye to 2018 and my family says goodbye to my Dad, I’d like to leave you with this final thought.
Yes, technology can help us achieve amazing things in our work environments, whether it be enabling meetings between people who are thousands of miles away, reducing our reliance on paper, or delivering faster and better services to customers, what we need to remember is the reason we are all here in the first place – to live long, happy and fulfilled lives.