Monday, November 26, 2007

Thoughts on Thanksgiving: aka 25 Years Ago This Month

25 years ago (this month), we were living in a house rented for us by the Lakeside Christian Church of Springfield, IL. The chairman of the mission committee at Lakeside Church lived across the street from us. My good friends from college, Mark Scott (who is now my boss) and James McCracken ministered in the Springfield area. My oldest child, Charissa, was in kindergarten at Christian Elementary School, operated by the Westside Christian Church. Delicia (nee Jones) Bare was in her class.

25 years ago (this month) my son Greg was being potty trained. On a Sunday afternoon, he had an accident (that means he pottied in his training pants) when he was with me but not with his Mom. You see, he accompanied me to a store to buy some allergy medication. On the way back home a Springfield police officer stopped me for doing 38mph in a 25mph zone. The vehicle we were driving that furlough was licensed in Florida, and I had a Florida drivers license. Because I was an "out-of-state" driver, I was told that I would have to pay a $50 bond. I didn't have $50 to pay the bond, so I was taken to the police station (my son, in training pants accompanied me). It was at the police station that Greg had his accident. Everybody knows that you get one phone call from the police station before they throw you in the cell. Did I call Rose? No, I did not! I knew that she didn't have $50 either. Who was the recipient of my call? Our friendly neighbor, the chairman of the mission committee of Lakeside Christian Church, received that honor. I trusted that he either had $50, or could get it from one of those fancy ATM machines (ATM machines were rather new--we had set up a checking account with a local institution, but because we were only going to be in Springfield for 3-4 months, I did not think I needed an ATM card). Having to call the chairman of the missions committee was quite embarrassing (though it makes a good story).

25 years ago (this month) I bought my very first personal computer. It was a Commodore VIC-20, with a whopping 5KB of ram. I think it cost me about $300. The crummy dot-matrix printer that I got with it (no descenders) cost $399. The computer came with a tape player type of drive that stored its programs and files on an ordinary cassette tape. The VIC-20 was advertised by Star Trek's William Shatner. You can see a commercial of Shatner hawking the VIC-20 by clicking here.

Today (this month--that's a tad redundant, don't you think?), I'm writing these lines on a laptop computer that has 419,430.4 times the amount of RAM as the VIC-20. In case you are interested in the math, a kilobyte has 1024 bytes. 5KB of RAM equals 5,120 bytes. To get a megabyte, you multiply the kilobyte by 1024. To get a gigabyte, you multiply the megabyte by 1024. My computer now has 2GB of RAM (though some of that is shared with the video card). The VIC-20 with 5KB of RAM totaled 5,120 bytes. My current laptop with 2GB or RAM is calculated by the following formula: 2 x 1024^3, or 2,147,483,648 bytes of RAM. That number divided by the 5,120 bytes of RAM in the VIC-20 is 419,430.4.

25 years ago, Kimberly, our youngest, was not even a thought. Today (25 years later), our son Greg has recently given us 3 adorable grandsons. Rose is happy that we will get to see them in about 20 days!

The idea to write this little essay came to me when I realized that I purchased my very first personal computer 25 years ago this month. I put that little tidbit in the 3rd paragraph, as I understand that family trumps computers every time. Thanksgiving was Thursday, and I was thankful. Today is the Monday after (known by retailers now as Cyber Monday), and I navigated both Black Friday and Cyber Monday without spending money I don't have on things that I don't need. That makes today a day of Thanksgiving as well.

The Psalmist put it well:
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
(Psalms 34:8, ESV)

I am blessed indeed!

1 comment:

Miriam Sion said...

Hola David, bendiciones.
Leía este Post de Día de Gracias, donde recordabas los 25 años de tu primer computador.
Y no puedo dejar de compartir contigo que recibí este mes, mi primer computador, habiendo pasado 25 años desde que nos conocimos en Viña del Mar, Santa Inés, cuando eras mi tutor en los Cursos SEAN, en este año. Es un PC que dieron de baja en la oficina, es un HP con 80 MB en disco y 500 MB en MemRam. No es la 8va.Maravilla, pero es un regalo del cielo, ya que hace mucho tiempo que anhelaba tener uno.
¿Cúanto me costó? $50.000 (US$100 app). Doy gracias a D-os, porque me hacía falta.
Un abrazo de Navidad en el recuerdo, un recuerdo especial a tu niñita, no recuerdo su nombre, pero siempre conservo en el recuerdo, una vez que ella, siendo muy chiquita, escribió en la pizarra "Dios es Verdadero"... nunca lo olvidé.
Gracias por todo lo que hiciste por nosotros en esa época. Dios te recompense siempre.
Bendiciones querido David.
Desde Viña del Mar - Chile