Howdy!  This is one of the earliest webpages I created.  I wasn't quite sure what to do with this space, but I finally decided to offer a little background on our computer experiences.  Because it is a history of our experiences with computers, I still enjoy returning to read it.  I hope you enjoy it, also.

Before we got this computer, we had a Commodore 64, which the kids used.  Many times, my brother told me we should get a PC for the kids' school work, if for no other reason.  I told him we didn't have room for one.  He told me all about e-mail and how we could write to anyone else in the world who had e-mail for free.  I told him I didn't have time to read and write letters.  He told me we could also get online AND have e-mail on our C=64.  I told him I still didn't have time.

The day came when I found something I had wanted for a long time.  It was a study program for the kids.  I could finally buy it, but unfortunately, to use it meant we had to buy a computer.  All of a sudden, I wanted a computer.  So, I called my brother and my dad to ask them what was the best for the money.  We finally bought a computer.  We thought we had a good deal.  The guy at the store assured us it had never been out of the box, or used before.  We knew nothing about computers, right?

We took the computer home and set it up.  When we tried to use it, something was wrong.  So, we called the tech support number.  They said the Radio Shack stuff that kept popping up on the screen wasn't supposed to be there.  We got our very first lesson in uninstalling and re-installing Windows 95 the first day we turned the computer on.  Oh, boy!  That wasn't too hard, now, was it?  *G*  Next, we got Juno installed, ASAP!!!  I finally had e-mail and had to surprise my family.

The computer worked okay, until the third day, when the mouse quit working.  Fortunately, Juno e-mail works pretty easily with keyboard commands, so we didn't have too much of a fit.  On the fourth day, the mouse worked, again.  Every third day, the mouse took a vacation.

We finally returned the computer and got our money back.  We had made numerous calls for tech support, and lost lots of sleep over the "stupid electronic box that took up half my living room".

The same day we returned our first computer, we went to a store and ordered a specially built computer.  It was ready 24 hours later.  Not a moment too soon, as I was beginning to bite my nails from the lack of e-mail contact with my family and friends.

This computer was a dream!  The mouse stayed on the clock and there were no surprises.  Most importantly, I had my e-mail!!

After a couple of months, we had a problem, but we couldn't figure out what was wrong.  We had installed First Aid, but couldn't use it.  We finally found out that version of First Aid and Internet Explorer 4.0 don't work together.  So, we uninstalled First Aid and bought and installed Norton's.

After having worked round-the-clock for weeks to figure out what the problem was, Norton's was a blessing.  It told us immediately that we had a virus.  Not a big, bad virus, but an easily fixable one.  Life was good after that.

A few days later, we decided to get online.  We tried AT&T, but never could get everything configured right for it.  So, we told them to forget it.  We tried MSN, but same deal.  (Remember - we were newbies at this stuff!)  Finally, we popped in an AOL disk and it worked!  We were finally online!  Hey, this wasn't so bad, after all!

For Christmas that year, we also got online with ioNET.  Ahhh.... this was great!  No ads all over the place!  You could actually see what you were trying to do and find things without having to hunt through all the ads to do everything!  And the tech support folks were terrific! The only thing I didn't like about it was the fact that they wouldn't allow me to use all the letters of my usual nickname - JesPiddlin. I came close, though, as I used "piddlin".  *G*
NOTE:  Since then, ioNET has changed hands a couple of times and I am now able to use the full name I intended to use.

We decided to keep AOL for another month (our first month with ioNET), then discontinue it.  No problem, right?  AOL didn't seem to work that way. After trying to discontinue our service with them, they continued to charge us for the service.  A few phone calls and e-mails later, and a month or so down the line, AOL made everything right and we were FINALLY free.  Or, so we thought.  Our computer still ran at a snail's pace, like it had since the day we first installed AOL.  Uninstall hadn't removed everything it was supposed to remove.  We occasionally found lost AOL files we had to manually remove for months afterward.

By this time, we were learning a little about HTML and had created our very first web pages, which required absolutely NO knowledge of HTML to create.  They were the easiest (and nicest) pages to create that we have ever found.  It was fun to make them, too.  We have kept those pages and practiced on them as we learned more and more about HTML.  They have been really easy to work with.

I started a private forum for our family and friends, with a website, a message board area, and a chat room.  We were really enjoying it.  We also found some great public chat rooms to visit.  (I'm glad we outgrew the chat room 'thing'.)

To a family that is into genealogy, the web has been a wonderful thing!  We have found cousins all over the place.  We have found social security records, marriage licenses, cemetery listings, and all sorts of genealogical info out there.  Oh, there was a wealth of information at our fingertips, now!  And if you wanted to find something (or someone), there were search engines galore!

We took spells learning more about building websites and searching for genealogical info.  Of course, having one computer in the house with four family members was quite a strain.  Everybody wanted it at the same time.  I usually took my turn overnight.  It was the only time there was no competition for the computer.  One computer just wasn't enough.  But, one was all we had.  8-(

We learned how to start an e-mail list, so we started a few genealogy lists for surnames that didn't already have lists.  We also started a couple of family 'chat' e-mail lists.  Those are the really fun ones, if you have a family that will interact with each other on e-mail.  The family lists have proven very helpful in allowing family members (who have never met) to get to know each other better.  When something bad happens, everyone is there to support the one in need.  When something good happens, you can almost hear all the cheering going on.

About 18 months after we bought the first computer, I bought a used laptop.  It came in handy when I was traveling to visit cousins, or drudge through cemeteries for lost ancestors.  Of course, since I use Juno as my main e-mail program, I got my e-mail just about anywhere I went.  Although ioNET has set up a place to get your e-mail wherever you go, you still have to have web access to use it.  I don't have web access on my laptop, so it only has Juno on it.  You can't live without e-mail, can you?  It's one of the four necessities of life - water, food, shelter, e-mail.  *G*

I remember when we first bought our computer.  I didn't want anything to do with having one in my house, but I wouldn't allow anyone to use anything other than their Juno e-mail, until I learned enough about the computer to feel more comfortable with using it.  I had to be sure our money wasn't going to be lost within a day, or two.  I crammed - reading book after book, for about two weeks.  Finally, I was ready to allow the family to really 'use' the computer.  I must have cussed the computer off and on for the first 6 months, threatening to throw it out in the front lawn, but I finally settled down and accepted it as a part of our household.

Now that the kids have all moved out, we are considering buying a second computer.  One just isn't enough for the two of us.  One of us is always working on websites, or genealogy, or e-mail - or SOMETHING.

This page will probably change a lot over time.  

Thanks for visiting!  Come back again!


updated in 2008

Our main websites.....
JesPiddlin's Home Page
cgenerun's Home Page

One of my old websites
(Angelfire must have liked it well enough to keep...)
JesPiddlin's Garden

Write to me!

This website is not meant to imply that one company is better than any other, or anything like that.  I created it to describe the various experiences we've encountered since we first began dealing with a computer at home.  Your experiences will surely be much different.  No harm or profit is intended to any company by anything stated on this page.
This site was created by JesPiddlin - copyright 1999 and forward