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Newly Digital

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A distributed anthology of early computing experience.

Newly Digital is an experimental writing project. I’ve asked 11 people to write about their early experiences with computing technology and post their essays on their weblogs. Some have written about their first computers or learning to program. Others wrote about their first experiences with the Internet or a budding computer technology. Some stories are short and some span several printed pages.

This is different than a traditional anthology. Every story is hosted on its author’s weblog. Each story has links to all the others. Although I’m the editor of the anthology in the sense that I chose who to invite and the general subject, I didn’t read any of the stories before they were posted to the anthology. I’ll be reading them for the first time at the same time you do.

So go read, enjoy, and then contribute. This collection is open to you. Write up your own story, and then let the world know about it by sending a Trackback ping to this weblog entry or to Your story will appear in the list below. (Don’t have a TrackBack capable blogging tool? Send your ping with Simpletracks.)

The directory of stories also has an RSS feed that includes links to the last 20 contributed stories. Use the feed to put a list of stories on your own site, or keep track of new stories through your favorite news aggregator. The feed is at

Please don’t send a Trackback ping unless it links to a story. Pings without stories will be deleted.



  • Newly Digital by May 31, 2003
    My first computer was a Commodore 64. It was purchased during that frenzy of the computer age when people...

  • Newly Digital by C:\PIRILLO.EXE May 31, 2003
    When people ask you about your first computer, what do they mean? I mean, do they mean the first one you ever used, the first one you assembled, the first one you monopolized, or the first one you purchased? I'm still not sure where it all began with m...

  • Newly Digital: My first Internet connection by Anders Jacobsen's blog May 31, 2003
    My first time online was from a laptop. Via a cell phone modem. Using the Mosaic browser. In 1994. [...] This is my contribution to ''Newly Digital: A distributed anthology of early computing experience.''

  • Newly Digital by Three-Legged Pi May 31, 2003
    I would talk about my first computer, but it was a Commodore VIC-20. I might as well talk about my first calculator. To be fair, the VIC-20 was only the first computer I owned. I had played around with Radio...

  • Newly Digital by Minimal Verbosity May 31, 2003
    This was written for Adam Kalsey's Newly Digital project. Click the link for more information. I arrived on the Internet...

  • Newly Digital by May 31, 2003
    An essay about my early digital experiences. Warning: dripping with personal nostalgia.

  • The start of my computing by >> Mac Biased Bloggin' May 31, 2003
    I grew up with computers... literally. There are photos of me in huggies mousing around.

  • Newly Digital by rob's cryptic life Jun 1, 2003
    The early influences on my relationship with technology: Commodore, high school programming classes, and the world at 300 baud.

  • Newly Digital by Neil's World Jun 1, 2003
    Adam Kalsey is encouraging techy webloggers to recount their early computer experiences, so here's my contribution.

  • In the Beginning... by thoughtLog Jun 1, 2003
    My first experience with a computer was in the winter of 1978, using a thermal paper terminal, an acoustic coupler

  • Newly Digital by synapse Jun 1, 2003
    I began to spend time here on the Net in all its manifestations because I know I can escape from the dipshits and find a place to be among likeminded types. I can leave those emptyheaded idiots out of my viewpoint if I wish. I choose my direction here.

  • Newly Digital by Jun 1, 2003
    This entry is for the Kalsey's Newly Digital Project. I remember when I first saw a computer, and to this day I still wonder how I got here. My brother owned a Commodore 64 when he was a teenager, and...

  • Newly Digital. by Richard Giles blog Jun 1, 2003
    For the Newly Digital project. A collection of stories about bloggers early experiences with computing technology. I've known computers since I can remember. Playing pong, one of those old version...

  • Newly Digital... by Big Pink Cookie Jun 1, 2003
    When I was in 4th grade, my school (St. Patrick's, Kankakee, IL.) received a gift of two Apple IIe computers....

  • Newly Digital: What was your first computing experience? by enterFrame Jun 1, 2003
    Just came across this experiment on the Kalsey Consulting site Adam Kalsey has asked 11 people to write about their early computing experiences and we can add trackbacks to the post to make this a collective anthology. Here is my story (by the way, thi...

  • the memories, i can't resist by Brain Off Jun 1, 2003

  • From BASIC to porn: My life as a nerd by Rory Blyth Jun 1, 2003
    I was born in December of 1977. We didn't have a computer yet because we were dirt-ass poor...

  • Newly Digital by Circant Jun 1, 2003
    Kalsey has asked that people write about their early experiences with computing technology. There are eleven official participants: Anders Jacobsen Andre Torrez Andy Baio Bill Zeller Brad Choate Cameron Marlow...

  • Newly Digital (Back in the Day, redux) by The Long Letter Jun 1, 2003
    Adam Kalsey has started a project he calls Newly Digital — a collection of stories about when people first discovered computers, got online, and so on. In that vein, I'm updating and reposting my 'Back in the Day' post from roughly a year ago, to...

  • Newly Digital by J : Da Blog Jun 1, 2003
    I guess my first computer experience was it an Apple ][e which I used for nothing and playing computer games....

  • Newly Digital by Jun 1, 2003
    Adam Kalsey has a project called Newly Digital where he initially asked 11 people to write about their first computing...

  • Online in 1980 by Jun 1, 2003
    Sometime in 1980, I think, my dad spent a great deal of time determining that he wanted to follow his individualist streak and obtain a Kaypro II, a 64k dual-floppy machine that used the pre-DOS operating system CP/M and whose most important feature wa...

  • The newness of being digital. by LameZone Jun 1, 2003
    Adam Kalsey had a nifty idea. Get a small group of "known" gearheads to write about their first computer, first time on the Internet, or somesuch similar notion....

  • Newly Digital by Solipsism Gradient Jun 1, 2003
    ...Sometime in 1967, while browsing at a local library I stumbled upon Elliott Organick's "A FORTRAN Primer", and immediately realized this was hot. I promptly bought Organick's more up-to-date "FORTRAN IV" and proceeded to learn it forward, backward a...

  • Newly Digital by Confession of a Terminal Junkie Jun 1, 2003
    This writing is a response to Adam Kalsey's Newly Digital project. It all started when my Dad bought the first IBM computer for his office somewhere around 1983/84. The price tag at that time was unbelievable. For the same amount...

  • Newly Digital by Disarranging Mine Jun 1, 2003
    My first exposure to computers was an old Univac mainframe. The year was 1969. I was just a kid. My...

  • Newly Digital by Something To Forget Jun 2, 2003
    My first computer was almost a Commodore 64. We were waiting in the car while my parents were in Canadian Tire. It was near the...

  • Newly Digital: 1983 to Present by Big Damn Heroes (Tech) Jun 2, 2003
    A contribution to Adam Kalsey's Newly Digital distributed writing experiment. I stumbled into the personal computing experience. I didn't get here on purpose. When I was thirteen in 1983, I had little on my mind other than BMX racing and my beloved Re...

  • the first time i used a computer, or the first time i ignored authority by girl at large Jun 2, 2003
    my brother Thomas, the resident computer guy (i hate using "geek" for family) found an interesting anthology/blog project called Newly Digital...bloggers/writers are contributing stories of their first computer and/or online experiences. so, here is my...

  • We Are the Newly Digital by Jun 2, 2003
    As per public invite by Adam Kasley, I've decided to contribute some of my early computing experience.

  • Newly Digital by Life in the Zu Jun 2, 2003
    He stood in the doorway that separated the PC and Mac sections of our computer lab. "Regina. I need to see you." It wasn't unusual for Will to come into the lab looking for me. He was a computing staff member and I was serving on the Academic Computing...

  • Newly Digital by :: weblog Jun 2, 2003
    Although I had seen computers before -- touched the keyboard of a few, played some games, and so forth -- the first computer I came to call my own was an Amiga 500.

  • newly digital by little. yellow. different. Jun 2, 2003
    (Going by the meme of people writing about their early experiences with technology, I decided to throw my hat into the ring. There are two stories that come into mind, but the second one is incredibly personal and borderline...

  • Newly Digital by Talk Nerdy 2 Me Jun 2, 2003
    My dad bought the first computer that was in our house. It was a 486 and we got it in 1993. Actually it is still sitting on our basement. It didn't come with a CD-ROM, all it had was a...

  • What are your early computer experiences? by Jun 2, 2003
    I might as well jump on the bandwagon. Adam Kalsey started what he calls "A distributed anthology of early computing experience." He calls it Newly Digital. The idea is to...

  • Newly Digital by yarbroughs dot org Jun 2, 2003
    I grew up with a fascination for electronics. In the early 80s, the highlight of my trip to Wal-Mart, Kroger's,...

  • Newly Digital by John's Jottings Jun 2, 2003
    Adam Kalsey has put together an anthology of early computing experiences from himself and 11 others called Newly Digital. Even better he's asked the internet community to participate by sharing our own stories and linking back to his. And so it goes: M...

  • Newly digital by collantes.US Jun 2, 2003
    I started using computers back in 1985. The PC’s I used were old dinosaurs, running at the blazing speeds of 2 MHz, with 640KB of...

  • Newly Digital by Rant Central Jun 2, 2003
    Kalsey Consulting Group has asked 11 people to write about their earliest computer experiences. And they've invited anyone with a blog to join in via trackback. So I thought I'd mention my first computer. It was mechanical. You had to crank i...

  • newly digital and other geeky things by Snapping Links Jun 2, 2003
    This is actually a long entry, part of the "Newly Digital" project.

  • 내가 컴퓨터를 제일 처음 접한것은? by 철수네 소프트웨어 세상 / 컴퓨터 세상 Jun 2, 2003
    (This entry is written in Korean. If someone could translate the title for me, I'd appreciate it -- Editor)

  • Newly Digital by Jason Montgomery's Home Page & Blog Jun 2, 2003
    This piece was written for Adam Kalsey's project called "Newly Digital", where people write about their first computers or online...

  • Women: Newly Digital, Too by Distributed Jun 2, 2003
    Adam Kalsey's Newly Digital is a great idea, but I'm more than a little put off by the fact that the initial dozen participants (including Kalsey) are all men (never mind that they're all western men, too; one thing at a time). I'm a member of a local...

  • Anciently Digital by Nonliteral Jun 3, 2003
    Adam Kalsey has started a conversational thread called Newly Digital where he asks people to tell about their early experiences with computing technology. I see a lot of posts already from folks who started in the ‘90s, and even a...

  • Newly Digital by Bored on the Bus Jun 3, 2003
    A couple of recent posts got me thinking. One was a reference to the Newly Digital project which is trying to catalog some early computing experiences. The other post was...

  • Newly Digital by photojunkie : remix Jun 3, 2003
    Shot with my Canon Rebel S HP Laser Printer on the sidewalk in Kensington Market Wednesday, June 4th, 2003

  • Newly Digital by Your Daily Cup O' Chris Jun 4, 2003
    Well, I'm bored so I think I'll write an essay called, "Newly Digital." The one that Adam Kalsey started (Hope it parses the html). Well, the actual essay will be in the extended entry, It wouldn't look very good on...

  • My first computer by Volume of Interactions Jun 5, 2003
    I must have been 6 years old when dad brought home my first personal computer (PC). It was a spanking...

  • Newly Digital by Jun 5, 2003
    I went to school in the pre PC era, so my first experience of computers was at university. We did some programming on an ICL 1900 series, using punched cards and Fortran. I remember getting into trouble because I tied

  • Newly Digital by Speakeasy Jun 5, 2003
    A meditation on my first experiences with computers, modems, and the Internet.

  • Circa 1984... by collantes.US Jun 5, 2003
    I guess a fitting way to “welcome” myself to the posting forum is to also give a brief rehashing of my digital lifestyle. Rumor...

  • Newly Digital by El Refugio Jun 5, 2003
    Adam Kalsey propone que contemos nuestras primeras experiencias con la tecnologa de la computacin, para un proyecto que ha dado...

  • Hot Streak by Everything Burns Jun 5, 2003
    Each morning before classes, I would meet my cadre of High School cronies in the otherwise underutilised periodicals room in the school library, where we would play Ace of Aces, or rap about role-playing games, Rubik's Cubes and Snakes, MTV,...

  • Not newly digital, always digital? by Halla's Ranting: Long Form Jun 6, 2003
    Newly digital was a writing project that intrigued me, ever since I first read of it. Here is my take on it....

  • In The Beginning Was... The Apple IIe by another pointless dotcom Jun 6, 2003
    I managed to turn in my assignment for TLC in on time. The paper that I wrote was a narrative comparison of my history with computers with that of Neal Stephenson. The book that I read is called 'In The...

  • Newly Digital by RunAwaySquirrels Jun 7, 2003
    Newly Digital had a writing project, what they like to call "a distributed anthology of early computing experience" so here

  • it began at an advertising agency in the '80s. by wrap me up in it Jun 7, 2003
    My mom and i stood in the dining room where our new home personal computer was set up on the dining room table - the only table in the house big enough to accommodate the large Zenith-branded box and its tiny green-text monitor. And I logged on.

  • newly digital by randomWalks Jun 13, 2003
    Prefab bytes assembled for Adam Kalsey's Newly Digital project:...

  • Newly Digital - again. by Gedanken einer teasenden Nachtstehlerin Jun 15, 2003
    I've started this site to be 'newly digital' again. To get back some of the feeling how it is to be 'new' on the net and experience a new identity. A special one. The blogs called "Gedanken einer teasenden Nachtstehlerin" which roughly means something ...

  • A Newly Digital Fathers Day by Digital Man's Outtakes Jun 15, 2003
    When I first came to hear of writing a story about becoming 뱊ewly digital from Chris, I never thought I would write anything about myself. I think because I didn뭪 have any stand out stories of coding my first program, or starting my own business. I ...

  • Newly Digital by Jun 17, 2003
    My first computer was a TI-99. I was probably around 13 years old. I don’t remember using it for much aside from messing around with writing BASIC programs. I don’t remember how, and I am pretty sure it was used…...

  • Newly Digital by The Ninth Panel Jun 30, 2003
    My first computer was a Sinclair ZX-81. It's hard to describe the impact this small black piece of plastic had on the collective imagination of the people of Britain at that time. It was incredible. Almost overnight a new publishing...

  • First computer: Sinclair PC200 by Aug 13, 2003
    In 1988/9, my Dad brought home a Sinclair PC200, presumably to do work on, but more importantly I hoped, to let me play with. I was 5 or 6 at the time, so my favourite productivity applications were Castle (a supersimple roguelike), Tetris, Blockout (3...

  • A brief history of my time by Blue Swiss Cheese Oct 20, 2003
    I do not remember when my first exposure to computing technology was. It was with a game console, where one could play pong, tennis, and similar games...

  • Newly Digital (Back in the Day, redux) by eclecticism Nov 24, 2003
    Adam Kalsey has started a project he calls Newly Digital — a collection of stories about when people first discovered computers, got online, and so on. In that vein, I'm updating and reposting my 'Back in the Day' post from roughly a year ago, to...

  • Joe Ganley's Newly Digital by Joe Ganley Jun 21, 2004
    It bewilders me that sharp people didn't recognize the revolutionary nature of the personal computer, how amazing it is to have a whole computer all to yourself right there in your home.

  • A digression... My First Computer by Sterling Oct 18, 2004
    Using a Radio Shack TRS-80, Sterling discovers a new color that is simply Microsoft, and writes a wordprocessing program that would make him millions...if only it wasn't written in BASIC by a seven -year-old.

  • Newly Digital: A Recollection (Part I) by Exordium Feb 2, 2006
    Adam Kalsey has decided to compile a set of stories and experiences by individuals about their first encounters and memories of computers. I’ve decided to publish mine in installments that I’ll link together. First Contact My memories of co...

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