Reflecting on Technology in South Africa Over the Last 15 years
South Africa, in terms of technology, has been trailing behind for a couple of years. This is a look back at my experiences with technology in South Africa over the last 15 years. The reason for this is that there are a couple of really exciting things that are happening in South Africa in the next couple of months that make me look at where we have come from, so that we can admire where we are going.
Had a Toshiba T1100 laptop. This ran DOS. There were Internet and service providers in South Africa but not many and the connection was very expensive. I went to the local Internet cafe and experienced my first online experience. I can't remember what I looked at, but I do remember thinking that the whole experience was very boring, slow and expensive.
Upgraded from our DOS Toshiba laptop to a desktop computer. A 486 dx400. The HDD was as far I can remember was a 800mb HDD. I really looked at this space and thought, what the hell am I going to do with all this space? Then it started, the need to fill up hard drives. It was running DOS 6.22 and it had a turbo button. I really want to have all my current computers with a turbo button. You know, something is taking too long, well, push the turbo button.
Later this year we upgraded the software on our 486 from DOS to Windows 95. As far as I can remember, it need to be loaded from 27 3.5-inch floppy diskettes. The first time we tried to load the disks, disk 19 didn't work and we had to take all the disks back to get another set.
Started working at a school as a teacher. The school was still using dial-up internet. If you wanted to get on the Internet, you had to phone the computer teacher and ask them to please connect the Internet, this was proceeded with the normal questions about what was going to be done on the Internet. Once the computer teacher was satisfied that you were going to do research, the Internet was then connected.
I finally convinced the school and Telkom (the South African telecoms operator) that we needed to move from dial-up and get faster internet. Telkom had to upgrade the local exchange for us and we then got a 64k ISDN line.
2001Continued on the next page