What was your happiest tech-based moment?

Look at how happy this Will Ferrel lookalike is! Just look at him.

My happiest tech-based moment was when I installed a dual-layer DVD burner into my ancient IBM machine. The hardest part was getting everything to line up properly, and having it work was my proudest tech moment.

What’s yours? Was it the release of an OS, getting your first computer, a gaming machine, or was it more modern - getting your first iPhone maybe, or programming your first app?

I think it was getting my first iPod Classic, though it wasn’t called ‘Classic’ at the time. That one, a 20Gb version, has long since died, but its 80Gb replacement is still used every day, though I also have a 160Gb version held in reserve for the day that eventually dies. Can’t quite understand why they discontinued it really.

I guess when I got a C64 a long long time ago.

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When we first decided to try Ubuntu, we went for a dual-boot system. I had no problems installing a second hard drive or downloading and installing Ubuntu. No problems booting into Ubuntu. But when I tried to boot Windows - zilch. All I could get was an error message which meant nothing to me. And at that stage I needed to get into Windows for work.

After frantic searching for information, I ended up at the Ubuntu Forums, where somebody patiently walked me through all the steps which should have solved the issue (but didn’t) and then equally patiently walked me through Plan B, until I had a fully-functioning dual-boot system. I can still remember the mix of relief and elation when it finally all worked - and the kindness of a complete stranger on the other side of the world taking time to help a total newbie just added to that.


Spending Friday(8 hours), Saturday (13 hours) and Sunday (6 hours) and finally getting Facebook/Twitter API to work and do what I want.

Nothing beats going through muddy waters and finding the light. That’s the most time I’ve ever spent on a single issue IIRC.

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Turning the first computer I built on for the first time.

It was in the year 2000 and I was still a teenager. I was working with my Dad on his fish farm and it was my first paying job I ever had. I saved up $1,000 to buy my first computer that was my computer. I went to Best Buy and the only thing really in my price range were some pretty midrange eMachines, which was pretty much the bottom of the barrel brand at the time.

I started asking the guy who was working there about the computer and he stopped me and said “you sound like you know a lot about computers, do you think you can build one yourself?” I said “yeah probably” then he handed me a card and said “why don’t you head over to this place. They will help you out”. The place he sent me was a small hole in the wall hardware shop by the Airport (Miami International). I don’t remember the name of the place because it was in Japanese, but it was owned by some great Japanese guys with extremely thick accents. They walked me through buying all the parts I needed to build my computer and I went home and put it together… which was hard, because I could barely understand what they were saying, they talked very fast, and it was all new to me.

I took the parts home and put them together the best I could. I used the manual for pretty much everything, there was no YouTube in 2000 and online resources weren’t as easily found as they are today. Then once everything was together, I turned it on and… nothing. Obviously, my heart dropped and I thought I screwed up. So, I took the whole machine back to the shop to see what I did wrong. LUCKILY, it turned out the Power Supply was bad because I didn’t know what the motherboard risers were or what they were for. If the PSU hadn’t been bad, it would have resulted in some pretty fried hardware. :slight_smile: I knew those things were for something and I knew sitting the mobo on the bare metal like that was bad, but I couldn’t figure out what they crap they were for.

After that, everything was good and I took it home and turned it on and installed Windows 98 for the first time.

Crazy how random people like that can change your life. I would have still been in to computers, but this guy started me out on a whole new level. It’s much easier to build a machine now, because you don’t have to mess with jumper settings, motherboard configurations, most every part is compatible and you have YouTube to help guide you through it. 15 years later and I’ve never bought a desktop PC.


I studied computer programming at night-school and wrote a Killer App’ Tic-Tac-Toe program using Borland C. Transferred the source to a floppy and managed to get it to run on my home computer which I think was my trusty Tandy TRS-80.

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When I became Software Architect… I used to tell people what to do… now I’m still a Software Architect but I have to do everything since I’m currently a team of 1.

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