30 years of technology

Today, I enter my 30s. Having spent most of it cleaning frantically in a bid to pretend it’s not happening, I thought I would embrace it for a few minutes and share my defining technology moments with you all. I know. I am too generous.

We’ll gloss over the plastic sewing machine and start where I want to start, with the LEGO collection I still own to this day.

My first set of LEGO was the house below, which my Dad got after saving up tokens from Wheetabix boxes.

This excellent blog tells me that it was released in 1987. I would have been 5, which is about right.

I quickly progressed to making robots, using the house windows as eyes, and from there to Technik, when the idea of a wireless controller was but a dream and when the idea of pink LEGO was a thankfully distant reality.

The space series was also a particular favourite, as my sister’s Sylvanian families will attest, should anyone ask them.


Amstrad PCW 8256Around the same time as I encoutered LEGO, my Dad moved from a typewriter to an Amstrad. And there began my love affair with technology.

I still remember the black screen and green type with a certain fondness. Within weeks of it arriving in the house, I could boot it up and use the word processor. Mainly I tried to draw pictures on it, using character keys. Bless my little cotton socks.

I also had a love of animals, and recall being deeply disappointed when, on visiting family friends, the “mouse” my Dad was invited to see turned out to be nothing more than a square plastic box attached to the computer. Little did I know…

I had to be prised off BBC Micros at school. Even when they translated some of the games into Gaelic and removed the English versions from the classroom, I remained a fan.

I particularly loved one which featured a maze through which you had to travel in a red car whilst being stalked by lions. Can anyone remember its name?

There followed an early colour PC, an original Nintendo Gameboy, the scientific calculator for which I memorised the equation for “BOOBLESS” pretty early on, and a foray into lamp repairing which resulted in a 270 volt shock and a sound telling off.

Desperately wanting to create something in Gaelic (I was a Gaelic Medium Education guinea pig) which did not involve fish farming, the clearances or miserable poetry about lost love, I started teaching myself to build websites. I began by finding the translate-able bits of other people’s code and moved on from Microsoft Publisher rendered pages to my own coding before the end of secondary school.

I’m still coding. I still can’t afford Dreamweaver, and I still don’t care. Give me notepad and a browser and I’ll be happy for hours.

Meekery, brought to you courtesy of LEGO and Surallan.


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