Anand Jain Profile picture
May 13, 2018 14 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Thread on "taking a bet on your kid" #MothersDay
I grew up in Ahmedabad. My academic years were always a struggle. During school I could never wrap my head around subjects like Algebra, Chemistry, Biology etc. Basically, the subjects that could get you into the Science stream.
While I ended up choosing Commerce, I used to spend most of my time outside of college working on DIY electrical and electronic projects, a hobby that I picked up during my school days. I also used to repair appliances to make some side income.
One day, in 1995, I walk up to my mom and tell her that I need a computer. An Intel 486. Now computers in those days cost the same as a MacBook today (someone tell me why?). I just thought it would be cool to have my own PC to do "stuff" on it. Teenagers are stupid like that.
We calculate the cost for a 486, with 4 MB ram, SVGA color monitor, 256 MB hard drive, Creative sound card, etc. and it's ~ Rs 70K. Now she was saving up to buy the house we used to live in. The house cost was Rs. 150K - a 1 BHK in not so great neighborhood in Ahmedabad.
Coincidently (or not!), she had saved Rs. 70K for the house. At this point of time in my life, I had also writing code in Turbo C, and knew how to operate Wordstar and Lotus 123. Besides, a friend and I used to read up books on fractals, ray tracing, and 3D-studio.
Life's quite random at this point in time, with DIY electronics, programming in C, Wordstar, 3D studio. And no idea what I would do once I get a computer. But when a 19 yo needs something he urgently needs it.
Mom buys me a computer. So now we have a computer, but no money to buy the 1BHK. I used to do odd data-entry jobs, charge the building kids a rupee/hour to play video games (Prince of Persia, and Wolf3D), and spend the night working on some random 3D studio animation.
I was not becoming a millionaire anytime soon or even make enough to justify the computer purchase. Being a person that learns by doing, having that computer handy taught me a lot more about computer internals, programming and understanding the machine in-and-out.
When you're a loner growing up and don't watch TV, you end up with a lot of free time. So I used to read voraciously about electronic chips, microprocessor architecture, DOS internals, O/S design, etc.
During those days, I also took up to assembling and selling PCs, besides taking up some odd software development jobs in FoxPro!. Hell, another friend and I even wrote our own contact & billing management software for Ahmedabad High Court Advocates.
That computer started a "career" line for me. Software levels the playing field. You could be anywhere, you can compete with anyone. All you need is time, effort, and a clear line of thinking of what to make. It's like being handed clay which you can mould into anything
I don't know what turn life would've taken for me had mom not bought me my computer that day. She probably wrote off the purchase. Mom continues to be an inspiration and a role model. Happy #MothersDay to her and every mom that takes a bet on their kid.✌️
oh, and Dad had passed way when I was 12. So the only source of income was the tailoring business mom ran from our home.
The way mom brought us up, is also the source of my grit & never-give-up attitude.

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