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Computer in my Life: A Personal Viewpoint



Computer is one of the fascinating technologies that humans have ever invented. It provides the platform for further studies in science, mathematics, psychology, communications, politics and many other related fields of studies. Computer has been used by scientists, politicians, musicians, artists, anthropologists, geographers, geologists and many other professional to engage in research in their respective fields, storing data for future storage and sharing with others.
I first started using a computer in 2004 in Accra, Ghana at the Buduburam Liberian Refugee camp where the first Internet Cafe′ containing about ten (10) desktops computers were introduced to a refugee population of about 55,000 people. About 45% of the refugee population was composed of young adults between the ages of 18 to 30 years old. I was one of the luckiest persons in the group that learned how to use the computer and also browse the Internet off-course after having to pay for the use of the computer. 
In May of 2001, the Amigo Internet and Computer Inc.-a for profit business organization owned by a Ghanaian businessman in Accra introduced the “Amigo Internet Cafe′” at the Buduburam Refugee Camp with the aim of establishing a business as well as providing the refugee camp with access to computers and Internet technologies that was gaining promising grounds at the camp. It was a difficult experience for me for the fact that I could not afford the amount on a constant basis to be able to have access to both a computer and Internet for an hour. Most of us at the camp were not employed and as such could not afford the $1.00 for an hour that was required to have access to this new technology-"opportunity." Most people prefer using that money on food, water and medicine as oppose to having access to a computer like alone the Internet. Nevertheless, most of us sacrificed those urgent needs for learning how to use a computer just by paying for an hour online and by reading free online tutorials on how to use a computer.
One of the surprising things about the computer technology that I also admire is how we can use it for multipurpose. At first, I just could not understand how we can use the computer to listen to music, view movies and at the same time us it to do our office work. I became to develop more interest in learning about computer and how I can use it to make my life more meaningfully. With this thought, I decided to set a goal in order to save some money for a year and to enable me purchase a computer. This decision at the time was consider a long-term decision to me, because purchasing a used computer system in Africa most especially Ghana means working hard and saving enough money to get one. However, I decided to take up this task and over the period one year (2003-2004), I was able to saved $300.00 US to purchase a used Pentium I from the Amigo Internet and Computer, Inc. This money was made possible through two years of intensive gardening and assistance from friends.
Now that I had my own computer, which was not connected to the Internet, I decided to take computer classes at a local computer school on the camp where I paid $50.00 per course starting with “Introduction to Computer Science,” which included topics as “MS DOS”, “Windows”, “MS Word 98”, and so on. To me the computer technology opened a new view of how we can communicate, work and plan our programs in a more interpersonal manner.
Over the years, now that I have three laptops and a very sophisticated desktop and constantly access to the Internet, computer is an integral part of my job, learning experiences, communications, and with it I have learned to keep more accurate and up to date information. However, at the end of every use of my personal computer, I also learn to shot it down in order to safe energy and save money. It is very important not only how much we safe when we shot down our computers, but it also helps protect the environment by reducing the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases that we emit into the atmosphere by leaving our laptops, computers and other electronic gadgets on when we are not using them. Saving energy is saving nature. 

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