I made a computer with my dad and it changed my life

One of my most cherished memories has to do with my dad.

His perseverance got me into tech, and was the spark for a passion I've been enjoying for the last 24 years. Everything started in the summer of 1993 with one of the most formative experiences I've ever had.

That's me with my family.

My dad's job was made redundant, so he decided to take the summer off before starting his new one. I was 15 at the time, and although I liked tech, I was way more into death metal and skateboarding.

My dad decided to do a project with me that summer - we were going to build a PC from scratch and install the (at the time) freshly released MS-DOS 6.2 on it.

This is how you installed operating systems. Floppy disks and a big manual.

We spent evenings trying to decipher thick PC magazines, making lists of our preferred components on stacks of graph paper, keeping careful track of our overall budget.

It was difficult, but exciting.

An example of 'light' reading from 1992.

Deciding how much to spend on which bits and how to tune it was great fun. Then we ordered everything, and a few weeks later we had all the pieces and began to put it together. But, rather than simply slapping parts together as quickly as possible, my dad took the time to explain each part and what its particular function was.

This took many, many days. But then, we managed to get everything together and began the software journey. We learned about the now almost-mythological autoexec.bat and config.sys files. We installed drivers, got to know what an IRQ was and how to work around pesky issues with ISA ports. Seems like forever ago, and just yesterday.

Computers now and before

And, finally, we got our working PC. It was way less powerful than the Kano Computer Kit, but we shared the same build-it-yourself principles. With the experience, I had learned what a computer was. We put it together as a team and made it our very own.

Going one step at a time with my dad as the helpful guide gave me some knowledge and much confidence, and was a wonderful bonding experience with him. It also was one of the greatest gifts he ever gave me -not the PC, but his time, help and encouragement, so I too could understand and wield the power of technology.

More than anything, the time I spent with my dad was pivotal and gave me a lifelong passion for technology, which led me into college where I eventually got a Masters in Electrical Engineering. After that, I spent 13 years working at Microsoft, going full circle, before joining Kano where I'm thrilled to be.

Making funny faces.

My dad has repeatedly said over the years that this is one of his favorite memories as a father. As a proud dad myself, I know that there's no tie or golf club in the world that would be a better gift than bonding with, and empowering, my children.

About the author: Luke Abrams is the VP of Product at Kano. He's a happy dad of 3, passionate about creating fantastic user experiences and a proud Star Wars fan.

Happy families all over the world are making computers together.

Do you want to make your own computer? The Computer Kit is a computer anyone can make. It empowers beginners of all ages to make and play with technology, not just consume it. Check it out.