I've been surrounded by computers pretty much all of my life, my father worked as an accountant and eoconomy consultant, (recently he also got a laws degree, so he's a lawyer now as well). He was lucky enough to work on one of the first companies in Canary Islands to buy computers for accountance, and pretty soon he spotted the importance of this, so Victor (my brorther) and myself always got a computer around.
When my brother was 11-ish and I was 3 or 4, he got a new computer, an 8086 Schneider Euro PC, that was pretty nice back then in the late 80's, the computer and the keyboard were integrated, although it didn't have any hard storage, just 3.5" floppies that you had to exchange in order to load big chunks of programs. Since then my brother always got quite involved in computing. Meanwhile, I was more interested in a NES, then a Game Boy, then a Sega Megadrive (Sega Genesis), SNES… it was all about games for me. And a few years after, my brother showed me on his computer a master piece, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, I suddenly got in love with that game format, not only because I loved the mental challenge that any graphical adventure involves, but also because it had a charming sense of humor. Definitevely I got addicted to LucasArts adventures, and in order to play, I needed a computer. Too bad I didn't own one.
My brother was also very early on internet access, we had internet already in late '96 early '97, although I didn't pay too much attention to it, the only cool thing that I found was that I could get tips and solutions for the adventures I was playing. But eventually, one day, he showed me IRC, and I kind of got interested in that as well as a way to meet new people, I was 14, just got in high school, and I didn't really like most of the people I met there (with some exceptions of really nice people of course), plus, most of the people in Gran Canaria using internet and getting in IRC back then were computer geeks as well.
After some years of frustration and big fights with my big brother about how much time could I spend on his computer, during summer 1998, I worked at my father's office to be able to be a proud owner of a AMD 486 DX2 with 8 or 16 megs of ram by the beginning of the 98/99 school season. In the meantime I also saved money enough to buy a second hand 300Mhz AMD K5, a motherboard, some memory and a brand new ISA 56K DIAMOND modem.
And that's the story of how I got online, it feels kind of odd to look back at all the stuff that has happened, and how very little or even stupid things got me into find out what I end up passionately wanted to do for a living, which is computers and how can they be used solve every day people's life. On further posts, I will explain how did I got into Linux and opensource, which is another funny story.
This post is meant to be is a big thank you to my brother and my father for their influence and tolerance, and my mother for lend me some money back when I broke some hardware (which used to happen a lot by the way).