25 years and counting

Microsoft Windows turns 25 this month, and by happenstance it's also the 25th anniversary of my first job in the computing industry. Quite a few milestones for me since then have been November events.

There's a cluster of significant anniversaries happening now. Last week, Microsoft Windows turned 25. Next month the Web will have turned 20.

I have a couple of anniversaries of my own that serendipitously show how intertwined my own fortune has become with that of the computing industry. Twenty-five years ago today I started my first job in the industry, selling PCs in the retail showroom of a business computing reseller in central London called Bonsai. I knew nothing about computers at the time — I was blissfully unaware for example of the advent of Windows that same month. But one of the earliest lessons I learnt was that very few people in the industry knew very much: the trick was knowing when to admit you didn't know the answer.

Eighteen years ago this month — having learnt a little more in the intervening years about how the industry and the technology worked — my first article as a tech writer was published. It was the opener for a regular column in trade magazine MicroScope that ran for a total of 15 years. You can read a small sample of my favorites here.

Twelve years ago, again in November, I published my first analyst report on cloud computing — in its then guise of application service provision. This is the introduction. The only milestone that doesn't fit the November pattern came five years ago in August 2005, when I started writing this blog here on ZDNet.

So on this special Thursday in November 2010 I have a lot to look back on and give thanks for. I hope I have much more to look forward to — certainly a lot to still feel excited about and fascinated by. And I thank you for reading.