Monday, 31 January 2011

Happy Computers is 20!

The origins of Happy date back to 1987, when I first registered the company and started provided training to friends and contacts. However 4th February 1991, twenty years ago this week, was the date on which Happy Computers established its first training centre in Wicklow Street, near Kings Cross. It had just one training room and the only staff were me and Tina, a part-time administrator. From there we grew steadily to our current training centre, with 14 training rooms and 20,000 people trained last year.

At the time WordPerfect 5.1 was the latest word processing software, taking over from Wordstar and Multimate. Windows 3 had only just being released and Word for Windows had barely been heard of. Supercalc and Lotus were the spread-sheets of choice, and were a bit basic. I remember how, to print in landscape, you ahd to teach people how to enter a 12 digit code. The idea of the world wide web was still being worked on by Tim Berners Lee at CERN. And I remember investing £1,300 per machine to get 16 MB of hard disk space and a whopping 4MB of RAM in the PCs.

A lot has changed since then. The technology is miles ahead, the software is much easier to use and the web has changed just about everything. We now train online, and deliver webinars as well as our core class room training. But the core principles on which Happy Computers was founded, of involvement and making learning about computers fun – and having a positive effect on society, remain in place. And we are very proud of our record of 20 years as an independent training company.

Any other memories of the early days of IT training welcome. Do post a comment.

1 comment:

Mark Bradley said...

Congratulations Henry. Computing may have changed beyond recognition, but knowing what makes a great business tick is still the same ... and with the exception of you and a few notable others ... this continues to elude most businesses.