What Our Dads Taught Us About Tech

Dads, huh? How about them. Here at Gizmodo, many of us wouldn't be the gadget-obsessed individuals we are today without dad, and we imagine that's the case for you too. So Happy Father's Day, dad. Here's why we love you:

My Dad Taught Me Things Don't Really Matter

I broke my dad's cd player, it was one of the first. I jammed the tray in, and then his Bon Jovi CD got stuck inside. Then I tried to take it apart to reset the rack/pinion track. It went downhill from there. I don't recall him being angry, either. Pretty neat dad. - Brian Lam


My Dad Taught Me How to Be a Pirate

I still remember receiving the original Wing Commander from my dad. It wasn't in some fancy box; it was an unassuming stack of 3.5-inch disks and a large photocopied manual (since DRM, back then, was a pop quiz on some star ship spec you could only find on page 98). Not only did he then teach me how to install and copy files in DOS on my own, and not only did I get the reward of an incredible game for learning something—I'm assuming all of the materials (disks, paper and ink) were ganked from his old office, which is like a double life lesson if you think about it. - Mark Wilson

My Dad Taught Me That It's OK To Break Things

Like Brian, I ruined quite a few gadgets when I was younger—nothing major though, I swear!


My dad was to blame for enabling and encouraging this gadget-destroying behavior since the day he showed me how to use a screwdriver. Because as soon as I knew where to find the right tools and how to use them, I started taking everything within sight apart. From my simple Mickey Mouse alarm clock—a red one that had two bells on top and Mickey's hands showing the time—to my Game Boy to various minor household electronics. Nothing was safe.

I destroyed a lot of gadgets over the years, but in the process I learned to understand and love them. For that I'm grateful. I just hope that my dad teaches me how to put things back together one of these days, because I really miss waking up to Mickey. - Rosa Golijan


My Dad Created a Fanboy

The NES. Waiting in line for Super Mario Bros. 3. The Apple Power Macintosh 6100/60AV.


I you were to trace my gadget lineage back 20 years or so, these obelisks would mark the birth of the fanman typing out the words you're reading today. Did I miss out on MS-DOS and Blast Processing? Sure, but as a creator/writer, and a kid at heart who's always been interested in quirky, colorful software, I was never interested in working at the command line or consoles that purported to have "emotion engines" and Uncanny Valley-leaping Cell processors.

So I suppose you could easily "blame" dad for molding me into the Apple and Nintendo fanboy I've sorta kinda become today. You could. But not me. Regardless of the brand, dad got technology into my life early and often, and still does today. Thanks for that. - Jack Loftus


My Dad's Role Reversal

My brother and I really wanted Mortal Kombat II. We were really good at it in the arcade, and used to murder guys who were my age now. The day it came out on the Super Nintendo, my dad was supposed to pick us up from school. I was 6 or 7. We were hoping we could convince him to take us to Walmart to buy it. When we asked, he said he didn't have any money to buy it. Which is when he pulled out a bag and said, "Because I already spent the money on it." That's probably my favorite dad tech memory; usually he asks me what he should buy now. - Matt Buchanan


My Dad taught me about quality

Dad had always had a brilliant audio set-up at home, all Technics and Denon and Pioneer, connected to massive old wooden speakers he'd bought from the BBC when it was having a clear-out, which he shipped from England to Australia (where I grew up.)


After he brought home our first CD player in 1994, a six-disc stacker from Sony I think, most nights he'd sit up after everyone else went to bed, listening to the same Steely Dan and Neil Young CDs he'd bought with it. He sat in a rocking chair, quietly appreciating each note through headphones. The CD collection quickly grew to several hundred within the next few months as he obsessively bought entire back-catalogues, and I took great delight mining his collection of Stones, Beatles and Dylan CDs for the CD player I nagged my parents for the next Christmas. But, like Dad sitting in his rocking chair listening on his wannabe-audiophile's set-up, I've learnt to really savour the quiet moments tech can give you. - Kat Hannaford

Update: In addition to some great comments below, it seems we've inspired Lifehacker's Kevin Purdy to write a few words on this topic over on his personal blog. A touching, welcome story, Kevin! Thanks! A personal note: The "Brown Box" mentioned in that post reminded me of printing off the entire Anarchist's Cookbook on my dad's laser printer back in the 90's.


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We'll be updating with more throughout the day as more editors weigh in, but in the meantime why don't you share some patriarch-related tech stories in the comments?

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