I am a navy officer, retired since 2014, with no formal training in computer science, disregarding a BASIC programming course in the late 70s, using teletype terminals on a time-sharing system and a Pascal course in the early eighties, when I was a Midshipman at the Naval Academy. While lacking formal qualification, I have always been keenly interested in computer technology. I bought my first computer in 1984, a Dragon 64 with dual disk drives, running OS9 (not to be confused with Mac OS 9).
Two years later, I bought an Apple IIc. It looked beautiful with the sleek 9" Monitor IIc, and I fell completely in love with it. I still own one, albeit not the same specimen. The "original" died, probably of loneliness after 3-4 years hibernation, in a closet.
My third computer was a Commodore PC-40, an AT clone with a 40 MB harddisk and a green monochrome monitor. I spent hundreds of hours on that computer teaching myself Turbo Pascal. Those efforts resulted in a suite of programs for players and agents of our national football pools. I even started a company together with a chum, selling the program suite to eager pools players. After a few years, I had enough of the obligations coming from selling a commercial product, and we (my chum and I) sold the software code base to a competitor.
At work (we're talking '89-90 now) I was introduced to a completely different breed of computers. I had two computers on my desk, an IBM PC/XT and a Macintosh SE FDHD. The PC was for "serious use", writing "proper" documents. The Macintosh, connected to an Apple LaserWriter via LocalTalk, was mostly for correspondence (printing letters to paper before feeding them to a fax machine).
For home use, Macs were way above and beyond the limits of my private economy, for many years to come. So, I used a string of home built PCs throughout the nineties and most of the two thousands. In those years I ran a Bulletin Board System (BBS). Some of you may know of FidoNet. This was a global network of BBS computers, focused on exchange of messages so that users of different BBS systems could interact on the same topic thread. It is safe to say that Fidonet was the spiritual ancestor to Internet.
For the last 10-12 years, Macs have been my main daily use computers, although I have always had at least one Linux machine on PC hardware providing server functions in the house. I currently use a Mac Mini 2018 running Mojave for comms, browsing and most daily tasks, an Intel NUC running Linux Mint for my programming and engineering activites, and a PC box running Windows 8.1 for the few things I can't achieve on the other two units.
As to my retro collection and consequently this website, it includes all sorts of computers, but the main focus is Apple II and Macintosh. Some people are very fussy about what constitutes a retro computer. What time period computers deserve to be called retro? I have a relaxed relationship to this debate. I collect and cherish any computer that speaks positively to me. Obviously, I too am influenced by other collectors' preferences. If not, I suspect I would have nothing but Macs. As it it, I have lots of PCs from the Win XP era and I enjoy early Intel Macs just as much as a Power PC one, or a 68K vintage Macintosh. And, the best thing is - you get those young machines for almost no money at all. What's not to like?