The origins of Happy date back to 1987, when founder Henry Stewart first registered the company and started provided training to friends and contacts. However 4th February 1991, twenty years ago, 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 Henry 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. Henry remembers teaching people how to enter a 12 digit code to print in landscape. The idea of the world wide web was still being worked on by Tim Berners Lee in his Swiss laboratory. We spent £1,300 per machine to get PCs with 16 MB of hard disk space and a whopping 4MB of RAM.
A lot has changed since then. Technology is miles ahead, 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. We are very proud of our record of 20 years as an independent training company.