April 1941, London, UK. The Germans had been bombing London for more than 6 months, in what had been called "the Blitz". I was a teenager then.....no wait. That wasn't me.
Part I - Boyhood, but not as good as the movieI grew up in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere in central Ontario, Canada during the 1970's and
|You can almost see the sweat in this true-to-life simulation.|
|The possibilities were endless!|
10 PRINT "<InsertSwearWordHere>";
20 GOTO 10
This would endlessly scroll the chosen swear word, but with the added feature of filling the entire screen, instead of just a single column, thanks to the addition of the semi-colon. This alone differentiated me from the other students, and pegged me as a "computer genius" (or maybe nerd). From that moment forward, I knew computers were going to be an important part of my life....actually no. It was just a way to waste time with games and to irritate teachers.
A few years later (probably 1984), my parents brought home an odd-looking beige box with a small, heavy 16-colour CGA monitor attached. This was yet another attempt to get my brother and I to "learn about these new-fangled computer things". This was the very first PC, an IBM clone. It had no hard drive. It had 640K of memory. Its only storage media was a pair of 5 1/4" floppy disk drives. I remember inserting the DOS disk, listening to the floppy drive buzz and churn away until finally a single A:\ prompt flashed at me. Without any manual to read, I thrashed my way around until I figured out how to get things done. And by "get things done", I meant "play video games".
|It's Sexytime! Imagine that "CENSORED" box moving up and down, |
and you get the idea. Mass parental hysteria ensued.
I didn't realize this at the time of course, but this was my very first interaction with Microsoft via an early version of MS-DOS. Little did I know just how much of an effect this would have on my life, just not in exactly the way my parents intended. I became familiar with computers, even though I didn't use them much more than a medium for playing games.
Later on, as I became older, I used the PC for more than just games. I used it in high school to write
|My high school picture|
We eventually got a 1200 or 2400 baud modem (can't recall which), which allowed us to dial-up to local Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), and download games at blistering speeds. (a 1 MB game would take about an hour at 2400 bps). If my mother picked up the phone while we were downloading (and that happened a lot), she would hear a nice screech, and our download would get interrupted, forcing us to start over. More screeching would happen from both me for the wasted DL time, and my mother who couldn't use the phone any more.
Other than dabbling with computer games and word processing, I lived life like a normal teenager. Rode bicycles all over the place (got into racing and did pretty well), chased girls (not so well), watched TV (yes, Knight Rider was on my 'Must-See' list), and got into typical teenage mischief (all too well).
This continued until one fateful day in 1988, when I encountered something that would change my life....forever. (Best read like a movie trailer voiceover).
Coming soon, the mid-point of this thrilling saga: Part 2 - Higher Learning