My First Computer


That sounds like a Fisher Price toy, and come to think of it, my old Commodore 64 would be outgunned by a lot of toys these days.

Commodore 64
Commodore 64

Denis Gobo tagged me in a blog entry about our first computers and favorite games.  He was one of those upper-class kids with his fancy-pants Commodore 128.  I can distinctly remember looking at the sleek, smooth 128, comparing it to my bulbous, ugly 64 and thinking, “Wow, I wish I had one of those.”

My favorite C64 games were Ghostbusters, Battle Chess and Winter Games, probably in that order.  Man, I loved Ghostbusters.  For a taste of early 1980’s gaming, check out this video of 100 C64 games in 10 minutes.

I gotta confess, though, what I really liked was The Print Shop.  Oh, how I loved making greeting cards, signs and banners.  I was Mister Desktop Publisher, me and my pirated graphics packs.

I started with the tape drive, worked my way up to the 1541 disk drive, and dabbled with Basic programming like Denis talks about.  I think the longest program I ever made was maybe 200 lines: I remember trying to write a text adventure game where you pick your next steps, and calculating odds with some dice rolls, but that got old quick.

My second computer was an IBM PS2, and if I remember right, Dad bought it from Sears when I was 12-13.  We started with the monochrome monitor and a 3.5″ floppy drive, but I had big plans, baby.  IBM ran a contest on their user forums: each month, the user who answered the most questions (first post!) got a piece of hardware.  Some months it was a color monitor, other months it was a REAL GENUINE HARD DRIVE!  ZOMG!  For free.  I won the color monitor, and I was pissed because I really wanted the hard drive.  I don’t remember whether or not I won the second month.  Looking back now, I’d love to go back and read the answers I left.  I remember getting up at the butt crack of dawn to answer as many questions as I could before school, and race home to answer questions before schoolkids got home.

I’m gonna identify my nerdiness here, but this is a sad truth: I don’t really think I played any games on the PS2.  I was all productivity, all the time, baby.  I couldn’t get enough of forums.  I was not what you would call a hit with the ladies.

The games came back with a vengeance when I went to college, though.  I lived every waking moment for the University of Houston computer labs, playing MUDs (multi-user dungeons) all hours of the night.  I didn’t give much of a rip for the games themselves, but the social aspect was awesome – meeting people all over the world, taking part in these fun experiences.

And now I’m on Twitter.  Go figure.

Time to find out how nerdy everybody else is – I’m tagging:

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