Old Fogey

In the department of how-old-a-fogey-am-I, An email I wrote at work might be a good blog post here. It shows my early geekness.  It has been altered to be more of a blog post.

A Coworker wrote:

Looks like he’s got some dev cred. Plus I think that’ll make Sunny and me the old guys no longer…

My Response:

OMG I used to lust after the contents of that book!

I wax nostalgic:

I grew up in Liberia, West Africa; my parents taught at Cuttington University College.

we had power 2-3 hours in the evening (not enough gasoline for the campus generator). Just enough to get the refridgerators cool .. you took what you needed out at 4pm when power came on, and then shut it (with paper tape, no duct tape available there) so nobody would accidentally open it, and then it would get cool enough to stay cold till the next day.

I first met a computer, it was a TRS-80 model I (i think, might have been a II – image on left), a fullbrite professor’s kid (Lars F) showed me a little game called “Adventure”. Then he showed me BASIC. And I was hooked. (PEEK 14400!)  (Side note: Lars also introduced me to Dungeons and Dragons, and the Rubik’s Cube)

Later on, the campus got a “computer lab” – of TI-99/4A‘s. My parents, being math professors, taught the courses, so they brought one home with them. With that book. Of course, we didn’t have any of those cartridges.. all I could do was look through that book. (and this one also: image on right)

But yeah, i’d start planning my programs during school, on paper.. power would come on, and I’d type them in furiously, getting them to work.. play .. and then power would go out, and it was gone. Repeat daily.

(after power went out, light 4-5 candles and read novels for the rest of the night till mom pestered me to go to bed)

When I came to the US for the first time.. 1983 … i was amazed at, in order:
a) 24 hour power
b) hot water
c) vending machines
d) hamburgers
e) 300 baud models hooking up to Iowa State University’s CS computer .. which introduced me to..
f) UNIX!

*gratitude for the little things*

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