I saw an article today that Commodore – the makers of the VIC20, C64, C128 and Amiga computers – are resurrecting the old Commodore 64 case and putting a modern Atom-based PC inside it. It will have the same styling, color, and even the same ‘clicky’ tactile keyboard that the original C64 had. I need one of this!
Seeing this announcement led me to think about my introduction to computing way back in 1982. I was 12 years old, and I was excited about summer break. I had been interested in computers ever since we played Oregon Trail on the teletype machine in 3rd grade. A teacher lived across the street from me. He loaned me an Apple II from the school to take home over the summer. Sadly I cannot remember his name, for it was that summer that I learned to program in BASIC and my life-long love of technology truly began.
After that summer, I wanted a computer of my own, so my parents bought me a Texas Instruments TI 99/4A. I used to spend hours programming it. I was fascinated and I loved how the machine did exactly what I told it to do. My biggest problem was that I did not have any storage. I recall one time using the TI to write a simple song. It had a very, very rudimentary tone generator and I had written a BASIC program that played what was my very first digital composition. After spending all day programming, editing, listening, fixing and tweaking the song, I listened to it one last time, shut off the power, and lost the song forever. It was after that experience that I bought a tape recorder that I could use to save programs to.
From the TI, I moved to a Commodore 64, then a Macintosh Plus, a Macintosh SE/30, and a Macintosh IIvx. After that came a host of DOS and Windows machines. Today I have more computers in my house than I know what to do with. I currently have a Classic Core Index (the number of processing cores in machines that would traditionally be called computers, but not game consoles, cellphone or tablet devices) of 17. This is composed of:
- Quad-core Windows 7 desktop
- Quad-core Windows 7 laptop
- Single-core Windows 7 netbook
- Dual-core Macbook
- Single core storage server and Media Center machine
- Dual-core Home Server
- Dual-core machine sitting unused in the closet
- Single-core unused Home Server
I’d be at 19 if I hadn’t just sold a laptop.