Scot Lowe recently published a post named “My Milestone Moment” where he explains where and how his love for learning computing started early in his childhood when he was face-to-face with a Tandy TRS-80 in the back of a Radio Shack where his brother was the store manager.
His post brought me back some nice memories of my first contact with computing. I always loved to go to my uncle’s place to look at him playing games and doing some BASIC programming at his TK-85, a Brazilian clone of the Sinclair ZX81.I was little, maybe 10 or 11 years `old.
Soon all my friends had the ATARI console to play fun games but I had nothing. My parents believed in this natural, young, ginseng and electronic free childhood. Not that they were wrong, but that was not me!
My uncle then upgraded his computer to an Apple II and things got even more exciting, however I soon got to my early puberty stages and of course computers would not impress any girls. So at the age of 13 I asked my father for a 50cc scooter.
According to the reports my father would have given me the scooter but my mother said a big NO. So, I end up being a proud owner of a MSX (Zilog Z80 processor) computer that was given to me as birthday present. Initially it was used as video game but soon I realized I could do much more and within a couple of months I was already copying BASIC programmes from magazines and soon programming in Z80 ASSEMBLY.
Interestingly, before the appearance and great success of Nintendo‘s Family Computer, MSX was the platform for which major Japanese game studios, such as Konami and Hudson Soft, produced their titles. The Metal Gear series was originally written for MSX hardware
From there to owing a BBS (Bulletin Board System) and making money without having a proper job while my friends would take summer jobs was not a big effort.
From that moment onwards it’s all history and eventually computing took me to the other side of the world (Australia). I have to say that it has been a very enjoyable ride and I see myself with 70 years old and trying to learn and understand the new technologies.