Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wednesday Factoid: Computer Use

Today's Wednesday Factoid is: How old were you when you started using a computer?

Yay! Well, we had a good old green-screened Apple II back in the day. It booted from five-and-a-quarter disks that were actually floppy, did not have a mouse, and required several disks to store even a small amount of info. (I had three disks to save all the crap I typed into it.)

I was about eight years old, I think. I enjoyed learning some stuff about computer programming, because it was there and it came with instruction books on programming it to do stuff and it seemed like fun to me, but mostly we just used it to play games. 

There was a pinball game, a race car game, and even a weird game about running a lemonade stand. (I talked to my sister about it years later to see if she remembered it. She did, and remarked that it had taught us to be good little capitalists, changing the price of our lemonade based on whether it was hot outside to exploit the needs of the thirsty public.)

I also recall that there was a text-based adventure where you would follow prompts and tell the computer what direction you wanted to go or if you wanted to open a door or if you wanted to take an item. It was called Cyborg. I unfortunately never figured out how to win it or get past certain places, even though I drew a map trying to figure out where else I could go. My preteen logic must have failed me.

Playing it felt weirdly creepy, I think. There were some dark images.

Anyway, after that either died or was no longer available for whatever reason, I didn't have a computer again until sometime in high school, I think. I played Jeopardy on that one, and got on the Internet for the first time with early versions of America Online. :)

But the Apple II was the first time I really used a computer.

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