Tales from my programming past

Looking back, I admit that I was a bit of a computer nerd as a kid. I think I may have been obsessed with computers and computer games. I did a lot of programming, especially in elementary school. I subscribed to computer magazines like PC Magazine and BYTE and even went to some computer summer camps. My earliest computer experiences were with friends who had the VIC-20, the TRS-80, the Commodore 64, the Apple IIc, and the Commodore Amiga. My family later bought an IBM XT Compatible. Some of my favorite games were the quests series from Sierra, like King’s Quest, Space Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry. 🤣

I recall doing a lot of programming in BASIC. I used to find books and magazines about BASIC at the library. Often there would be computer programs written line for line in them. I remember sitting at the computer in our basement, entering pages of code to create some rudimentary text-based game to play. It looked like this:

10 LET N=10
20 FOR I=1 TO N
30 PRINT "Hello, World!"
50 END

In high school, I took a few computer classes mostly just out of interest, not with the intention of a computer science career. Turbo Pascal seemed to be the flavor of the day back then. I also discovered the world of Bulletin Board Systems (BBS’s) and forums around this time. I’ll get into BBS’s and the early days of the Netscape-dominated internet in a future post. When I was in college, I took another computer course in Turbo Pascal. But after that class, my computer programming interests and opportunities started to fade away… until now. 🤓