I loved it back then. My first computer was a Commodore Vic-20. I recall saving $80 for an 8K memory expander for my solid ole Vic. Yup I said 8KB not 8MB. I had learned to program by turning a stock simulation paper game of my stepdad’s into a simulation. It got so big I had to have the memory expander just to finish it. The first storage I had was the tape cassette drive. I went to heaven when I got the first modem that was not acoustic. No more knocking yourself offline if you played your music too loud.
Next in my computer life came the C64. The best home pc ever. Hours of typing in games from magazines. I was in real heaven the day I got my first 1541 floppy disk drive. I could actually SAVE those games after entering them. I wrote my own BBS software and even had to get a second 1541 to host my BBS. Along came another C-64 when my first one finally died. The c-64 rocked more than anything for the programmer’s guide you could get for it. Peek, Poke and you were in the world of assembly language.
In those days online consisted of dialup BBS systems. You can find a list of the ones I frequented here: http://bbslist.textfiles.com/205/ I remember folks like Rocky Rawlins, Robert Broome and Richard Foshee. There was a time in the mid 80s where we actually did not need passwords. You just entered your name and started talking to folks via the message boards. Then the teen flamers started and I recall all the major BBS admins and programmers in the area teaming up to help each other implement password authentication.
I did a little Apple IIe work in high school labs. But I never had one of my own. I even recall the hype of the colecovision based computer. It sounded so good at the time but completely failed to live up to the hype. It was a turn key system complete with printer. The printer was so bad it was driven by what appeared to be fishing line.
The last computer I got before I finished high school was the Commodore Amiga 1000. Man were the graphics and music beautiful on that system. I actually used that computer all the way through my first three years of college to do my papers in the word processor and dot matrix printer. It was in the University library I got exposed to Apple again. It was way easier to write up physics and chemistry lab reports on a mac.
Now I see the Commodore name is back. This time as a windows based gaming machine. They do have an online web based C-64 emulator in their site. You can find them at http://www.commodoregaming.com/
Oh those were the days….