My First Computer

My first computer was a Commodore 64. I think I got it in 1983 but I’m not sure about the year anymore. I bought the monitor, keyboard, floppy disc drive, and dot matrix printer as a package. I envisioned all sorts of purposes for this computer and had high hopes.

I spent a lot of time learning the programming language that was the heart of the 64. I bought books and spent hours adding the code and modifying it to make squares change colors or maybe move around the screen. I distinctly remember spending days troubleshooting code that wouldn’t run. I checked it time and again but couldn’t make it run. After days of desperation, I was checking my code on the printout from my dot matrix printer, only to discover that I had mistakenly substituted a comma for a period in one line of code. I never did create any code that made my 64 useful for any of the tasks that I envisioned but all this experience did come in handy much later when I was an automation engineer for one of the “Big Three” automakers.

I spent a year in Alaska on a remote assignment for the United States Air Force. I dragged my 64 along with me. It was here in Alaska that I discovered the most useful purpose for my 64. Games! My friends and I spent hours flying the Apache helicopter shooting down enemy helicopters and blowing up tanks.

Shortly after I returned from Alaska, we purchased a new IBM computer with something called Windows. The 64 had been replaced. It eventually went to my mother in law. She had big dreams for it also!

Write about your first computer.

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