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!