The first computer I ever owned was a SpectraVideo 328, an IBM compatible PC bought as a gift by my parents back in 1984. I was spellbound and forever changed.
I eagerly interacted with games that streamed into it's memory via audio tape cassette and took forever to load – while the excitement bubbled up in anticipation of interacting with pixels on the TV screen. The intelligence of this machine and the interplay of pixels in response to external stimulus through cursor keys or my new QuickShot I joystick was mesmerizing.
What caught my attention and interest the most was the Microsoft Extended Basic operating system that invited an education in “computer language programming” – I was captivated by the potential presented.
The first program I ever wrote intentionally resulted in a “seemingly intelligent” system that asked for a password to be entered before continuing with a series of questions about what should happen next – a series of “if then” statements and corresponding results – admittedly inspired by a recent hit movie, War Games.
Having a computer follow programming instructions to create something independent and autonomous was magic and only one mystery remained – how do I connect this computer to “the world” and make things happen? The musings of a 13 year old boy with adventure on the mind.
Since those days my thoughts, decisions and experiences verified and encouraged a deeper dive into the binary world of signals and computation.