Computer Nostalgia

I was very young when I saw a computer for the first time. It was 1986, I was 7 years old and my dad got a TK85 which was connected to a black and white TV. I think the TK85 was a Brazilian thing: it was a clone of a Sinclair ZX81 made by Microdigital Eletrônica (a Brazilian computer company, long ago extinct). It had an external compact cassette recorder that was used to load programs into it. It came with 16 or 48 Kb of RAM. I don't remember the RAM size of the one my dad got. It would take half an hour or more to load a game, and every time you needed to run any software you had to go though the process of playing the cassette tape to load it into the memory.

TK85 by Microdigital

Since then I've been a tech enthusiast. I was learning the Basic programming language when I was seven years old. I played games and learned touch typing on an Apple II. I was excited when my dad got a 386 PC then a 486 PC running Windows. I saw the first Windows version. I used WordStar and Lotus 1-2-3. I remember the day I first used a mouse and saw a monitor that wasn't green monochrome or black and white. I used 8-inch, 5¼-inch, and 3½-inch floppy disks.

I connected to BBS servers with dial-up modems that took forever to connect. I loved IRC discussions and used ICQ to connect to friends. I saw the Internet when it was NOT all about views and annoying ads. I loved opening up Mosaic or Netscape and doing random searches about a nerdy topic and finding out a webpage suggesting the right reading order of Isaac Asimov books. Or a really cool blog with the complete genealogy of The Lord of the Rings characters.

I kept awake many nights playing text based RPG on a MUD (Multi User Dungeon games) server. I made lots of friends playing Realms of Despair (it seems the servers are still up and running, by the way!.

I still love computers and technology although I have not become a programmer or a software developer. I think deep inside I wanted to be a Computer Scientist, but life and circumstances threw me towards another direction. I'm happy that I still spend most of my days with a computer, they've come a long way! I love a full sized mechanical keyboard and I hate doing things on a mobile or a tablet.

I guess for some people nowadays the Internet is synonymous with computers. The Internet has its pros and cons, we all know it. I try to stay away from ads, social media and any algorithm that choose what to show me. I like to have control over what I consume.

In retrospect, my journey into the world of technology and computers began in the most humble of settings: with cassette-loaded programs and painstaking loading times. But that instilled in me a fascination that has endured to this day.

Me with computers in the 80's/90'sMe with computers in the 80's/90's feeling nerdy 🤓


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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.