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Darryl Theven Naidoo
 
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When I was a kid..

15 January 2014, 17:09

When I was a kid, I wished for a car just like KITT. I mean I didn’t know how to drive but the Knight Industries Two – Thousand could chauffeur me to any place I chose. I also wanted a robot. You know, like the guys on the TV series ‘Riptide’ had. I also wanted to be a computer genius like ‘Murray Bozinsky’ .

Come on guys, you know who Murray Bozinsky is. He’s the guy who built the orange robot in ‘Riptide’. Anyway, I always wanted to be some sort of computer dude who could come up with ideas and solutions of the technical kind.

It all took off the day my brother bought me a brand spanking new Commodore 64. With it’s 64K RAM and cool colour and graphics, I was on my way, treading slowly on a path that would become the very foundation of my education and learning. I remember it clearly. It came packaged in a huge colourful box with a few extras that other guys didn’t have.

You see, I had the ‘Commodore 64 Compendium’. It came with the C64 Music Maker, C64 Designer’s Pencil and a free game - ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole’, a sort of book on tape where you choose the stuff Adrian has to do. From what I remember, it was a pretty cool book by an English lady named Sue Townsend.

As the months and years passed by, I ( with the help of my brother ) managed to add on certain hardware, like a monitor ( I originally used our TV as the screen !! ), joystick, disk drive ( it came packaged with a tape drive originally !! ) and some games.

But the really cool part was that I messed around with a bit of programming all those years ago. BASIC – Beginners All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. Hey, I can still remember the acronym. When I finally got to high school, we began with Turbo Pascal so I can truly say that I tinkered with the really old stuff, by today’s standards.

I realise that some of you really old guys tinkered with stuff like FORTRAN. So you guys must be reading this and saying, ‘What’s with this kid ?, BASIC’s not old !!!’

Anyway, back to my C64. This machine was quite the powerhouse in those days and by doing some Google searches I found out that it is still the best-selling personal computer of all time. It sold over 30 million units. Pretty cool indeed !!

I had to take a lot of things into consideration before using my computer back in those days. The TV had to be free for one thing ( I only got my monitor a while later ). I needed to get out the extension cord to connect the huge external power supply.( I could have done bicep curls with that thing !! ). And it’s crazy how we get angry at our slow internet connection these days and when our e-mail takes a few seconds too long to load we go ballistic.

I had to wait twenty minutes before my game would load into memory. TWENTY MINUTES !!!. My games were all on tape, by the way. I even saved my BASIC programs on tape. Although I always asked permission before I could wipe out any ‘a-ha’ or ‘Spandau Ballet’ audio compilations.

Technology has moved on so quickly these days that when one watches an old sci-fi movie or TV show, chuckles and laughter illuminate the air. I still have my Commodore 64 after all these years, but what I really want is my very own KITT.

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