Confessions of a Software Geek

Ramblings and rumblings about my many worlds of geekdom.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

When I Was Ten....

When I was about ten years old (circa 1974), my father bought his first computer, an RCA Cosmac Elf. It was a kit that you had to build yourself. It came with printed circuit boards, all the chips, wires, and so on. It used an 8-bit processor that amazingly didn't come from Intel. The system actually predated IBM type PCs by several years.

To use it you had to enter (by hand of course, there wasn't even a cassette tape interface for storage) the program as a series of hexadecimal codes (technically machine language). The system's keyboard was only a numeric keypad and the display was a set of four seven-segment LEDs. After a couple of years, my father obtained a normal keyboard, installed a BASIC interpreter, and built a video controller for a text display monitor (from a kit of course).

A couple of years later, I wrote my own version of the Space Invaders game, written mostly in BASIC but had some portions written in machine language (to speed up the keyboard control). So I guess I've been a software geek since I was in the sixth grade.


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