My First Computer

I have to acknowledge “issababycreates” for this post, because the idea first came from her and a prompt that she had received asking: Write about your first computer.

Issababy Creates – Home – Issababy Creates

Computer – Commodore PET
Commodore PET – Spec. List

You have to take yourself back to around 1979/1980, when personal computers were almost unheard of. I was about 11 or 12 and one day my father came home with a huge box containing … What you can see above! A Brewery had been selling up some old office equipment and my uncle had bought this thing quite cheap, but after having it for a year or so had got bolt with it and my dad (his younger brother) bought it off him as a curiosity item. I was so excited, but as usual my father said that I should leave it alone until I had read all the manual that came with it.

Well the manual was quite a thick spiral-bound book and so the curiosity item just sat in the spare bedroom/games room behind the garage of our house. My dad started to read a few pages, but really didn’t get any further than plugging it in and pressing the start key – then the instructions became more and more complex and his interest began to dwindle. (Although he’d rather have you believe that he was just taking his time to get to know exactly what this ‘thing’ could really do.) The games room also had a darts board and so we’d regularly play darts in the evening as a family, with this box just sat in the corner. We were getting pretty good at darts, particularly the game “round the clock”, but no one was really progressing very fast with the box!

Now I was never one to be shy and as an only child, eventually I could take it no longer and I started to play on this curiosity. My uncle had managed to pick up a few games, but they weren’t like any gains that you would recognise today. To give you an example: My favourite game was called “sheep dog trials”. When you started the game it drew a box with one side missing or open (I can’t remember which). You then chose how many “sheep” you wanted and it randomly placed that number of pi signs around the screen. The cursor was your “sheep dog”, which you had to move around the screen using the arrow keys to collect up the pi signs into a group and slowly try to direct them towards the central box and in through the open side. Once/if you manage to get the pi signs into the box without the other pi signs escaping then I think that you hit a key or did something with the cursor to close the final wall of the box. I thought that the was GREAT – I kid you not!







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