Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Games we play. Part 3. Meeting computer.

What a day. It felt like an old buried time capsule* landed in my lap just out of nowhere (that's how I call internet). I opened it and canned joyous emotions sprung like birds from cages or oil fountain from the dry land and promised me soul touching music or provided future. What? I'm seeing your raised eyebrow. My joy asks for quick explanation, if my gut feeling is right I'm seconds away from you thinking that I belong to Cuckoo's nest.
Explanation lies not that far away just in the dark ages and the moment when I was introduced to light - the computer. I can't recall when was the first time I saw it, but the first memory I associate with computers is going after school to my mother's work. I waited for her to finish and because she was a very important and so busy person in there and couldn't be bothered by a bored to death child, she brought me to her coworkers, who had a computer and were so good (although it could be the importance of my mother) letting me play games with it. Especially one game. Today I was dedicated enough to search for that particular game like crazy. Obviously I couldn't remember the name and Google my 'bird and jumping snake' didn't understand as I wanted to. But after some consultation with Wikipedia I tore it out. It was called J-Bird (a clone of Q*Bert). There in a small office of numbers in a big corporate building my never ending love story with computer games began (of course I couldn't avoid break ups for sometime until the relationship became healthier, that's normal). 

Our first adopted (a nicer word for 'bought') computer was DTK Computer Inc. DSN-3300. Does it say anything to you? To me neither. Basically it was a laptop (not very popular thing at that time) didn't have any colors, was grayscale that's why after a while we connected it to a color display. And put glasses on that display, I mean glassy screen for saving our eyes. Didn't help me though. Probably it saved display more from gazing at me than the way around. DSN-3300 is still in my parents' house. When I was last time there I visited our attic and found it lying dusty, broken, and dead in the corner with three buttons ball mouse as it's companion. I blew away the dust, took several pictures, put it back and was asked by my father, 'are you going to sell it?'. 'No, I don't sell dead animals', I wanted to answer, but just smiled. 

Attics are small treasure islands floating in the sky, so I found not only computer but a drawer full of floppy discs too. And while I disappeared mysteriously into memories, my brother came looking for me and when saw what I was doing, reminded how he liked sliding the shutter back and forth on the floppy and tease me (he always knew how to pull my strings) and I was shouting 'stop doing that!'. For my defense, I was absolutely sure that by doing this he will destroy the magnetic disc underneath and all the information on it. I don't really know were we got all floppies from and especially the ones with games. My best guess is that my father had good friends programmers. They talked too much about philosophy for my taste and sometimes looked more mad than sane with their theories about the world and inventions, but had games. And it always felt when our father brought home new discs with games like he came from sweet shop. Floppies were our candies.

* actually I remember hiding a real one with some little childish things (ok, I admit I don't remember what was in it) in my grandparents' yard near the dog's house and huge stone like tribute to the previous dog (don't question my motives as a child, I don't do that either) but neither my grandparents (who dug that place at least several times) nor I ever found it. Time capsule got lost in time.

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