Monday, 17 September 2012

Mid Life Crisis - Part IV

So, part one was rediscovering vinyl and spending hours listening to my old records. Part two was getting back into dance music and trying my hand at mixing, which despite being twenty years too late, I reckon I'm not too bad at. Part three seems to have involved growing tomatoes and chilies in the greenhouse.

Part IV?

1980's computers.

It started with a car boot sale, a grumpy other half and haggling over a £6 price tag, but I am now the proud owner of a second hand Atari ST. I wanted one twenty odd years ago, you see, and I guess that's the essence of the crisis that is mid life. Reliving your youth. I got into home computing in the early 80's when it kind of started. A gang of us used to write small games on a friends Dragon 32 instead of scaring old ladies or wearing trousers in an incorrect vertical position. That was our youth, well a year or so of it until we discovered the local off licence would sell us beer and fags at 14.

What these youngsters of today don't understand is, back then, computers in the home were a major change to our lives. Most homes had one telly, and only three or four channels. So to go from that to being able to move poor quality, chunky graphics around a screen felt like we were launching rockets.

Shops were different as well, you could walk into WHSmiths and they'd have a row of computers set up for you to mess around with. Some had games for you to test, others you could type your own programs in (although I'm sure it was spelt programmes back then.)

Anyway, the Atari works fine, which I don't imagine any of today's PC's doing after being in a loft for the next 20 years. However, without a mouse or joystick, I can only really watch the intro's the four games that came with it, and dream.

Anyway, it'll be in the loft next week (or sooner if my other half has her way) along with all the other crud I seem to accumulate as the years go by.