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Computers And I
I have been playing computer games since around 1981 or 1982 (excluding a much
earlier encounter with "Oregon Trail" and "Star Trek" on a
TRS-80 as well as some exposure to a Commodore PET).
Starting on a VIC-20,
I went through several C-64s
until I got happily stuck with an Amiga 1000
in 1986 which I eventually abandoned for IBM compatibles in 1993 (shame, I know...
but I still keep an A2000 around). On the VIC-20 I started programming in BASIC right away before
I even had any games for it, after all this was what a computer was for in those days, right?
I even got the 16KB (yes, Kilobyte...) memory expansion cartridge! Screaming! The
gaming thing really took off with the C-64 and I started spending more time typing in and hoarding
software than writing my own. The only 6502 assembly I ever wrote was a loader for a Charlie's Angels
slide show, the highly pixelated images having been grabbed from video freeze frames with an early
digitizer capable of 4 colors in 'Koala Paint' format.
My most recent rig is a Dell Dimension XPS B1000r (1GHz Pentium III) running Windows 98 SE with 256MB of RDRAM, a 75GB EIDE hard drive, 64MB DDR NVidia geForce 4xAGP video card, Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! Value Digital sound card, Altec Lansing THX ADA885 Dolby Surround speaker system, Dell P1110 21" Trinitron monitor, Samsung 12x Max Variable DVD ROM drive with TV decoder card, 3Com 56k Internal PCI Voice/Fax modem, Canon BJC-7000 printer, Hewlett-Packard ScanJet 6300Cse scanner, Seagate Hornet 20 10/20GB Travan-5 tape backup, IBM Office Pro 700VA UPS.
My previous system, aging but still in use, is a Dell Dimension XPS D266 running Windows 95 with 64MB RAM and a Seagate 4GB SCSI HD, STB Velocity 4400 16MB AGP video card (replacing a Velocity 128 4MB AGP card), Creative Labs Sound Blaster AWE64 Sound Card, Dell D1226H 19" Monitor, NEC 12/24X SCSI CD-ROM Reader, US Robotics 33.6/56k Internal Voice/Fax Modem, Hewlett-Packard DeskJet 500C Printer, Canon IX-4015 Scanner, Conner CTT8000 4/8GB Travan-4 Tape Backup, APC 600VA UPS.
My even older system, still in operation also, is a Micron Millennia P120 PCI running Windows for Workgroups 3.11 with 24MB RAM and a Conner 2GB SCSI HD, Diamond Stealth 64 Video VRAM 4MB Video Card, Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 Sound Card, MAG Innovision 17" Monitor, Plextor 6X SCSI CD-ROM Reader, ZyXEL Omni 288S Modem, Colorado Memory Systems Jumbo 1400 Tape Backup.
As of February 2000 I am also a proud owner of a Commodore C-64 and two 1541 disk drives again (under $100 on EBay...).
The impetus was the discovery of all my old software, books and accessories in my parents' attic over Christmas.
Man, it's been something like 16 years since my prime with that box. My first ever BASIC programs, the PEEKs and POKEs,
the Zero Page! I remember it well. And all the games! Funny to find my highscore entries in Epyx Summer and Winter Games
and to think of how awe-inspiring those graphics were back then. And the technical manuals and books, as if they wanted
you to actually know the ins and outs of the machine including how the thing is wired... The disk notcher to make the
untested flipsides of the 5.25" floppies writeable, the home-burnt Turbo Load EPROM, the Simon's Basic cartridge...
Professionally, I work as a SAS consultant/programmer, preferably on Sun UNIX platforms where I also do a lot of shell scripting. Before SAS I've had a brief encounter with PL/I and after that used to support MICS (MVS Integrated Control System) and RACF on an IBM MVS platform.
Currently, I work as a Production Control Analyst in the Credit Card Services division of a large corporation, supporting back office and help desk related administration and reporting programming tasks and putting ad-hoc procedures into a scheduled production environment while also being sort of a jack-of-all-trades for all kinds of tasks at hand. I'm also doing some Web design from home on the side. My resume is available online.
PC Software Favorites
I have created special pages for these favorite games and one about Quicken users.
Visit the Pinball Simulation Page and read reviews of many of today's pinball games. See my best times for Need For Speed and my high scores for Crystal Caliburn and Loony Labyrinth Pinball. Download replays and saved games for Links 386 Pro Golf and Need For Speed.
These are some software favorites of mine with related links:
Though not really a favorite game I've created a public domain set of 10 levels with an ancient history theme for Sierra On-Line's LODE RUNNER: THE LEGEND RETURN (DOS CD-ROM). You may download my Lode Runner "Ancient Levels" as a 6K ZIP file.
Classic Software Favorites
Support the computer gaming mag that has integrity and a clue:
Computer Gaming World
How about some fascinating, interesting and recommended not-too-technical computer reading? Some of the books I read that long ago I hardly recall what they were about. Based on what I do remember, the covers are roughly arranged from left to right in order of preference.
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