I grew up amidst the dawn of consumer technology. My first computer was a ZX spectrum rescued from the bin near my grandma’s house. I tried to understand coding from a few odd sheets and magazines and didn’t do that well. My next foray into technology was a Commodore 64 that I got for Christmas…again, failing at coding but loving flimbo’s quest. I really have my parents to thank for supporting my inquisitive nature into technology.
The story behind the Commodore is one that stands out in my mind. We were on the train to Sheffield….old brown and orange chequered patterns on the seats, people stubbing out cigarettes in ash trays on the arm rests. My mum took us to Argos, why we were going to Argos in another city when we had a perfectly good Argos in Leeds was beyond me at the time. As far as I was concerned we were on an adventure in another city with a new (to me!) and exciting mode of transport. We picked up a large box wrapped in black bin bags which I dutifully carried to the train station. I had no idea what was in the bag and my mum wouldn’t tell me and I didn’t press the issue….. I wasn’t that bothered at the time. Then Christmas rolled around and who would have thought it -a commodore 64 in a surprisingly familiar sized box. It turned out the parents had realised the extent of my interest in the Spectrum and thought it would be better to get me something a little more up to date. My parents visited a few shops in Leeds that were all out of stock. They then rang around and found that the closest place we could pick one up was in Sheffield. I think this was made all the more significant due to sheer relative expense at the time. I didn’t grow up in family that could really afford these luxuries but they always found a way to somehow support my enthusiasm for technology. Even if it was a new and strange thing that neither of them fully understood at the time.
Thanks Mum & Dad