86 | Time to fire up the WABAC (Wayback) Machine

Apple II Computer with 5.25" floppy drivesIt’s hard to believe that in about a month, I will be attending my 25th High School Reunion. Of course, I also have the privilege of serving on the Reunion committee and responsible for the audio-visual needs for the big night (yes, I was an A/V geek in High School…surprising, isn’t it?).  I’ve spent the last couple of days assembling playlists for happy hour, dinner, and dancing…and I think it’s pretty well finished.  It was more of a daunting task than I thought simply because of the music volume and variety (pop, rock, country, and rap) which boomed during that time (thanks to MTV). But, the deed is done and I hope everyone will be happy with my choices.

As the reunion draws close, I have found myself reminiscing about my high school days.  Interestingly enough, I came across a photo yesterday which really brought back some memories.

I believe it was 1987.  Sitting in Mr. Grigsby’s classroom in front of an “new” Apple II computer (tan case, 7″ CRT monitor with 2 colors — green & black, and 5.25″ floppy disk drives). We were learning the fundamentals of programming via Apple Basic. My god, it was so limited by today’s standards but I can still remember how cool it was that you could create your own programs…line by line. I remember spending time in the “computer lab” during study hall and after-school tinkering around with my own custom programs (or programs/games I borrowed from friends). Oh yea, pure geek time!  I guess that’s really where it all started for me.

Of course, it feels a bit weird sitting here in front of this 27″ iMac which is 3000 times faster than the Apple IIe I used so long ago. Makes you think…  Back then, we had crappy monitors (heavy CRT with limited color); limited audio & speakers; 256Kb of memory; no Internet; no laptops (portability meant you had to disassembled your whole system and haul it around yourself); expensive (by today’s standards considering what you were getting); and very little applications.  I could probably do a whole separate post on all the changes that have happened in modern computing during my 25 years of experience…and maybe even speculate about where things might go from here.


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