Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, May 31, 2014

I love this

The first computer I used in school was a TRS-80, manufactured by the folks at Radio Shack. The first one I owned was an Atari 800 XL, which I got my senior year in high school and used through part of grad school. The word processor was a ROM pack. One day there was a fire at a warehouse near the university. A power surge caused all the control characters (the formatting codes) to spin wildly on the screen and I couldn't save or print the document. This, of course, happened right before it was due. I wound up threatening my roommate with harm if she turned off the computer or even the television (that was our monitor in those days), and had to go bed my teacher to let me turn in a handwritten version I'd copied off the screen. Really.

When I went off to college, we thought it was on the fritz and my mom bought another one, and it turned out the dial on the TV used for tuning had gotten turned in the move, so she kept the other and became a video game fiend, especially at Dig Dug, which I finally got back from her. I still have the games, though the computer died awhile back. Every now and then I look at the systems as they come up on eBay. Kids today just don't get a little pixelated man digging under monsters or jumping over alligators like in Pitfall as what we considered fun times.

There is a library-related section, too, in the video, going something like this:
'When this computer was used, there was no internet.'
'Then how did you look up homework?
'You would go to the library.'
'Who would want to do that????'

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