The first thing I remember is Zork. The year I was born, four guys who had invented a programming language at MIT released an interactive text “computer game” that went by the futuristic, silly but imposing name, Zork. It’s difficult to remember computers as they were then without our current sense of technological sophistication (or should that be naivety?). My father worked in IT, so there were computers in my house from an early age. I remember vividly my older siblings being taught to “code”; to enter strings of commands to form a short “program” that meant the computer did something like change its screen colour or show a moving triangle. Most of us remember the blackness of DOS, its blinking, patient but demanding cursor. This was a time when it felt that the depths of your machine were on show. You turned it on and there were its black innards, waiting to be ploughed through, vulnerable, demanding, endless. There was none of the pretty, cheery Apple design or the blue chiming order of Windows. We were yet to build a cosy home from these raw materials. No, DOS was as open and black as the American plains at night… Read full this story
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