“Today, we look back at the classic era of home computing that existed alongside the dreariness of business computing and the heart-pounding noise and colour of the arcades,” writes the site Den of Geek. An anonymous reader reports: The article remembers the days of dial-up modems, obscure computer magazines, and the forgotten phenomenon of computer clubs. (“There was a time when if you wanted to ask a question about something computer related, or see something in action, you’d have to venture outside and into another building to go and see it.”) Gamers grappled with old school controllers, games distributed on cassette tapes, low-resolution graphics and the “playground piracy” of warez boards — when they weren’t playing the original side-scrolling platformers like Mario Bros and Donkey Kong at video arcades. In a world where people published fanzines on 16-bit computers, shared demo programs, and even played text adventures, primitive hardware may have inspired future coders, since “Old computers typically presented you with a command prompt as soon as you switched them on, meaning that they were practically begging to be programmed on.” Home computers “mesmerised us, educated us, and in many cases, bankrupted us,” the article remembers — until they were replaced by more powerful hardware. “You move on, but you never fully get over your first love,” it concludes — while also adding that “what came next was pretty amazing.” Does this bring back any memories for anybody — or provoke any wistful nostalgic for a bygone era? Either way, I really liked the way that the article ended. “The most exciting chapter of all, my geeky friends? The future!”
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