Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"It was never generally available but it was the Velvet Underground of computers, in that everyone who saw it went on to make their own computer industry."

I don't know a lot about computers but I did own an Amiga 500 back in the day - or, rather, my family did - and I used it a lot. For those who didn't have the pleasure, let me assure you it was GLORIOUS: 20 years on I have nothing but good memories of playing Bubble Bobble, Great Giana Sisters and creating some truly atrocious calendars and birthday cards as gifts for kind family members who were classy about it on the outside but presumably dying of laughter on the inside. That isn't a slam on my calendar-making abilities or anything but, you know, they were printed on a dot matrix printer, so... yeah. There was THAT.

Do you need to have owned an Amiga or a Commodore 64 or have been exposed to a computer in those charming, heady days of the 80s to truly appreciate and warm to this lovely article about nostalgia, friendship and, er, grief and to appreciate paragraphs like this one -?
In 2002, Jim and Tom and I got together and went down to an Amiga festival at a hotel in Maryland. It was—even by the standards of nerd events—well, it was rough. Men had Amiga logos woven into their beards. People with ailments sold disks out of worn cardboard boxes. I had expected it to be like an alumni weekend, a chance to get together and chat about old times. But these people were angry. I remember driving back and feeling stupefied. How could all that sweetness have leached from the world? I blamed Microsoft Windows.
Maybe not but it sure worked for me. It's a long read and a LOT of it went screaming over my head but give it a shot.

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