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Computers I Have Known, a Love Story (Premium)

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I don’t have pictures of all of the computers I’ve owned or used, at least not yet, and certainly not the very earliest ones. My love affair with computers began in the early 1980s, when I would linger over the Commodore VIC-20 in Sears and imagine the games that I could create with the machine. (I have very specific memories of a Star Wars space battle game that wouldn’t be realized by professional video game designers until the Battlefront series many decades later. So I guess my imagination was just a bit ahead of what the technology was actually capable of.)

The computer I really wanted, of course, was the Commodore 64, which was first released in 1982. But that was initially more expensive---$600, if I remember correctly---than my parents would entertain. But we had gotten an Intellivision video game system, so I was able to convince them a year or two later to purchase a peripheral that forever guarantees I have the best-ever “first computer” story: My first computer was the Entertainment Computer System (ECS), an Intellivision add-on that turned the console into a real computer. It cost $150, plus the cost of some cables from Radio Shack to connect it a tape recorder for storage.

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