Apr 092013

I think it is almost 14 years now, since I was introduced to the world of internet. A couple of years before that, not unlike most kids of my age during the 90′s, I was very excited about computers. God alone knows how many times I have drawn the basic diagram of  a general purpose computer. Just the very fact of drawing the Monitor, CPU and Input Device used to give me kicks. For a long time, computer was a device on which you could play games – space commanders, digger, Dangerous Dave and Prince. I distinctly remember waiting for the computer class to play games, most of us had to wait for our turn while a select few got our chance to play on the computer. You had to be good at it, if you die soon (in the game, of course), you go to the back of the line and wait for your turn again. Oh did I mention, we turned this into a multi-player game, one would control the direction keys and other one is in charge of the gun (spacebar). On a lucky day, I would get a chance to play twice during the computer period. One period in a week!

Image of Space Commanders


Almost nobody in my class had a computer at home, except my close friend Shreyas. I remember playing Gorilla in his house. It was a very rudimentary game. Now, I cannot believe someone designed an angry birds of the 90s game where you had to input the projection angle manually and we have played this for hours sometimes even using a protractor!

Check out the input prompt for angle in degrees at the top left corner

Check out the input prompt for angle in degrees at the top left corner

Slowly I realized a computer could much more than just play games. I once was laughed at when I had proudly answered the question “What is the purpose of space-bar?” with to shoot aliens! 

We graduated to class 5 and were introduced to programming. It was a big shift. My first programming language was LOGO, (I am thinking I should add this to my CV now) except that it wasn’t really a programming language. Move the turtle forward, take a right turn, take left, pen up, pen down. oh boy! This is during the same time Jurassic Park was released in India (1993). I had an unimaginable amount of respect to the the animators of the Jurassic Park, mostly because, my computers teacher had told me that this movie was made in a similar fashion, using LOGO I mean. Of course, now I know that statement is ridiculous, but it was very inspiring back then.

Drawing a square in LOGO

Drawing a square in LOGO

I realize this post is going to blow up if I start writing more. I will continue this post and make it a series! In the next post, I will talk about how I became a proud owner of a Floppy disk!

PS: You can still play all these games on PC using DOSBox - http://sourceforge.net/projects/dosbox/?source=dlp

 Posted by at 10:27 am
Sep 122011

Let’s face it. You can’t really live everyday of your life like it’s your last. When Marcus Auerlius said “Live not one’s life as though one had a thousand years, but live each day as the last.", I am sure he didn’t consider people would have to work to live and survive.

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I was reading a post by Scott McIntyre on The Quickest way to Reveal What Really Matters in Life where Scott suggests a very thought provoking exercise –

You just have to ask yourself this little question:

If you could plan it, how would you spend your last day on Earth?

Scott believes Trying out this exercise will focus your mind and give you perspective on what really matters the most to you. The question might be basic, but the answers will be huge.

I tried this exercise and the answers I found led me to an entirely different conclusion – I don’t have to wait till the last days of my life to strike items off my bucket list !

Now that I know what matters most in my life and the things I would want to do on the last day of my life, I will plan to achieve them sometime very soon and go through this exercise again – to identify more things that I would want to do on the last day of my life and consciously try to achieve them in the shortest possible time. Over a long run and several such iterations, I would have in fact managed to live a few days like it is the last day of my life!