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

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