Monday, December 04, 2023

Every Five Years

I bought a new computer. I do this about every five years. This new computer is a Mac Mini with a zippy M2 chip. I even sprung for the outrageously priced 16GB RAM upgrade. The arrogance of Apple's pricing is galling. If I was building a new gaming PC, RAM would be about half the cost. But, I'm parked in the Apple biosphere. It's a pricey neighborhood and Tim Cook knows we'll all pay to stay. 

I'm thinking about all the computers I've owned. I remember my first computer. My parents bought me an Atari 800. I have flashes of memory from that day. We were at a Venture (the 80's equivalent of a Target) and I'm really not sure how it all went down. I do recall feeling shocked and a little mystified as we put the box into the car. I didn't ask them for a computer. I wasn't pining for one or saving up to buy one. The folks just decided I needed one. It must have been a pressing issue because the Atari 800 wasn't cheap. It was a major expenditure. 

Maybe they thought my future depended on riding the tech wave that would wash away all the youngsters who couldn't do this:

10 FOR X=1 to 10

I never learned to program. I didn't even use it as an extremely expensive typewriter. It was primarily a console for a single, 8-bit game called Star Raiders. 

I'm guessing my parents were disappointed in the return on their investment. However, the Atari 800 did make a mark. It left me with the idea that I'd always have a computer in my life. Like a TV or a toaster, you really didn't want to live in a house that didn't have one. There was a gap between my teens and my twenties when I didn't really own a computer (aside from the old Atari 800 that was gathering dust) but I always had access to one. 

Now, here I am, typing on the latest iteration of my computer journey. There's a lot of hardware that's come and gone as I've progressed from the Atari 800 to this Mac Mini. In fact, a great deal of it currently resides in our mechanical room. In fact, if you need an old MacBook or laptop, let me know. Maybe we can work something out. I'm sure, regardless of how old the computer may be, you'd be able to do some word processing or crank out a spreadsheet - or - maybe, you could download an emulator and play Star Raiders.