It was 1988. I was five-years-old.
I wasn’t a particularly ‘good’ kid in early primary school. I tried to follow instructions, but things didn’t really ‘click’ for me until later in life. One day, however, I must have been a good student because my teacher rewarded me by letting me use the computer.
I was led by the hand to a small room adjacent to the classroom. Nestled in the corner on a wheely truck was a BBC Microcomputer. It came complete with a huge floppy disk drive and some kind of touch-pad which I didn’t understand how to use.
It all looked very high-tech and cool to me.
For thirty minutes I was allowed to play vocabulary and maths games. The black screen whirled with green text and pong balls as I tried to solve the problems. The bleeps and 8-bit sounds were awesome.
Later that year my family would buy a far-superior computer and a legendary gaming console – the Atari 520 ST.
If I was lucky I’d get an hour to play on that computer each day. The games were aimed at kids and the themes were vivid and colourful. The Atari machine taught me hand-eye coordination and the basics of using a mouse, floppy disk drive and operating a basic computer. I think it also made me a bit of a dreamer and aided my imagination.
My life back then was very much centred on the outdoors. The Atari was a nice addition to my life, but I still preferred running through streams and burying my toy cars in the garden.
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