Born in the early 1980s, I grew up in a rural town in Southeastern Oklahoma, in the United States. It was an area of the country that was almost entirely void of any real technology at the time. I was introduced to my first computer at the age of about 2 years old, a Commodore 64. We were likely the first family in my home town that owned a computer. My father always went out of the way to make sure we were on the front lines of the Technological Wave of the Future.
By the time I was 5 we had upgraded to a 286 computer, which I remember very little about. But, by the time I was 8 years old, my father had been given a 386 computer at his office. Being a Judge in the small town that we lived in, the State of Oklahoma had decided that it was important that he have a computer. And more importantly, access to what would eventually be known to the entire world as the Internet. So, it was at that point, around the 1990-91, that I became familiar with the World Wide Web.
Within another year or two, the State of Oklahoma suddenly upgraded my father’s computer to a 486. And interestingly enough, the technician, probably seeing as I was sitting nearby waiting on him to finish, installed something very special for me. And afterwards showed me where it was at on the computer. It was the infamous Wolfenstein 3d. It was at that moment I was hooked on PC Gaming. And my father took notice.
Dad began saving money to buy a new home computer (he made good money, but we were a large family), and by the time Doom came out on PC (which my father also promptly bought me), I had a top of the line computer to play it on.
By this time we were into the Windows 95 years. And boy was PC gaming on a new level. It seemed that every week there was some new technology or game that was coming out, and changing the world when it did. Netscape Navigator was the preferred browser in my household, and the Capcom Chat Rooms were where I hung out when not at school or my friend’s house down the street.
The problem was, I lived in rural Oklahoma. And people just didn’t have computers there. And worse, that meant there were not any computer stores, or even software at the local Walmart. It would be several more years before that became common place.
Computers That I Own
Several Windows 98 era PCs
Several Windows 95 era PCs
Gateway 2000 Executive
Pentium Industrial SBC
Compaq LTE Elite 4/75C /w SmartStation Dock
Halikan / Chaplet LA-5040 Portable
Packard Bell Force I (80286SX)
IBM 5160 / XT
Kaypro II – Functional but without Boot Disk
Kaypro 2x – CRT Malfunctioning? No Image, but Board shows activity
Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
Tandy Color Computer II – 64K
Timex Sinclair 1000