1984

IBM PC 5155

In 1984, I was 10.
My father got us our first “Personal Computer” from IBM, the 5155, with a rattling matrix printer.

The imposing “portable” computer started with loud buzzing and on a black screen a flickering cursor appeared after a long start-up.

It seemed like the computer wanted to make it clear:
“I have successfully loaded MS DOS, now it’s up to you!”.

I learned a lot from a thick book in “Basic” programming.
In those days kids could go to a “Tennis / programming camp”. I went there in the summer to improve my knowledge. I learned to make games, drawings and useless programs.

Later, as the PC and clones became increasingly cheaper, more and more ready-made programs came out.
There was no mention of copyright whatsoever.

On a Wednesday afternoon I went to a computer store in Ghent with a friend.
In exchange for the purchase of a box of floppy disks, we were allowed to copy everything that was available in the store. Between Digger, Pacman, Frogger and the first Flight Simulator, I found a copy of Autocad.
With that program you could – “oh my god” – print out a wire model of the Space Shuttle.

That is how the love started.