Pure Danger Tech


Podcast from the Woz taking me back to my early days

28 Apr 2005

For about the last week I have been downloading stuff from IT Conversations and listening to it on the drive to and from work. So far, I‘m really enjoying it – the commute has actually become enjoyable (and useful)!

I started by listening to Steve Wozniak‘s two-part talk from Gnomedex, which was the top-rated on the site and lives up to it‘s rating. If you have any knowledge or potential interest in the Woz, this is a must-listen. It‘s roughly a biography of how he got started in electronics through about the Apple II. It starts a little weird but stick with it – it is fascinating (or at least it was for me).

I particularly enjoyed it because my personal history with computers picks up about where Steve‘s talk ends, with the Apple II. The first computer I ever used was an Apple IIe at a summer program, I think between 1st and 2nd grade or possibly between 2nd and 3rd. I did a boatload of Logo and was totally hooked. Soon we had a few Apples at school and I helped the teacher set them up and learn Logo herself. Eventually my dad managed to buy (probably at great expense – maybe $5K?) one of the first IBM PCs through his work at McDonnell Douglas. It had a 4 Hz CPU I think and 360K of RAM and no hard drive. A few years later we got a 20 MB hard drive, which I think never had more than 5 MB on it. I got into Basic and eventually into Turbo Pascal, doing all sorts of weird graphics stuff like fractals and Mandelbrots that would generate over night so I could print them on my dot matrix printer. Yes, I was and am a super geek.