Started out computing with a ZX81 my parents bought aged around 6. A younger brother and a screwdriver finished that prematurely (the ZX81, not me). For a number of years my parents and I used a Commodore +4, which was ok.
My dad was a school teacher, and the school had a suite of about 20 Atari STs, mainly 520STFMs but a couple of 1040STFMs, and one Mega4 they kept in the IT office. Luckily for me, my Dad was able to bring home a computer from work (which I pestered him to do) at weekends and over holidays. For many years, I got the hang of GEM and played Ranarama, and mucked around with DegasElite.
In 1991 (I'd have been about 13) my parents bought a MegaSTE, with 4 Megs of RAM and a 48Mb harddrive. A colour (Phillips) and mono monitor. In the years that followed I used it for all sorts. Programming in GFA Basic, demos, games ST Format coverdisks as well, and a mix of chip tunes and mods. I learned to use a decompiler to rip simple chip tunes, and got involved with writing a game SkyDuel with some others at school (http://www.atari.st/view.php?id=2669
My next door neighbor was friends with (I think I got the name write) Chris Holland, who was involved with putting together Maggie, and certainly a useful contact.
I tinkered a lot with PovRay and raytracing, though waiting overnight to see your 320x240 pic, certainly took a lot of patience. I went along to one of the ST shows at the Birmingham motorbike museum, which was rather cool, picked up a 68882 and dropped it into my computer, and after a recompile of Povray things went swimmingly.
Back then, I had a 2400baud dial up modem, flow control didn't seem to work (Think it was the OS's fault), and mainly used BBS and Delphi, much to the annoyance of my parents who got some whopping phone bills. I also remember getting it up and on the internet (I'd got a faster 9600 baud modem by then) using CAB amongst others.
Plenty of patience was something I had then, and don't have so much of now.
I headed off to uni in 1996, and took the MegaSTE with me. Met Anthony Jacques and Mark Crutch, and amongst the usual bits and pieces mainly Anthony wrote some erm, debatable stuff (http://www.btinternet.com/~anthonyj/Ata ... index.html
My Atari got retired (I still have it, along with and 1040STFM I rescued from the skip with the school went PC), in around 1998, and though I dig it out now and again, PC's are my main tool.
This seemed to be an era when there wasn't much I didn't know about the Atari ST, tried lots, knew lots, and knew people. Almost a golden age from me, as now I realise in the PC/IT world how little the niche I'm in is.
So after uni, (4 years of computer science), I went on to be an ASP programmer, learned lots about networking and DBs on the job, and moved over to Systems Manager, though still did ASP development. Quit that job, and now work as IT Director for a 2 years old IT startup. Good fun.
Married, sprog baking, due Nov. Though uni was in Manchester, live down in Oxfordshire.
I'm still a bit of a geek, but like cars too, and in honesty always intrigued by how things work, whether car engines, clocks or computers.
I still ticker with some of the same stuff I used to, game and apps. What else, I'm 32, 5'10" and male. My favorite game of all time, was and still is Mercenary II: Damocles.
Hope this wasn't too much, as mentioned this was a great era in my life, and set me up with some IT know-how that's seen me good so far.
Last edited by phil4 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
1040 STFM | Mega-STE 4Mb, 68882, 48Mb HDD, TOS 2.05! | Falcon 030, 14Mb, 68882, 4Gb HDD