Video shot and edited by Justin Wolfson. Click here for transcript.
If you were to ask me what I like most about turning 40 this year, I’d have two answers. The first is that I’m that much closer to the senior discount at Denny’s, which is pretty nifty. The second is that I feel like I was born at the perfect time—early enough to be (mostly) in the Stranger Things generation of bike-riding neighborhood roamers who saw Ghostbusters in the theater and caught the premiere episode of M.A.S.K. on TV and had to be home before the streetlights came on.
More, I was eight when my dad brought home the thing that changed my world: an IBM PC model 5150, with 512KB of RAM and dual 5.25-inch 360KB floppy drives. A string of memorable games filled my days between school and bedtime: Polarware adventures like Oo-Topos and Transylvania, Karl Buiter’s Sentinel Worlds and Hard Nova, the inimitable Starflight, and even my first encounter with a certain upstart California game design company via a little game called Space Quest.
That IBM PC, first in a long unbroken line of House Hutchinson home computers, showed me how I wanted to spend my life. I didn’t care what I ended up doing or where I did it, but I knew even when my age was in the single digits that I wanted a job that involved computers. Which sounds idiotic today—outside perhaps working a trade, what kind of career doesn’t involve computers anymore?