My First Computer

adamMy first computer was the Coleco Adam computer. It came in the winter of 1983 as a Christmas gift. I chose it over the Apple ][ and the Commodore 64 because this computer came with 80k of RAM based on a Zilog Z80-A processor running at 3.58MHz. It came with a daisy wheel printer which put out typewriter-like text, and had built in wordprocessing. 

I fancied myself a writer, and quickly began using it to churn out really bad science fiction, erotica, fantasy conversations with famous historical figures and chimpanzees, and long, simultaneously self pitying and self-aggrandizing essays about myself. Somehow, I have never broken out of this Kilgore Trout writing style.

I wrote my college essay on it -if I can find it, I will post it at some point. And, you could program on the BASIC language that came it it. I programmed LIFE (the computer problem, not the board game –link) but each generation took about 10 minutes, and I would have to let the thing run for days to reach a steady state. 

What was even better was that it was also a full blown Coleco gaming console, and you could play War Games which I did for many days on end fighting writer’s block. Buck Rogers came on the silly proprietary tapes that Coleco admittedly decided was a big mistake. 

In the end, I left it behind when I took off for college, like a sad younger girlfriend or a bad haircut. I moved up to a 512k Macintosh, but I still have a soft spot for the ADAM. Like everything in this navel gazing age, the uber geeks out there have actual conventions where they meet and commerce in this defunct, obscure relic from the 80’s. Some bright chap with too much time has actually got it to go on-line and act as a web server.

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