There is a discussion underway at WSJ about memories of the 1982 PC, after a column looked back at the decision then by TIME to name it the “Machine of the Year.”
While I didn’t start using PCs in 1982, I remember using my first PC in 1983-4. I remember getting a ZX Sinclair home but didn’t use it much. At the same time, my father had also got a computer at work. It was very expensive (Rs 200,000 or so, when the dollar was Rs 8 per dollar). Since we couldn’t find a software programmer who would stay long enough (!), I decided to learn BASIC programming, and would go after college and write programs on it. Wrote many interactive games then: one that simulated a one-day cricket international (remember that was the time India had won the Cricket World Cup), Monopoly, and a game I called MinderMast (guessing a 4-digit number in upto 10 tries).
The computer was my life then – that was how my love affair with technology begin. Till then, I wanted to follow my father’s footsteps and become a civil engineer and build bridges and buildings. The computer in the office changed my life.