Geek Prom 2004 | Saturday, April 17 | Great Lakes Aquarium | Duluth, MN

I can't wait. I'm a "celebrity" judge! Urban blog posse will reprazent.
Now, what to wear? I know I'm bringing my VIC-20 secret briefcase...

Oh, you want my G33k cred?

  • My first computer was the Atari 400. It had a membrane keyboard. I learned BASIC programming in... 1980?
  • Fell in love with Apple ][s in the early 80's. Mac in 1984, email in 1991, the web in 1994, and blogs in 2002.
  • I tried to start a Commodore Vic-20 computer club in my neighborhood. I thought we could talk about programming and trade games and stuff. Nobody came. Fuckers. (Now my Vic20 is screwed onto a briefcase, which I'll have with me.)
  • For my 6th grade science fair project, I made a computer program that quizzed the user on math problems. I wrote it all out by hand in my notebook, it was 16 pages long.
  • I spent a great deal of time on BBSs in 6th-8th grade. Especially role-playing D&D-type BBSs.
  • Oh, did I mention I was heavily into D&D? Yup. Went to GenCon 17 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Bought a 30-sided die.
  • In 7th grade, I got a "C" in gym. I got pissed and figured out how to hack into TIES (the report card data processing company) - just like in WAR GAMES - but got too scared. I used the "War Games autodialer" to dial a bank of numbers and it's tell you which ones had a modem carrier - then you could go back and try to hack them. Fun!
  • I always brought my lunch and sat with other geeks, with names like "Coey."
  • In 12th grade, I had a Led Zeppelin sound sample my school computer. Girls would bring their friends over & ask me to play it. It was then I realized, one day, I could use the power of geek to get girls.
  • Which is exactly what I did in college, via the Internet, pre-Web. My first sorta-almost-girlfriend I knew only online. We'd have lengthy and sometimes steamy UNIX text chats. When I met her in person I froze up, on account of being incapable of actual live human interaction.

    April 7, 2004 at 03:55 PM in Religion | Permalink


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    Dude. We're gonna have to talk VIC-20. I had that model, and I took some serious grief for it from the Apple geeks. But I still stand behind it. Sadly, my mom gave it to Goodwill a few years ago, along with my swanky electric piano and my shiny maroon suit coat. FUCK! Moms.

    Posted by: Barrett at Apr 8, 2004 12:29:33 AM

    hey, I have a story about VIC-20's and moms!

    I used to subscribe to Compute!'s Gazette, a Commodore magazine that printed pages and pages of code in the back, for games and things. The one time I devoted many hours to retyping a game program from the magazine, I had no way to save it. I didn't yet have the Datasette - the audio tape-based storage device. So I just had to leave the computer on and play the shit out of that game.

    A couple days later I came home from school to find - GASP! - my mom had turned off the computer! Noooooooo!

    Then I shot myself in the stomach. The End.

    Posted by: Chuck at Apr 8, 2004 12:59:33 AM

    How many times did I spend hours typing in those codes, only to discover at the end that I had made a mistake somewhere -- a 2 instead of a 3, or a semicolon instead of a colon, or something like that? Such a mistake would often render the game useless, and it was nearly impossible to figure out where the mistake was. FUN!

    Posted by: Barrett at Apr 8, 2004 8:22:46 PM

    I wish you could still use tape recorders as computer data storage devices. I think that was the best thing about the early days of the home computer. Project: build an interface between your G4 and an 8-track player.

    Also: the 30-sided die is the ultimate mark of geekhood. What can you do with it besides randomly roll up the date?

    "Okay, you're waking up at dawn on the third day of your journey and it's, uh...let's see...the...23rd of Splevtember."

    "But the day before was the 27th!"

    "Oh, well okay, then, Mr. Smartybreeches, a freak storm blows up out of the East and you're struck by lightning. Before the rest of the party can gather your belongings, a Rust Monster comes along and destroys the melted pile that's left of you. GodDAMNit, why don't you just go home if you don't know how to play the game!"

    Posted by: jonathan at Apr 10, 2004 8:20:41 PM

    Have you heard of the LEEK PROM? Everyone gets corsages made of leeks. It's weird, when you walk through the door they MIST you and your corsages.



    Posted by: Pauly D at Apr 11, 2004 6:34:37 PM