Friday, June 24, 2016
Nerd On The Road
On a previous trip, I had another PC up my sleeve -- or more specifically, stuffed in my little travel bag. That was the famous Timex-Sinclair 1000, that little computer that just about anybody could afford which hooked up to a TV set and could save and load programs from cassette tapes. During a stay in New Hampshire, I coded a Blackjack game and dumped it to tape. It lacked eye candy and had a few flaws -- I didn't realize face cards were worth 10, regardless if they were Jack, Queen or King. I gather it was more the feeling of accomplishment, though, being able to mix technical grunt work and escapism. That's nerd culture. I still have a tape with that program and at least a dozen others. Between screechy dumps of data, you can hear my wee voice announcing the program name so I could find it again on a cassette recorder without a tape counter.
Nowadays, when I'm riding in the back on a getaway with the Royal Father and Queen Mother, I'm on the iPad with the Samsung smartphone pumping tunes into my ear from a cache of songs on an SD card or TuneIn radio streaming from mobile data. I'm not programming on the road anymore, although I put together a Jeopardy scorekeeper using Visual Basic during a break at my parents' house -- still nerdy after all these years.