Well, I guess I’ve been officially bitten by the “I’m going to collect vintage computers for no reason” bug after buying a Tandy TRS-80 Model 100 a couple of weeks ago. I’d hoped that purchase would have cleansed me of this pending addiction, but alas it only served to energize it. Now I must have all the vintage computers ever created by man or beast!!
I just got my hands on my second vintage computer and this one has a special place in my heart, because it was the first computer I ever owned. I’m referring to the mighty Commodore Vic-20 endorsed by none other than Captain Frickin’ Kirk!
I received my original Commodore Vic-20 as a Christmas present when I was around 8 or 9 years old. My 8 or 9 year old mind whirred with excitement when I ripped off the wrapping paper revealing the Commodore Vic-20 box. Oh, the things I would be able to do with this computer! What things I wasn’t so sure, but definitely very, very computery things!
What things I actually ended up doing were playing two game cartridges – Gorf and Radar Rat Race – until my 8 or 9 year old eyes bulged, and teaching myself BASIC. You see, while my Vic-20 came with a few game cartridges, it also came with this wondrously mysterious book of code roughly as thick as an industrial grade cinder block. I marveled at page after page of computery-looking gibberish wondering what all this code could do once typed in. And so, I typed it all in. Little 8 or 9 year old me spent hours upon hours poking in thousands of lines of BASIC with two tiny fingers until I could finally enter the magic command: RUN at which point my hours of work would be rewarded with…
SYNTAX ERROR LINE 831
…and so back to Gorf and Radar Rat Race I went.