No School Like The Old School

My personal computer is all tricked out with multicore processors and shiny graphics cards in SLI configuration — and the kid is playing Pong. And doesn’t quite get why I laughed when I saw what she was playing. She won the game, though, so that’s all right.

In other news, less than a full day into her summer vacation, and Athena tells me she’s already bored out of her skull. Fortunately, day camp starts next week. All the arts and crafts and swimming she can possibly handle. I feel a little envious, really. All I get to do this summer is write.

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

28 replies on “No School Like The Old School”

Hey, I’ll trade you? You can teach yoga and I’ll write all summer.

My kid still has a week of school. She and a friend are ovr and asked if they could go watch a movie in the master bedroom. I looked outside and saw the blue sky, the sunshine, the leaves fluttering in the breeze and said “HELL TO THE NO!” in the best way for a 3rd – soon to be 4th grader – could understand.

Meanwhile i get to puzzle over payroll and wonder where I left that spare $10K.

Commodore 64?

Pah! I spit on your 64! My first computer was a Commodore 128. It was awesome. Though maybe not as iconic (maybe because commodore and 128 don’t rhyme?)

Though it’s funny, I don’t remember the keyboard and case being one piece.

I like multiple monitors more than SLI– a personal preference.

Forget the Commodore 64/128 (basically the same thing) or their Atari equivalent (the Atari 130XE) and go straight for the good stuff.

the Vic 20!

An entire 2K of RAM

Feel the burn!

If someone could’ve told me when I was Athena’s age that I could skip day camp and spent the entire summer writing, I’d’ve been there in a heartbeat.

On balance, I suspect that Athena’s one heckuvalot better-adjusted than I was.

In related news (and note that I beta-tested Pong and Computer Space — which later became Asteroids — for Bushnell):

Leonardo DiCaprio lined up to play video game mogul
9 June 2008

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Leonardo DiCaprio is set to play pioneering video game entrepreneur Nolan Bushnell in a biopic about the Atari
co-founder’s life, it was reported Monday.

Daily Variety said screen heart-throb DiCaprio had been attached to
produce as well as star in the film about Bushnell, one of the
founding fathers of the video game industry.

Atari — which created the world’s first successful video game “Pong”
— was estimated to be worth more than 2 billion dollars by 1982 but
was later broken up following the US video game crash of 1984.

DiCaprio, 33, will next appear in two dramas, the spy thriller “House
of Lies” and “Revolutionary Road.”

In 1998 my employer got me a brand new Power Mac G3, tricked out. I called one of my buddies to swing by my office so I could show off. When he came around the corner he groaned, because I had installed VirtualPC (it was the first time I’d had a Mac powerful enough to run it) and was sitting there with a DOS prompt open, ready to fire up a game of Nibbles. Oh, did we laugh.

I never owned any of the more expensive first/second generation home video games/systems. I played on some of them that belonged to friends. That image of Athena “ponging” brings back both good and not-so-good recollections of teen-angst-years. I remember jonesing for a Commodore 64 and for an Intellivision when they first came out. But being a member of a working-class family with seven kids, I knew both these desires were non-starters.

I still have my Coleco “head-to-head” Baseball game, though. Don’t know if it still works: I haven’t popped a battery in it in years.

My junior and senior years in HS, we’d ride the bus or the van to cross country meets playing those little hand-held Coleco football, baseball, etc., games until we’d drained the batteries. One of the bus drivers nearly went postal from all the high-pitched electronic whirring, chirping, buzzing, bonging, and dit-di-dit-de-da!-ing.

I have the same reaction when my sons say they are bored. There is always extra house or yard work that I can give them to relieve the tedium. It has gotten to the point where they jump up and find something to do if I inquire whether they are too bored ;-)

I think you should get her ‘Spy Hunter’. I remember just how many quarters that game pulled out of my pockets.

Already bored out of her skull. I would sell vital parts of my anatomy for a summer off. It has been said before but it bears repeating “Youth is wasted on the young”

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