How I Got into Computers stories cont'd, including one from Cory

Gnat Torkington is continuing to post his series of personal reminisces from geeks about how they got into technology. He's just uploaded a whole bunch of them, written by people like Tim O'Reilly, the R0ml, Guido van Rossom, James Duncan Davidson, and even one by me.

I used to go the Ontario Institute For Studies in Education where my father was getting his teacher's certificate. I was five or six. He'd sit me down at a terminal connected to the school's PDP and set me to playing with Eliza or tinkering in BASIC. I loved typing dirty words into Eliza and having her echo them back.

At home I didn't have a computer, but I did have a CARDIAC cardboard computer simulator from Bell Labs that I *loved* to pieces (literally). I used to make elaborate paper control-panels for mainframes in my bedroom out of construction paper and cover my little desk with them.

By the end of that year, we had an acoustic coupler and a teletype terminal and a roll of brown paper like the paper towels in the bathrooms at my elementary school. I filled many miles of brown paper writing BASIC programs and playing Eliza and Hangman (and looking at the source for each, which was mystifying to my little brain).