My buddies and I got together last night for our regular gathering of the nerds.
When it comes to nerds, we do nerd right. You see, after a multitude of highly intellectual nerdy topics ranging from science fiction books to who would win in a fight between Wolverine and Spiderman, the discussion finally settled on home computers and how many each of us have owned over the years.
If you want to see testosterone raging through the veins of a nerd, just ask him about one about his computers. Nerd braggadocio peaks when it comes to gadgets and electronic devices.
Anyway, like most nerds, each one were into double digits when it came to owning computers.
I recently purchased my 15th computer – though my first computer, a Commodore 64 (purchased in 1982), probably shouldn’t count as a real computer as it was basically just an etch-a-sketch connected to an abacus. I can still remember the Radio Shack salesman’s bombastic pitch.
“This little baby is the ultimate in computing miracles.” He boasted. “It can do everything that you will ever need a computer to do AND, it plays Pong.”
Unfortunately, the only thing that salesman could demonstrate with any expertise was that primitive, antiquated video game “Pong.” Never the less, I was so totally astonished by Pong I nearly lost consciousness.
“Amazing” I gasped breathlessly as the salesman demonstrated.
“Boop. Boop. Boop…” the game chirped as the computer simulated paddle whacked the computer simulated ball across the green background.
“How does that little ball know where to go?” I asked dumfounded.
“I really don’t know.” Replied the stupefied salesman, wide-eyed with wonder. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s magic.”
Indeed, back in the olden days, there was no such thing as a knowledgeable computer salesperson. Unlike computers, they hadn’t been invented yet.
So, for about an hour, the two of us, like cavemen seeing fire for the first time, sat mystified, starring blankly at the tiny green screen. Boop…boop…boop…
My next computer was a 286. It became an obsolete piece of junk approximately 3.7 minutes after I plugged it in. It was quickly replaced by a 386 and soon after, a 486…
My most recent computer is truly impressive. Unlike when I purchased my Commodore 64, this time when I went into the store, I was met by an extremely knowledgeable salesman – Mr. 13 year old, pimply-faced, computer whiz.
This kid had my head spinning within seconds as he rambled off enough genius level computer jargon to give Einstein a migraine.
“Gee, if you know so much about computers Mr. Smartypants,” I ribbed. “Why are you stuck working here?”
“I own the place.” He said nonchalantly.
“Oh.” I blushed. “Well, listen kid. I was already wasting brain cells on MS-DOS when you were still a bit of a bite in your Daddy’s wet nerd dream. So, a little respect for the old timer if you please. By the way, do any of these computers have Pong?”
“What?” He stared blankly.
“Never mind, it’s a long story.”
The computer he sold me is quiet and fast. And what’s more, it includes “a 450W, 80-plus bronze certified power supply.”
OK, I admit I’m not exactly sure why that’s good – but it was a really exciting moment for him when he told me about it.