Sean Kearney sent this little story in through the blog contact form and we just had to publish it. I laughed so hard reading his confession which he claims is quite accurate with regards to his journey into geekdom.
My name is Sean, and I am (CHOKE!) addicted to computers
"THAT'S OK SEAN, THAT'S WHY YOU'RE HERE!"
Thanks everybody. Well where shall I start?
"How about at the beginning?"
Yeah, that's I guess (Sniff) a good place. Well it was a long time ago. I know I should have stopped there and then, but it was just one quick little "click". It seemed harmless enough. It was an "Exidy Sorceror". It couldn't do much. Just Word Process and play "the Count". And when it didn't turn on, that should have been the end.
I decided to try and fix it. Was light corrosion on a fuse. I wish it wasn't. From that day forward I was doomed. I got it running. 16 years old I got that darn thing running. Without manuals no less. They say the first one it always free. Well it was my Uncle who got me hooked!
Oh yeah, He just left me alone upstairs with it. A young kid trapped with a computer.... The horror!!!
"And nobody tried to stop you?"
Oh sure, they all figured. "Just one that won't hurt him". Little did they know. And it didn't help they had the darn things in the schools! "PETS" they called them. Make them sound like your friend they did. Don't some pets bite?
And of course that wasn't the end! My parents!
Yes! My parents bought a VIC for their own children! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? The same evil people that created a Pet created a VIC! Sure ... so soothing a name. "Vic" is your friend. They even had Captain Kirk selling them! What was I to do?!
"It does sound like it was hopeless..."
Oh no... no ... It didn't stop there. Commodore 64's, Amigas, Radio Shack TRS80's, Apple II. Just one quick fix after another. One LANGUAGE after another. Basic, Pascal, C, Machine Code. My mind couldn't handle it!
"How did you deal with it?"
How could I? I was hooked! "Just one more computer" I kept telling myself. "Just one little peripheral". "It's only a joystick, I can fix the car later!"
"Sounds like you had it bad"
Oh did I ever. That Lisa was SOOOO sexy with her sound bites too! Then the PC's came. It was the end of my world...
"Were they bad?"
Oh NO! They were great! It was like a giant box of electronic LEGOS! Everytime I thought I had it good (just a little XT I thought, one 10 meg hard drive, Hey a Sound Blaster would be nice). Then the dark times came...
"What you mean Windows?"
WHAT?! No good grief no! Windows made the PC useful and actually fun to fiddle with. No I mean the REALLY dark times.... before Linux. It was called "Doom"
"You mean the devil and the end of the world?"
No the PC game Doom. 3d games they called them. First person shooters. Have you ever had a game so scary that your cat jumping on your shoulder, while playing it, scares the jeebies out of you? THAT was "Doom".
"But after that you swore off them right?"
You've got to be kidding! It got worse! First Doom, then Rebel Assault, Quake, Jill of the Jungle. Games that not only didn't suck, they were fun! Fun on the PC! Then of course.... the upgrades came.
"Oh....oh my God no!"
Yes. I thought just a little extra ram. Maybe a slightly faster processor. Then I fell into the pit!
You know. The pit of Operating systems to play with. Windows, Linux, OS/2. I would have been ok if they all crashed. But unfortunately I got really good at it. So good I would fix junked up machines for free. Gave them away. I guess that's when I stepped from User to Dealer.
"oh ... oh ... gasp!"
Oh yeah, give one away! Everybody likes free things. Free computers for this person. A free one for my sister...
"You evil twisted monster!"
What could I do? The hooks were in me. I didn't know what I was doing!
"Sure, a likely excuse!"
"Now stop, we've all been there. Jobs, Gates; you two sit down! Tramiel! That's enough!"
Thanks, you're right. I WAS evil. Then I got a job in the industry. And the peripheral bug hit me again. Oh crap. Companies and customers were throwing computers away! I thought... "Why throw this out? This is neat"
That's when I almost lost my wife to them. I had shelves of them. EVERY type and brand. Just beckoning to be played with. Commodores linked to IBMS via RS232C printing Paperclip documents. Old IBMS liked to new via INTERSVR so I could fit Windows 95 on compressed 20 meg drives. Even a small fleet of Vectrexes! I felt like I was on top of the world. Then I crashed!
"What, power overload? Bad UPS?"
No my children were starting to get into it.
It stopped soon after that. A large flood hit the santuary and destroyed most of thecollection. Probably saved my life and my sanity. My wife was never happier. I was throwing them out. She was laughing. I was crying.
"Well it helps to let emotions out"
Maybe but I threw out ORIGINAL Atari 2600 cartridges! Do you KNOW how much that goes for on eBay nowadays? A Real Genuine Osborne Executive! An actual Coleco Adam! My life savings GONE!
"Well it serves you right"
I know it does. I think I've got it licked down now. The tempations are almost gone. The kids all have a nice simple system in the basement. We share the internet. There is laughing. I have one Rack and my own Vista Premium system. The itches for more peripherals are almost gone.
Well almost. You see there's this new server coming out, Windows Server 2008. I think my spare server might run it, but it feels a little slow...
Oh it's nothing special. Just does published Terminal Apps like Citrix, has tight security, looks pretty (like a Mac). Really cool encryption called "Bitlocker"
"... oooooooooooooo ..........."
No no... it's bad because it means I'll be back to making old machines useful again. The Windows Server 2008 software has a "core" version that can make an old PEntium II useful as a simple file server for a branch office. Oh God! The humanity.
"... drooooooooooooooollll ..."
Stop it. I asked you people for help. Now you're making me wonder why I should stop! '~twitch~' '~toink~' -- Nobody can help me. It's so bad I want to WORK for the big computer companies. I'm even down to the depths of applying to Microsoft themselves.
"?? What for a grant?"
No no no... I am so deeply addicted to this bug called computers, I want to work for the one company that can constantly feed my addiction! Did you know they even make Squirrel
servers? Biztalk Server? It's a giant "@#$#@$? Babelfish for computer systems! Just imagine! IBM DB/2, Apple, Chinese computers all happily transferring information together!
"(_I'm going to be sick!_)"
Oh oh oh... it's COOOOOL! One GIANT HUGE COMPUTER ORGY! Someday I'm going to get involved in it!
It's not sick! It's amazing! Oh I haven't gotten in yet! I got close last year. But that's not the worst! I keep going to these seminars they hold! Filling out "hire me" on the questionaires! And you know what? THEY'RE FREE TOO! Hee hee hee hee...
"Drug dealing ram pushing sickos!"
Speak for yourself. Maybe you can't help me. They can. They'll turn my addition into something useful. Something powerful! Shape this piece of clay from a "Quake 4 shooting drooling idiot" who can work miracles on dead systems to some kind of "Super Programmer"
"Stop it! My kids are here!"
"Shut him up! This is too much!"
"Where's my inhaler?!"
"I need my mommy!"
Well you people said I was welcome here. I guess you can't help me. Maybe Microsoft can. Yes yes... Just another little thing to install. Free seminar on June 16th. Yes that will be nice...
"Somebody call the cops"
Fine. I'll leave. Just remember that you people turned me away. You COULD have stopped me. But that's it. I'm going to join Microsoft. Then you'll all be sorry....
----Sounds of police sirens---- Fires --- shots breaking out ----- people screaming
"What's going on here?"
"Another computer addict gone insane. Swore up and down that nobody would help him.
So he went to the one place he figured he could get help."
"Nope. Even they can't deal with them. Microsoft. Only they can help the computer addicted."
"Oh God. That's the third one this week too. What was his last words?"
"'Cougar'. He wanted to work on a 'Cougar'. Isn't that a really vicious cat? Or is it a new motorcycle?"
"I don't know. Those people make no sense to me."
"Yep. They just keep getting worse every day. I found a bunch of them in a back alley coding PHP. Sick aren't they?"
"Oh God. I found my own kids in the basement. They were "Intermessaging" each other. I almost threw up."
"Yeah. I caught Charlie and his wife the other day 'googling' each other and their neighbours. I tell you Joe, the world is getting to be a sick place."
"True. Anyhow, gotta go run back to the station. I hear something funny happened on 'YouTube'."
"Joe... joe.... oh no...."