Since I am running towards the 30 (years of age) and I am expecting my early midlife crisis to set in soon I thought I might take a look back on my personal technology highlights that I have seen come and go. So this is a totally personal and by far not a professional opinion.
First contact. Atari
Tennis. On the tv screen. Powered by an Atari 7800. You know the old Ataris? Those things that looked at first somehow like a small oldschool radio (well at least the Atari 2600). When I saw this thing the first time it was pretty amazing. Controlling the small tennis player (ha, a white line!) and hit the ball (a pixeled square) back to the other player (the second white line). Crazy shit in those days! Unfortunately we did not own such an amazing thing back in my home. I only had the chance to see it once in a while when visiting my uncle’s home. Nevertheless the first contact was made. More to come.
See 64 Snakes. What a Game, Boy!
Yeah. First real, active contact. While we still did not had a console at home, one of my best friends in those times had an awesome C64 at home. Almost a real computer. And THE game in the early days was the effin famous “Snake”. One of the best games ever. Kids, forget all those boring RPGs nowadays. Snake rocked and kept us in front of the screen for hours.
But, as mentioned before, the C64 was still not my own. Still gameless. Until….those magic christmas night when Santa decided to give a little technological wonder to me. A console to carry around. With different games. Awesome. The first game which came with the console was called “Tetris”. What a great game, boy! The Nintendo Game Boy was my first and very own “computer” and I took it literally almost everywhere. While I have to admit that Tetris bored me after a while (when getting older it was more fun again though) I enjoyed hanging out with Mario, kicking mushroom asses and saving the princess. A jump and run game. In my hands. Hell yeah!
After rocking Super Mario Bros. there was the urge for more. So I spent most of my pocket money on game boy games like Paperboy, battle and – mostly – sport games. The Game Boy was an amazing invention and showed that the future really has begun. I loved this thing and kept it for quite a long time. Even when I did not use it anymore I stuck to it. Good Memories, my friend.
Color, Action, Sports. Big Screen. SEGA!
After I had a lot of fun with my little friend (hey!) there came the time when game consoles developed further. There was no longer the Atari 7800. It was the battle between Nintendo and SEGA. While I was perfectly happy with my Game Boy from Nintendo I somehow did not want to become one of the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) or Super NES (the successor of the NES) fanboys. Mario & Co. somehow lost their magic compared to Sonic the Hedgehog and especially to all things made bei Electronic Arts (EA Sports, it’s in the game! – my favorite slogan at that time). I was pretty happy running and jumping around with Sonic (and later on with Tails). But the thing that really blew my mind was EA Sports’ “Fifa Soccer”. I already like football games before, but FIFA Soccer jumped on a completely different level. I spent days & nights playing worldcups and, after winning with Brazil and Germany I lead the Ivory Coast to success. What an amazing game.
This was the start into my sport game addiction. FIFA Soccer, NBA Live, NHL Live, Madden NFL…I played it all and I loved it. Those details, the action, the control, the commentary. Great stuff. I even stuck to it when switching to a PC some time later. I bought a new game almost every year. And they all deserved my pocket money. The fact alone to be like mike was worth everything.
While I spend a lot of time with my SEGA Megadrive, our home became a little more modern too. We became a computer home, yeah! To my surprise there was, all of a sudden, an AMIGA 500 Plus standing in our kitchen. I wasn’t quite sure what to think about but after hitting the road with the amazing game “Test Drive” I really liked it. Soon after the AMIGA (my first femal friend actually) arrived she was updated to the AMIGA 1200 with an external hard drive. That was pretty amazing back in the days. Until then we had to start everything with a FLOPPY disk. Yeah kids, go google it.
One of the most amazing things that I EVER happened to see was this one game that followed me for a long time. MONKEY ISLAND (oh and a second game: INDIANA JONES). Awesome adventure games. I loved it and, once more, spent a lot of time in order to solve all those riddles and to help Guybrush and Indy to survive.
So we are right in the middle of the home computer time right now. And therefore it was just logical that we students learned how to use computers in school too. We had typingand learned how to use MS WORKS (yes, WORKS!) and more important, we were able to play skiing on our school PCs. Yeah! Since I became quite good in all things regarding PCs in school I decided I want to have such a thing at home too. So I saved all my money and then was finally able to buy PC. An awesome 4×86 mid-tower PC, IBM powered. The future was mine! The first game to play on this computer? Yes, sure, FIFA Soccer!
This was the beginning of my PC era and I stuck to it for quite a while. I started to pimp my 4×86 for a while until I upgraded to an Pentium PC. Gigaherz. Oh dear, Gigaherz. That was the next incredible step towards our brave new world and pretty unbelievable at first. At this time I became a little more nerdy, read a lot of gaming magazines (PC Games, PC Action and whatever) and played A LOT. Besides the EA Things (Soccer, NBA, NHL, NFL) I was a big fan of GTA (Grand Theft Auto) and stuff like that. But also adventures (Monkey Island, Indy Jones, Maniac Mansion – to name the classics) still kept me up.
When PC’s became faster and faster (had to spent a lot of money to pimp them all the time) the games evolved further. Adventures became more graphic-powered, 3-D shooters became more violent or detailed….and somehow I lost the interest in playing games on the PC. This was the time real life got me back. Nevertheless I stayed a big PC addict – but with an real life too.
The window is open
I already talked about my PC experiences. So it is quite obvious that I started with MS DOS as operating system. Then switched to Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 97, Windows 2000, Windows XP and…well….
See, the one thing that really pissed me off from the beginning was the fact, that PCs never were reliable. In the middle of a game or in the middle of my homework or whatever…they simply shut down and showed those effin bluescreen “unexpected error”. Go f… yourself! As much as I liked the new technology, as much did I hate those bugs. Windows was always a necessity for me. I never liked it, but I had to cope with it (and yes of course I gave Linux a try. Think I wasn’t nerdy enough for that). Until this one magic night 2.5 years ago.
I decided to stop whining about Windows and give Mac OS X a try. Even though many of my friends made fun of me since they consider Macs a toy, I did not regret the move at any time and am still very happy with my current operating system and with the fact that I do not have to cope with bluescreens anymore.
What would be a technology post without mentioning the internet? Right. Wrong! So yeah, the internet. Influenced me a little (IT degree, Online Marketing major, electronic commerce thesis…) one could say. But like always with new things: We did not had it at home. So the first contact was in school (set up my first gmx email account during school lessons – don’t tell my former teacher). Even though we weren’t allowed to use the internet during lessons and it was actually blocked….we figured out how to go online anyway (actually kind of the first hacking. yeah!). So the internet fascinated me from the very first time I saw it. Going online, going anywhere in the world. Communicating with people all over the planet. Awesome!
When finally my father got an internet connection I spent almost every free minute in front of his PC. Hanging out online, reading stuff, chatting in communities and building websites. With some nice WISIWYG editors.
As time went by I decided to make my addiction my job. I studied Electronic Commerce with Major Internet Marketing at University and am now hanging out online in order to make a living. Could be worse.
Ha, thought I forgot? Of course not! When talking about technology you have to talk about mobile phones. But that’s going to be a quick post from my point of view. Even though I remember my dad having one of those big mobile car phones, my first real contact was way later. At first I hated mobile phones. I never wanted to own one and even forbade my parents to give one to me as birthday present. When I entered the German Armed Forces and we only had 3 telephone cells on the other end of the barracks I changed my mind and received my first cellphone. A Motorola. Still quite big and with antenna. Afterwards I always stuck to contract phones. So I had a new phone every two years or so. Motorola, Siemens, Samsung, Sony, iPhone, HTC Android…
As you can see my “I don’t want a mobile phone because I do not want to be reached all the time” changed into “it is nice to be able to communicate all the time. If I need privacy, I simply switch it off”. So far I am doing fine this way.
Back to where we started – console fun
After having talked about my first computer contact with consoles you might ask why I did not talk about the xbox 360, the playstation 1 – 3 or stuff like that. Well. I never owned one of those. Sometimes I thought about it, but in the end I always decided that I already spend a lot of time in front of the computer (social media, yeah!) and that I do not need to spend more time in front of it playing things (that’s why I never started to play those farmville crap). Nevertheless I liked playing with those cool consoles once in a while. With friends. A fun thing to do and I have to admit that I was quite a decent Tony Hawk semi-pro. Loved this game on the playstation. Same for the Nintendo Wii sport games. Great fun, but never owned one of them. Nevertheless it is quite amazing to see how consoles have evolved too.
That’s it for now…I bet I forgot some important things so I will update the post again when I thought of them. The amazing conclusion will come afterwards.