If you find yourself with nothing to do one day, take a little fiber optic field to trip over to ebay and do a search for Commodore 64 computers. Some of you might not even know what a Commodore is, because by the time you were able to suck your thumb, they were stashed away in your family’s garage or attic, like some heirloom, sharing space with wedding dresses and photo albums. It’s also quite possible that your parents don’t even know what a Commodore 64 is, since it’s been 35 years when they first appeared on store shelves, being one of the first affordable home computers of their time at around $600. The 64 doesn’t stand for bit or gigs by the way, it stands for kilobyte. To put that in perspective for all the Glee kids out there, it would take over 120 of them to have enough RAM to store an average song from iTunes, or 256,000 of them to have the same memory as a pathetic 16GB iPhone. Like OMG WTF? Like, who buys a 16GB iPhone anymore, like whatever. Yet the most interesting fact about these 35 year old machines with lots of moving buttons and springs on their keyboards, is they still work as good as the day your family brought one home. Which is why you can still buy one and they’re pretty popular as collectibles.
Around the end of the millennia (holy fuck I’m old), I was attending a training class in Melbourne, a racist part of Florida otherwise known as the Space Coast, for a new content management solution we were deploying at work. During my initial visit I learned that many people there were connected with the aerospace industry in some way or another, which made perfect sense considering their proximity to Kennedy Space Center. After all, that’s where most of the Space Shuttle missions were launched. I also learned that Taco Bell in Melbourne closed at 9 PM on a Saturday night and that yes, I do look Latino, so much so that the very smiley and very nice lady at the Deli counter in Winn-Dixie stopped being so nice when she turned and looked at me, angrily asking “can I help you?” When I took my purchases prepared by racist white lady to the young cashier, I was told in a creepy horror movie sort of way “you’re not from around here are you?” Okay so I’m losing myself here… where was I before this took a Stephen King turn… oh yes… I also learned that NASA was buying old IBM PC computers on our friend ebay, because they needed the chips for the fleet of aging Space Shuttles. Yup, they needed spare parts and turns out, computer chips last a pretty darn long time.Continue reading