Nowadays, when I meet or hear about someone new I often “Google” him or her. That is how I discovered that David Bennahum, with whom I have had one telephone conversation about politics and technology, had written a book called Extra Life, about “Coming of Age in Cyberspace.”
Reading his book recently I felt nostalgic and noted some commonalities in our paths. Unlike him, I did very little learning about computers in school before college. And while Bennahum owned an Atari and went on to Harvard, where he turned to a study of history and literature, I went two years earlier to Yale, and stayed with computer science as an undergrad.
But we both remember Pong and Space Invaders, had early experiences with BASIC on a 6502 machine, played text adventure games like Zork, experimented with Pascal, remember the first time we understood recursion, and when we read Neuromancer.
I feel a kinship to others who took a strong early interest in computers, and I appreciate that he took the time to write up his experience.For more on my own path, see my previous post on my Apple II Plus.