[vcf-midatlantic] My first computer memory was using a terminal

Bill Degnan billdegnan at gmail.com
Fri May 21 20:06:27 UTC 2021

I vaguely remember when I was in elementary school in the 1970s in
delaware some U of Delaware students or a teacher gave me access to a
computer via a terminal.  It was a simple login prompt to connect to
the library and look things up and play some kind of exercises that
had conditional decisions to build a story.  It wasn't Plato or
anything like that.

That was my first memory of computers, but I must have been very young
as I don't remember much else.  The thing that impressed me was how
you could decide what to do next and it changed a story's outcome.   I
think we had a picture book that went with it (?)

I always wonder what that was all about.  It was a one-day thing and
that was it.
Many years later I heard about something called project Delta at the U
of Del but I have no idea if that was the same thing or if it was just
some U of Del student looking for nearby kids to experiment with.

I remember going to the librarian in elementary school and asking to
use the computer in the back office , maybe 5th grade, but there were
no computers for kids to use.

I started going to RadioShack and using their computers probably in
4th grade and the Hallmark had a Timex Sinclair on display there, but
I did have a family computer until the later 80s.  I somehow knew
BASIC, which makes me wonder if I was taught BASIC too.  I remember
making the computer say "Bill is Cool" over and over and I thought
that was really funny at the time.


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