Sitting in the back of my brother's car holding the new Atari STE, I happily announced that I was going to write my first game soon. Atari STE came with a selection of games that I was keen to play, but the image of STOS the Game Creator, a programming package that came with STE, was the center of my dreams. The idea of being able to create any game I want is limited only by my imagination. I had nothing in the world that mattered to me at that very moment, as I dreamed of hiding my version of stos core and creating my own games. Years later, I programmed countless cipher, a collection of popular games that are still displayed on various websites and I have written many articles about programming that I proudly display on my website to this day.
Programming can be very addicting because I soon found out. I would go home from work and aim to shut down my computers as quickly as possible. My mother used to call the stairs to tell me that family members had arrived and reluctantly leave my children just to walk up the stairs to say hello. If they are lucky they will find my attention a little longer if I go down for a coffee. Whenever I try to socialize, my conversation is the itch to enter computers.
I ventured into the outside world in a desperate attempt to find an interest other than computers. I joined the karate class and really started enjoying the first year or so, until my children's visions started running my mind and I started skipping lessons. Then one night at the club Sensei read a list of people who had the fewest attendees that month and had the least in just one visit. My feeling was angry at the anger in his eyes and he said, "If you want to go to my computer, get the knot" or words that affect that.
I have to admit that I'm addicted when it comes to computers. It has come to the point where I decided to leave karate lessons and spend more time at home hidden from the world – my accounts and me endless coffee mugs which I will only make to cause me to float downstairs and see if my family is still there.
I discovered that I had a programming problem at school when we learned how to write simple programs on BBC Micro. Using drawing commands to draw simple shapes but that was enough to calm my appetite for programming. I got a Spectrum 48K, and soon I was learning basic commands, enough to write a simple and simple adventure game.
Years later I was programming in STOS on Atari STE and Amos on Amiga 1200 and this became a big part of my life. My social life was minimal; often I had to push myself. I hated the idea of dealing with any situations outside the bedroom. I was in danger of becoming a real loner who would happily avoid society and live in my own world where people are pixels.
Fortunately, I have improved over the years and have a better social life. However I found that I was still the happiest at home with my wife and my computer. I have no regrets because I did not spend more time in the outside world. But I still like to remind others that programming is a very addicting hobby and can lead to becoming a sad portal like me.