Summer. 1980-something. An elementary-school-attending, Knight Rider-T-Shirt-wearing version of myself slowly rolls out of bed and shuffles to the living
room. There, nestled between an imposingly large potted plant and an
over-stocked knick-knack shelf, rested a beautifully gray, metallic case powered
by an Intel 80286 processor—with a glorious, 16-color EGA monitor resting
This was to be my primary resting place for the remainder of the day: in front
of the family computer.
That PC had no graphical user interface to speak of—no X Window System, no
Microsoft Windows, no Macintosh Finder. There was just a simple command
case, MS-DOS. (This was long before Linux became a thing.)
Every task I wished to perform—executing a game, moving files—required me to type the commands in via a satisfyingly loud, clicky keyboard.
No, "required" isn't the right word here. Using the computer was a joy.
"Allowed" is the right word. I was allowed to enjoy typing those commands in.
I never once resented that my computer needed to be interacted with via a
keyboard. That is, after all, what computers do. That's what they're
for—you type in commands, and the computer executes them for you, often with a