It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but I’ve always been a geek. I don’t mean how the term get’s casually thrown about now, as someone who likes cellphones, but a certifiable geek, bordering on nerd. I used to take calculators apart to see how they worked, while my classmates were out playing, I was inside building transistor radios. In the summer of 1986 I was just about to turn 6 years old, and every fiber of my litter geek being was screaming “Mario!” The NES had just come out the year before, and after reading about, and playing with it at friend’s houses, I needed one for myself.
I didn’t grow up poor, but was far from rich. We were comfortable, but my parents only got us (I have two older sisters) what they thought we needed. Leading up to September, and my 6th birthday I started asking every day if I could PLEASE have an NES. My folks, always wanting to teach me a lesson, said that if I could earn enough money from chores and helping neighbors to pay for half of it, they would pay for the rest. I tried everything I could, but in the end, only managed to raise $20. I was devastated. How would the princess survive without my mad a & b button mashing skills? Come September 4th, my birthday, I was as depressed as a six-year-old could be. But, as I’m sure you could surmise, my parents handed me a big, wrapped rectangle box. Excited, I ripped open the paper, and saw what made me the happiest kid in the world – my very own Nintendo! I loved it even more, because I had helped work for it. My sister and I played Mario Bros. endlessly, even wearing out the original controller
Aside from the MacBook Pro I unboxed 5 ½ years ago, this was the most important piece of technology I ever had. In fact, I still have it, sitting at home in a closet, as a sign of a simpler time, and the origin of my love of tech.