Graduated HS in 75, ditto on never seeing one in school. However, one of my buddies older brother was an electronics hobbyist and he built an IMSAI that we got to play with. The keyboard was scary, a board with delicate little stubs for each key. Storage was cassette tape, which was slow as hell. However, the brother had an account at UC (Cincinnati) and an acoustic coupler modem (150 baud). We played the original Adventure over that crappy hardware and I don't think I ever had so much fun. I can still remember the time, in total frustration, I attacked a dragon and responded "yes" to the question "with your bare hands?". I got the response "Congratulations! You have just vanquished a dragon with your bare hands! (Unbelievable, isn't it?)". I was basically hooked at that point.
First real programming experience was my junior year of college, running PL/C on cards on an Amdahl at Ohio State. Now *that* was quite an experience. Each program cost money to run, and you got a certain amount at the beginning of the quarter to do you work. Had to beg the TA if you ran out. Waiting at 2am for your job to come through. PL/C would "fix" your compiler errors, generating errors for code you never wrote!
God I'm old. Oh yeah, get off my lawn
I committed when I had my children that my responsibility would be to put them through college. I am a college professor and I see student after student go through college and come out the other end with an enormous, really crippling, debt. It was different in my day. I paid for more than half of my college, but I could make that kind of money when I was a kid working (very hard) during the summers. I know people work their asses off to pay for college, and some do it despite the difficulty, but it is a Herculean effort. I felt that when I had them it was my responsibility to get them through college and so I have.
Anyway, that meant that this year was around $35K (two in this year). I have a small, crappy house and really old cars, but I'm close to being finished (as are they) and I am looking forward to getting some of that money (for travel, for a decent car, to enjoy life a little).
Of course, with the aliens towing in the spaceship, that might be off a bit
TiVo, in my humble opinion, is based on a fairly flimsy premise: that television is so important to watch that you are willing to spend time and money to make sure you get to watch all of some part of it. Really? Seriously, what is on television that you couldn't miss? Frankly, very little. I'm not trying to be a hater, I watch TV all the time. I just don't care if I miss something. Because whatever I miss I can find later, and if I can't I didn't miss much. It's mind candy, mostly, and we could all do with losing a little "weight".
After donating what useful items might be left, I want my ashes to be mixed with something like concrete, to make something: a garden wall that hosts beautiful flowers, a bench for people to sit on and relax, a walkway that people use to stroll on. Having a useless headstone in some remote cemetery, or a stupid urn that collects dust somewhere is wasteful, worse hubristic.
Becoming something useful, whether someone else knows that I'm "in there" doesn't really matter. At least what's left is still part of the world.
Link to Original Source
I live in the sticks where my options are few. Too far away from anything for cable or DSL and satellite is just a joke. I finally bit the bullet and bought a mobile card from sprint. I plug it into a cradlepoint (mbr1000 cellular, wireless N) router and the mobile card provides wireless service for the house. Yes, there is a 5Gb limit but the service is quite good. 200-300Kb down, 100Kb up on average. Sometimes quite a bit better, occasionally poorer but not often. Streaming video is not terrible and music seems good.
Anyway for rural use it is far and away the best solution