Three influences in my life
For a school project my daughter asked what three things influenced me growing up? I was surprised by the answers.
This came immediately to mind. We were lucky that through his work, Dad won a Commodore 64, disk drive, printer and TV. I'm sure that had he not won it, we wouldn't have had any kind of computer until much later.
My earliest memories are of playing Zork I on Christmas Day and learning to program in BASIC. Almost 40 years on I'm still coding. The Commodore 64 was more than that. It was a social hub for me and my friends (many of which came to own one as well) as we travelled all over town "sharing" games and playing together.
Stine was Danish exchange student that came to live with us for a time. She was slightly older than me — she was in senior high school when I was still in high school. Within a couple of years I was heading off to Denmark on my own exchange as a 16–17 year old.
That year gave me independence, travel and friendships that last until this day. It also gave me a strong sense of who I am. Ask me now and I'll tell you that I'm 50% Danish. Whether that's true or not, it's how I feel. Even today in a conversation about language I mentioned that when I returned to Australia I was dreaming in Danish and for a few days was translating from Danish back to English as I spoke.
As a teenager in a large regional city in the 80's a bike was everything. My bike got me to and from school most days, was important in my first job as a paper delivery boy in the early hours of the morning, and more than anything transport between my house and the houses of my friends.
Often, it would carry me and the Commodore 64 around. As long as I was home for tea, I could pretty much go anywhere on my bike.