1990, my first ever computer. An IBM PS1 386 all-in-one box purchase.
The day my non-computer life ended :)
The idea was I needed it to write professionally. I believe I was lying to myself at the time. Spent most of the 90s chatting on ICQ, a lot of the last half of the 90s with my infant son on my lap at the time (when we weren't out enjoying the sunshine).
I think it was 97 at the earliest, discovered Steel Panthers. Previous to that, I hardly used it to play games. I actually gave the game away. It was too confusing to me at the time. By 2000 I discovered Matrix Games, and forums and the www was born.
The beginning of the end of my enjoying all my offline hobbies as my primary means of entertainment.
I still read as much in the way of books.
I barely play enough board game wargames to actually be worth mentioning at all.
Steel Panthers is still my go-to computer wargame. If I'm playing a wargame, it is likely Steel Panthers.
Regardless of how great other computer wargames can be, Steel Panthers is my yardstick.
Am I happier with computers? Hmm, complicated question.
If I could go back to 1990, what would I do?
Hmm, 2000 bucks. It's what I spent on that first computer.
Knowing what I know now......
For God's sake Bunny, binge on board games.
Ya can't go back though, so it's a moot argument.
I look back at a few moments along the way though.
97 wouldn't have happened. Not a wargaming thing.
2001 wouldn't have happened. Not a wargaming thing.
Unsure how 2012 would have happened without 2001 having happened first.
But 94 likely was doomed to happen (disability).
And without buying the computer in 1990, I probably wouldn't have had that writing notion.
Unsure what I'd have done during the 90s to cope.
And the 90s were a particularly dark time for me.
So maybe everything was just inevitable.
I'd likely not have lived through the 90s without the stupid computer :)
And everything the computer caused to happen wouldn't have happened.
But without the computer, I'd probably not have survived to actually see those events occur.
So the events, while regrettable, only happened because I lived to see them occur.
And here I am, still breathing.
And way too much time wasted on a computer :)
Mostly blathering away on the internet, here, or on FB and watching YouTube stuff.
When not playing a wargame in digital.
I'm trying though, to steal my offline life back.
I'd rather be playing something like Squad Leader (the original title only).
Or perhaps Blitzkrieg (a wonderful basic game).
I have some great PanzerBlitz content and some great Panzer Leader content I have printed out. Neat user-created content.
I love to imagine getting back into Advanced Third Reich. The pre Rising Sun 5th edition version.
As great as our digital wargames are, and some are incredible indeed, I miss the world of 80s board game wargaming. I miss a simple undistracted day spent making models and reading great SciFi.
The world hasn't improved. It has gotten more complex, and harder to escape. It isn't more fun, it's more intrusive. We don't anxiously await a second board game release often for 2-3 years. It's more like hundreds of games every year under all forms of genre. The media can no longer be trusted. Any of it. It's Google vs news services. News services vs social media. Too much, too fast.
I miss my childhood. Playing in trees, riding my bike. Toys that were not electrical in any fashion. Books and simple games played on a table. Models that were hard to find. Hobby stores that were cool places. Bookstores that were gold mines.
I'll never be 15 again. But no one has said I have to spend my 60s with machines and the internet.
I'm trying to unplug. I expect to fail. I need my FB. I'm unsure I'll ever see a day when I have the ftf opponents again. I have built every tank worth mention a dozen times in all 3 popular scales. And that's just the tanks. I've lost count of the planes and ships. I'm re-reading my great SciFi and fantasy collection.
I'm considering trying to limit the tech in my day though.
I for a while got rather addicted to YouTube news. It's seductive.
Movies no longer give me the zing I require.
My DVD collection is vast. I don't really need Netflix. It's just lazy-friendly.
Digital is as great as it is harmful.
It's like beer. One is ok with a meal. Actually good for digestion. 24 on a weekend is not wise, and can't be rationally defended. Costs too much if nothing else.
Computers and the internet. If you spend more than an hour a day, it is likely costing you more than aiding you.
Last summer, I spent a LOT of time out on my bike riding to nowhere in particular. Covid was just something on the news. I was by myself out in the sunshine. I was happy. I'm going to repeat that one step further this year. Sooner and more often and for longer in the season.
I'm hoping to spend more time with the computer not on, and thus not online.
I have a lot of hobby interests that want me back. And they are not in need of my computer.
I currently have every single computer game I own installed on my offline system. (it's not this computer I'm typing at). I'm thinking of it being perhaps only allowed on during the weekend. I'm thinking of limiting this computer to only online until noon.
I want my life back.
Wargame, 05% of the time.
Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
Play with Legos 10% of the time.
Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.