Twiggys [was: Re: ka... ching!]

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at
Mon Oct 10 15:35:56 CDT 2016

On Sat, Oct 8, 2016 at 6:13 PM, Corey Cohen <AppleCorey at> wrote:
> Actually a lot of late 70's and early 80's computers were bought by a lot of ham radio guys for their setups.
> The only people I knew in the late 70's or early 80's doing "Business" things at home with personal computers were doing word processing and spreadsheets from 9 to 5 and video games from 5:15 till midnight.

In the late 70s, I was a kid and the $1000 32K PET we got was used for
games and me learning about hardware and programming and developing my
nerd skills.  We did not own a CBM disk drive or printer for it (too
expensive after buying the CPU) so that limited its "business" use.
By 1982, I was writing code for the Commodore 64 as a contractor, so
things shifted to perhaps 50/50 games and "work".  Around that time, I
got my first PDP-8 which was back to games and expanding my skillset.
In 1985, I added a PDP-11/23 (made affordable by borrowing peripherals
from the PDP-8/a) and it was all games and such until that led to
paying work on RT-11 in 1986.  Games first, business to follow.

> Sure if you were rich enough to have a PDP or System 32 for your home business you never ever played games, but no matter what their tax return said they bought a personal computer for, they were used for games after hours.

Absolutely.  By the mid-1980s, I was using a VAX all day at work, and
we had games on it too - EMPIRE.EXE was a favorite, then I grabbed
some stuff off of and expanded my skillset by
learning how to port UNIX code to VMS and getting millebourne and
other BSD games to run.  It was awesome when I got the InfoTaskForce
z-machine pinfocom to compile and run on VMS.  $120,000 minicomputer
playing Zork!

> Games have always been part of detoxing after a long day of business on personal computers.

Absolutely.  I used to love visiting family friends who had
microcomputers at home in the 1970s.  Evenings was all games.

So admittedly, people did not choose their business systems based on
what games there were, but pretty much everywhere I've worked, games
appeared on whatever systems we had.


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