The amazing visuals and sounds, much in advance of what you could get a home. Arcades in the 80s were magical places. I still remember playing Battlezone, Gauntlet, Golden Axe, Afterburner, Hard Drivin’, Chase HQ, Daytona and Starblade for the first time.
B is for Battle of the Planets
My introduction to Anime. Battle of the Planets (and interesting seeing the differences to Gatchaman years later) along with Monkey (Still a great theme tune) were totally unlike anything else on television in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Only later did I find out many more shows existed and searched out Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Akira (I even own some of the cells now) and many others.
C is for Cinema
Having a big screen TV is nice, being right age to watch Moviedrome and similar seasons on Channel 4 was also a huge part of my eduction in film but nothing beats seeing films in a dark room on a big screen with a huge sound system, even better when you can share it with friends.
D is for Demoscene
Seeing my first intro was one of those moments when my life changed. I really wanted to learn how to create something like that. The creativity shown by the demoscene still makes me smile regularly.
E is for Education
F is for Fractals
Having a simple looking piece of maths produce complex images always intrigued me. At University I spent two years researching terrain and planet generation. Fractals were an obvious choice for my talk at BathCamp.
G is for Gaming
I’ve been playing computer games for over 30 years. I played Elite on a BBC B. Progressing via the ST, Amiga 500, Amiga 1200 finally ending up on the PC, then with a couple of iterations to arrived at my current system. Gaming has always been social for me. I may play more or less at various times but I don’t think I’ll ever give up completely.
H is for HTML
‘View Source’ has a lot to answer for. Running Mosaic (on a Sparc 10) for the first time and having another I want to make that moment. I pulled page apart and put them back together learning HTML in the process.
I is for Irish
I’ve always been proud of the Irish side of my heritage. Growing up with a duel nationality means I’ve never felt 100% British (or Irish for that matter) and always a little bit of an outsider.
J is for Jets
K is for Kink
L is for Libraries
Growing up my Saturday’s were swimming then the library. Having access to all that knowledge and just being able to explore different subjects was very special.
M is for Mecha
N is for Nottingham
O is for Office Space
A film that is dangerously close to being a documentary of my working life.
P is for Pizza
The best type of flat food.
Q is for QUILTBAG
My memories of Section 28, are someone mentioning being Gay in a lesson and the teacher just saying they couldn’t really talk about that. I don’t blame the teacher but for those who were not straight it did make things more lonely.
R is for Record Shops
Just searching the racks for that hard to find remix or release is a great way to spend time. Now you just type the name into Google, quick but less of an experience.
S is for 68000
The first processor I learnt how to program in assembly. I still remember much of the syntax, all these years later.
U is for Underground
I’m a little obsessed by the Tube and especially the ghost stations. I think it was inevitable I would live in London at some point.
V is for Virtual Reality
W is for Wired
X is for X86
The registers and byte ordering are still the wrong way around but still they power my current desktop
Y is for Yorkshire
I left just before I was six and returned for four years of University. Whitby was a place I spent a lot of time. Great coastline in that area and the best fish and chips I’ve ever had.
Z is for Zoe
I guess compared to most people I’m unusual in having chosen my name.