The Moment It Happened

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It was Christmas 1982. My parents got a TI-99 computer for me and my brother for Christmas. My little brother was only 8 years old and consumed with tinker toys and legos, so the computer was really for me.

Today it is hard to imagine how excited a kid can get with a device like that when we have such incredible technology in our pockets. But it was a pretty special device. You had to connect it to your TV because it didn’t come with a monitor, of course. It was sort of angular looking, which was unlike anything that we had seen before. It was… dare I say it… cool.

What was most amazing about it though was the speech synthesizer that my parents also bought. So when we fired up the Parsec game (which was the most popular game on the TI, by far) we heard the computer say “Press fire to begin”. Wow. My dad and I cut our eyes at each other as if to say “this changes everything”. It was quite a moment. You have to realize that up till that moment the computer sounds were a series of beeps and blips. This was different. This was beyond cool. This was something that made the neighborhood kids congregate at my house. Way cool.

But it did something else that day. It inspired in me a lifelong love of technology. I guess that day my inner geek was born. As if butterfly polyester collars didn’t do that already, my inner geek was set free that day. And my love for technology hasn’t waned since.

I told that story to say this… what is it that inspired you to do what it is that you do? What was the moment? My moment is as vivid today as it was then. Are you doing what your passion is? Or are you doing something that pays the bills but doesn’t inspire you like that one ‘thing’ did? I tell you what, I have been in jobs that I hated just to pay the bills. Never again.

You might not be able to see it but inside I am smiling, because I can see a 14 year old boy in pajamas in the living room pumping his fist in the air as he hears “Great shot, pilot!” coming from the computer. Yeah, I was good. Of course.

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