Ancient Geekery

My tech timeline

It was only a year or so back that I realised what made me tick.  It only took 63.5 years. Ever since I can remember I loved to take things apart and maybe make them work better or, mostly, brake them and make sure they never worked again!


My first recollection was when I was about 10 years old.  As it was back in the day in 1965 anyone could buy fireworks and by mates and I could be found during the October half term doing ‘penny for the guy’ outside the local Post Office.  It was quite a lucrative business which allowed us to buy tons of fireworks.  Some we’d keep for the November 5th celebrations and some we’d let-off beforehand.  Some though, I tinkered with.  I was fascinated at what made some burn red, some green and some silver so I used to carefully open them up, pour out the gunpowder, mix some together, repack and see what happened.  I don’t recall the results but I’m still here.  Today my parents would probably be locked-up for allowing it but, back then, it was just part of being inquisitive and learning stuff.  

I mention that, not because it’s technology, but it’s indicative of what’s driven me all these years both in work and at play.  Basically making things work together that were never intended to do so.


I was 12 years old and at what we used to call a secondary school here in the UK.  To be honest, I wasn’t very good at school and didn’t like it much but two subjects I did enjoy enormously were physics and chemistry, physics especially.  Throughout my life there have been many things that I can say made me go ‘wow’ and stare in utter wonderment and the first of these that I can recall was in a physics lesson when furnished with a battery, some wire and a bulb and bulb holder, I made light!  It sounds ridiculous now but for me, at that time, it was magic, true magic.  Of course, I later learned what made that magic happen and started dabbling, both in and out of school, with more batteries & wires.

Tech-wise 1967 was a big year for me.  Having 

Sinclair Spectrum
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