I am a child of the 80ʼs. These are the things in my life that I have been drawn to. They may not necessarily be important to me now, but they were personality-shaping-important at the time. This is the collection of “stuff” that has “made me who I am” and that have, I guess, in a way, led to the creation of this site.


All 80’s-era nerds played with Lego. I had a full “base” of space sets. Some day, I should put it back together, and take some pictures…

Computer Games

  • Bardʼs Tale I, II, & III – Bard’s Tale was a defining thing to me. I graphed every square of every dungeon.
  • Wasteland
  • M.U.L.E – Best. Theme. Song. Ever.
  • Hard Hat Mack – I am still terrible at platformers, but this was one I bashed my head against until I could finish.
  • Archon – Second best theme song ever.

Coin-Op Video Games

  • Defender – This is one of the few coin-op games I was actually good at. I got good enough to get past the space levels, and back to the ground-based levels.
  • Dig Dug
  • Galaga
  • Street Fighter – I was terrible at all fighting games. I can’t remember the special moves, and couldn’t perform them in the heat of the moment, even if I could.
  • R-Type
  • Robocop – I could finish the whole game on 1 quarter.


  • Star Wars series
  • Star Trek I, II, & III – Especially II
  • Dreamscape
  • Brainstorm
  • Electric Dreams – The original Her
  • Trading Places – My brother-in-law, an investment broker, says that itʼs part of the course work in getting a financial degree to watch that movie.
  • Dune
  • Blade Runner
  • Robocop
  • Back to the Future
  • Ferris Beullerʼs Day Off – I believe I saw this as a senior, so it was especially poignant.
  • War Games
  • Terminator
  • Big
  • Beetlejuice
  • Mr. Mom
  • Johnny Dangerously
  • Night Shift – These last 4: Michael Keaton!
  • Karate Kid
  • Mad Max 1 & 2

TV Shows

  • Different Strokes
  • The Facts of Life
  • Buck Rogers
  • Mork and Mindy
  • Little House on the Prairie – We watched it every week because my sister was so in love with the show. I always complained, but I secretly enjoyed it too.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard
  • The Brady Bunch
  • The Muppet Show
  • The Cosby Show
  • The Bionic Man! – Was it just me, or did that show have the worst fizzle of any show ever? I mean, teaming up with Sasquatch to save the Earth from aliens with time-stopping devices? Sheesh. Maybe itʼs my faulty memory. It couldnʼt have been that bad, could it?
  • Threeʼs Company – Forever a classic!
  • Knight Rider! – Do you have any idea how cheesy that show is to watch now? Yeesh!
  • SNL, but more importantly, Fridays, which was a much funnier show.
  • Love Boat
  • Fantasy Island
  • The A-Team
  • Magnum P.I.
  • Airwolf


  • Laf-A-Lympics
  • Scooby-Doo
  • Road Runner, Bugs Bunny, and Daffy Duck Space Ghost
  • Land of the Lost
  • Super Friends
  • The Pink Panther
  • Tom and Jerry
  • Popeye


  • Duran Duran – A long-distance friendʼs sister enlightened me. I can remember just staring at the cassette player in awe.
  • Rush
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Pink Floyd
  • John Cougar Mellencamp – or Johnny Hoosier Melanoma, as Mike used to call him.
  • UTFO
  • The Beastie Boys
  • RunDMC
  • Sheena E. – Or was it Sheila E.? As I write this, Glamorous Life is playing in my head, and itʼs what made me think of updating this page.
  • Cameo – Word Up is my theme song.
  • Shaka Kahn
  • The Thompson Twins
  • The The (sic)


  • X-Men, and its derivatives – I had a subscription in high school, and had all the original story lines theyʼre muddling and destroying in the modern movies.
  • Fantastic Four
  • Iron Man
  • Calvin and Hobbes


Commodore Vic-20 and C-64

Back in about 1978 or so, the Atari 2600 was taking the world by storm, and I begged my parents for one. My dad wouldn’t go for it. But, the next year, he bought us a Vic-20 for Christmas, complete with a cassette drive and dot-matrix printer. I learned how to program it, because it was there, but we mostly just played games on it. Then the C-64 came out, and it was clearly much better at playing games, so I begged my parents to upgrade.

until I made a program big enough to fill up itʼs 4.5 KB of usable memory. Then Dad upgraded us to a C-64 with a floppy disk drive! I could go on for a few days about this. Applications? What applications? Yeah, there was a spreadsheet. Yeah, there was a word processor. There was even a GUI desktop at the end (GEOS), but man was it slow! No, what was significant here was programming and games. I wrote lots of small programs. The one that overran the Vic was a Dungeons and Dragons character generator. I never finished it, because there are only so many IF-THENʼs a person can put into one program before heʼs not going to work on it anymore. Thatʼs still the only way to program a table lookup in BASIC, and – at least at the time – you had to typically do about a million big table lookups to get your character completed. Then there was the D&D character sheet, the simplicity and usefulness of which could not be duplicated in any official product.

Texas Instruments TI-77

My best friend Davidʼs computer. It was another classic computer from that era. (There were a lot of stinkers, but I was fortunate to only deal with winners.) We played a lot of games on it, but never did any programming with it. I donʼt think it had BASIC built in, and Davidʼs dad never bought the CART or something.

Tandy TRS-80

My later best friend, Darren, brought his dadʼs to school in 6th grade to show a program he had written. All it did was have a stick figure walk across the screen, but it was cool.

The Atari 400

This one was in the middle-school library. I had to take turns at lunch with a half-dozen other people, but since dad had bought the C-64 by then, I could stand not to get on it every day.

The Gould NP1

This is an odd addition to this list, and I had to look up what these machines were, but these were the Unix machines that took me through my time at Purdue. I spent many hours listing directories and running random programs I found. I very-clearly recall one proto-Rogue-like that didnʼt even have a character-based UI. I wish I could remember what it was called. They started making the shift away from shared Unix machines to Windows PCʼs the year after I left.