Jay Garrigan reminisces about his first programming experince with the TRS-80 as he rebuilds his band's website, http:/the-eyebrows.com with WordPress.

I used to really enjoy the design side of programming. I think I still do, but wow… the tools and technology sure have changed.

My inclination toward design may have started back near 1978 when my father paid nearly $800.00 for a TRS-80 computer. It boasted a mere 16k, and was a huge leap in technology for a computer to come into the home.

My father, with a keen eye toward the future of how data could be used, showed his sons how to program and give them a head start in the world’s future. At the time, he performed psychology research for the Army. Data was really important to what he liked to do, and visualizing that data was even more important.

Well, I’m not good at math, or rules. I mean… I find math interesting in terms of figuring stuff out, but I more enjoyed learning how to make images of pixilated robots dance. To me, the TRS-80 was more a thing to play with rather than do practical things like study spelling from digital flash cards. Making dancing robots was fun. Writing a program and entering data for flash cards was a chore.

I also was very interested in the digital sounds stored on the cassette tape. This is how the TRS-80 (soon to be known as the “Trash 80” in my house) computer stored programs, and it sounded a bit like how modem dial-ups sounded in the 90s, except more bit-crushed. If the tape in the cassette ever got stretched or warped, you lost your program, so playing these tapes in a regular stereo system was discouraged. So was shuffling my father’s IBM punch cards.

Fast forward to today, and I’ve made this site from the code found in open-sourced WordPress. That, and about three weeks of looking up YouTube videos on “how the heck does one do this?”

This site was fun to make… let me know what you think!

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