Computer Camp

In the summer of 1985, I was enrolled into a summer camp at SIUE. It was a hybrid soccer-computer curriculum that a friend of my mother was sending her son to. I imagine the motivation was to keep me active; I was not a slim 11-year-old.

I don’t remember the soccer. But I do remember the classes writing simple programs in Applesoft BASIC on Apple II computers. Our capstone project was animation of an image in the lo-res graphics mode which offered 40x48 resolution and 4-bit color. I was very proud of my rendering of the St. Louis skyline, with a blinking light atop the Gateway Arch, twinkling stars, and a steamboat moving upstream with a moving paddle wheel.

It ignited a lifelong passion for software that led me into a secret room until we got a computer at home.