My father is a nerd. While he still hashes bitcoins and recovers hard drives for ever-the-more-senile friends, his heyday of tinkering with electronics and programming was in the 1980's. Yet, he wasn't someone interested in writing an operating system, he was in business. He, like many others, proudly owned a Commodore 64 as his first computer. He wrote programs for school, for personal finance, and for fun. Mostly, he tells me, he played games. When we pulled out his old rig from the attic when I was in high school, he was able to pretty soundly kick my ass. (I argue that my generation is at a disadvantage when a joystick is involved.) Regardless, I was able to be introduced to the world of ROM early on. The interest in the aesthetics and the history of the era has not subsided in me
However, my father wasn't just a nerd, he was the nerd for his whole family. So when DOS took market share and C64's were had-beens, my father took the old systems in along with any goodies bundled with them. When I went to go through the systems again more thoroughly, it was easy enough to reconstruct a perfectly functional unit. And with them were programming books on COBOL, Super Pascal, BASIC, and assembly, boxes of manuals and blank labels, and most importantly, a shoebox full of floppy disks: some were purchased, some handwritten.
Those handwitten disks are the interesting ones to me, of course. Some contain programs written by my father, some by my geeky cousin who would trade programs back and forth with my father and my uncle, and some (well a lot) come from the piracy scene. While my father is a law-abiding citizen, he'd never say no to a good opportunity. The server admin at his office was a colorful character that I heard all too much about when my family war on long car rides. The operator was nothing short of the epitome of the 1980s BOFH. However, my father, being the charismatic prom king he is, befriended the man and would trade conversation and confidence for whatever releases were fresh in the broken c64 rom scene
So here we are. I plan on going through these disks one-by-one, recording the highlights, and sharing what I know about them.