Best Gift Ever

Last Christmas I stumbled upon a very original Gift Guide, through the blog Kottke.org (just these two links are worth this post). As you can see, it's all about a bunch of relevant people answering the question: What´s the best gift you´ve ever received? At the time, I gave it a thought about what was the best gift that I have ever received, but I couldn´t come up a clear answer. Some days ago, by pure coincidence, I found out.

It was 1986, and my father brought home 2 humongous boxes. We opened them and and set it all up on a desk. I was staring at that intimidating and captivating thing: an IBM PC, model 5150.

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It couldn´t do any graphics. It was just a green screen to type commands and receive responses (awesome!), it didn´t have a mouse, it didn´t have a hard drive, just two floppy drives, for those big black diskettes of, you bet, five and a quarter inches.

I spent endless hours learning what it could do, typing on that loud keyboard. It opened up for me a new world, full of possibilities. At some point in time my parents also purchased a BASIC for kids book that I used to immerse myself in programming my own routines, games, applications. Those gifts changed my life. They gave me a purpose as a child, a vocation, and they´ve shaped what I have done ever since.

Very recently my mother found in the basement one of the books, that I picture here for reference and pure nostalgia. Looking at those naive pages full of basic commands reminds me of that time when everything was possible, when everything was still to be discovered.

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Last weekend my kid told me: "Dad, I also want to build an app, would you teach me?" And fantasized about what the app would do, how it will look like, etc. I almost broke into tears. Good reminder that today, even more than during the wondrous 80s, everything is possible and everything is still to be discovered.

So yep, that´s my plan for this weekend. I bet your plans don´t even come close to it. See you on the next one!

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