Greetings from 1993!

Excerpt of a letter sent to a grade-school friend in September 1993. I was 16.

I got a new IBM 386. It's a beauty of a computer, but I sunk all of my money into it and my parents still had to help pay it off... It has an 80 meg Hard Drive, a Super VGA card (not a monitor though, still stuck with VGA...), a brand new keyboard and mouse, 4 megs expanded memory, a High Density 3.5" and 5 1/4" drive. Cost about $800 but it was worth it. I consider it an investment for college. I plan to major in Computer Science in college with maybe a Psychology minor.

Have you ever heard of Virtual Reality? Of course you have... If by some odd chance you haven't, take a look into it. I'm telling you, it WILL be bigger than TV. I hope to get into it as soon as I can. Come to think of it, you should too.

This is the danger of keeping a digital record of everything you’ve ever written.


    You were 16. What’s John Perry Barlow’s excuse? That guy said that virtual reality was going to be bigger than fire.

    I always wonder who the geniuses are that think Second Life will be bigger than the whole sum of the internet combined.

    Sixteen year old boys.

    Thanks for clearing that up. 😉

    On the plus side, you didn’t give a deadline for VR to be bigger than TV. It could still happen! Then you can look back with pride rather than embarassment.

    I think I have one of those upstairs in the closet. It might be from ’94, not ’93, but it’s probably the same computer.

    I’ve been carrying it around for thousands of miles and 15 years. For some bizarre reason I can’t bear to part with it.

    I was an avid member of a local VR special interest group. I think that movement was a little premature, but today’s high end games are certainly quite impressive.

    This is awesome to read. 1993 was the year I was *supposed* to graduate college, and the new thing to me were these cool “math co-processors” that we needed to run AutoCad on our IBMs.

    Only one kid on my dorm floor had one, so all homework was done in his room, in shifts.

    Good stuff, Andy.

    “‘I consider it an investment for college’

    but really, I plan to play a lot of _Doom_ ;)”

    I had the same computer – 386, 80MB HD, 4MB RAM! Unfortunately, with the 4MB RAM Doom was only playable in the smallest (bite-size) window. Wolfenstein played like a dream, though 😉

    Ah ’93. I had an IBM PS/1 bought from Best Buy (had to drive a half hour to go get it!) 486SX-20 4MB RAM at that time with an (endless) 128MB HDD. I, too spent all my money and had to have my parents pitch in.

    Re: VR, I guess if you go by the typical vision of “VR”, you might be embarrassed. However, if you consider online gaming or online communities in general, I think we’re already there, and your prediction was spot-on.

    I would much more believe in “extended reality” than in a “virtual reality” => why would a social reality be called “virtual”, as it’s fully implemented in real-life ?

    I mean : something is virtual as long as it doesn’t influence the real life, wich is not the case anymore… May we call this “co-reality” ?

    I have the same problem with the fact that I learned how to use Usenet around the age of twelve.

    Heh, my first job out of college was for the now acquired by Computers Associates, platinum Technology inc. one of the showcased apps of the future, VRML Creator.

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