Thirty Years Ago Sir Clive Changed My Direction

I was looking for something on my bookshelf today and came across an old friend, my ZX81 Basic programming book. It doesn’t seem that long ago since I received my kit in the mail. It was an easy build, there were only four chips, so it was only a few days before I was able to hook it up to my old nine inch B&W TV and type in a program.


20 GOTO 10

It may seem funny and stupid now but I wish someone could have taken a picture of my face when I ran that program and saw the column of HELLO WORLD scroll up the screen. It was about 1 A.M. but I woke my wife up and showed her the glory I had discovered. She was not impressed. Undaunted, I changed the program to print DAVE LOVES SHARLENE! and she smiled but still went back to bed.

Many late nights followed and many different machines but nothing would ever equal that moment. In hindsight, it was pretty corny but I don’t care. I still have my ZX81 and will never get rid of it. It just strikes me that I came across that book tonight. The ZX81 was introduced in March of 1981. I got mine in early October. My hand just rested on that book almost thirty years to the day after I got it.

Thanks for the memories Sir Clive.



R.I.P. Steve

Yesterday a bright light in the tech world flickered out. Steve Jobs was about a year younger than me so I can really say that we were from the same generation. Not that that means much when it came to Steve. His reach was across generations, cultures, and religions. He had a simple goal, “To take over the world,” no wait that was Pinky and the Brain. Steve just wanted to make the beige box, which we all had under our desks, look better and “just work.”  I have never been a form over function type of person. I’ve had computers that didn’t even have cases, just a motherboard sitting on my desk with wires attached to it. As long as it did the job, I could care less what it looked like. I am of course in a minority as usual. Steve made beautiful and functional devices. They were premium priced but looked the part. Good-bye Steve. The tech world and the world in general will miss your style and dedication. 

Pastor Dawes

Our Pastor had his last service at our Church today. He is retiring June 30th, so it was a bittersweet service. I’m happy for him and wish him all the best in his retirement. At the same time I’m sad to see him go. He has been a good friend and he was the reason I joined Knox’s congregation. I will miss his intelligent, insightful, humorous and above all praise filled sermons. I’ll miss our conversations about cameras, music, computers and anything else we would come up with. His knowledge of the Bible is vast and he could explain many of the parts I had trouble with. My hope is that we’ll still visit and have long rambling conversations about everything. The danger in retirement, I’ve come to see, is that we can drift apart after we leave. Maybe if I get this guitar thing figured out (Starting my lessons would be a good thing), I’ll drop by for a jam session with him. I’ll even let him play a John Denver song if he wants. Happy retirement Ivanhoe and thanks for everything.

Coming up on a year

May 7th is coming up fast. It will be one year since I decided that my heartburn was something more serious. Not being able to stand up because my heart wasn’t working well also helped to convince me of that. I’m feeling better now and the only big changes are the pills I have to take every day. I’ve gone from taking an advil for a headache about once every two months to taking five pills a day. Of course you can’t put chemicals into your body everyday with out side effects. I learned that in my teens and twenties. The side effects are not serious but nagging. One of the drugs keeps my blood presure a little too low so if I’m crouched down with the Grand-kids and stand up too fast I get a little faint. I’m also lacking energy because of a couple of other drugs. All in all I’ll take those small inconvieniences in exchange for my heart continuing to work.

Another Season Over Too Soon

I make no apologies for being a Maple Leafs fan. I bleed Blue and White. It was sad to see this season end last night but the team I’ve seen on the ice the past few months makes me hopeful for better things to come. It will be a long summer but next October I’ll be back and cheering them on through good times and bad. That is what a fan does.


Go Leafs Go!