Serendipitous Synchronicity, or something like that

    Last Saturday, I kept my oldest son from picking a piece of useless junk from our dentist's toy treasure chest by offering him the choice of a toy from our attic. We ocassionally round up toys our kids aren't currently interested in and store them in the attic. He said he wasn't interested in any of the toys up there, but after a few moments, he asked if he could pick one of the 'antique' computers up there, and I said sure.

    OK, so I'm a bit of a gadget junkie, especially old computers that I dreamed of when I was younger but couldn't afford. Now I can afford them, but they certainly don't have the same 'usefulness' as when I dreamt of them. We are planning to move in a year or so, and have accumulated way too much stuff in our 10+ years in our current home, so I've been planning to divest much old computer gear as I can bear to part with anyway.

    The antique computer my son wanted was an old Commodore 64, which he had played a ducky game on when he was several years younger. Turns out I have 2 C64s, although I only recall trying one of them, and it seemed flacky after a while. And, to my surprise, my son had heard of BASIC from School House Rock, so when I mentioned it only used cartridges, and had BASIC if there was no cartridge, he was excited to have the chance to try BASIC. I also tried setting his expectations by telling him neither might work, and he asked if there was another antique computer he could have, which used disks and had BASIC. We chatted about the 9 early Macs (the all in one units), but I wasn't sure if I could find BASIC for them.

    Here is where the synchronicity comes in. I keep an eye on Slashdot most every day, and there is an item referencing an article by David Brin (yes, that David Brin) on Salon called 'why Johnny can't code'. Turns out David and his son where in a similar situation, and to make a long story short (too late:-) he found Chipmunk BASIC for the Mac, and he also ended up buying a C64 off eBay, so his son could try out the BASIC examples in his math book. It's all timing. :-)
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