I was always a very inquisitive child, I loved taking
things apart and putting them back together (not always successfully, I
might add). When I was around 12 years of age, my parents had the
foresight to buy me an Atari 800XL. Up to that point I hadn't really had
much of an interest in computers, but I soon enrolled in computer
classes after school. With that, a love affair Mills and Boon would be
proud of was born.
It wasn't long before I was saving every penny of pocket money for
various items to plug into the Atari. Over time I had built up a system
comprising of the floppy drive, dot-matrix printer and of course the
cassette player, with plenty of games to keep me enthralled. Games such
as Ballblazer, Spy vs. Spy and The Great American Cross Country Road
Race kept me hooked for hours on end.
Over this time I became completely fascinated with programming, and
one June weekend (when I was supposed to be studying for my exams the
following week), I created a maze game called Amazing! It appeared in
issue 37. To say I was excited would like saying the Pope is somewhat
religious. Seeing your work in print at 15 years of age is something
that is hard to put into words. I followed it a month or two later with
Castle Eayor, which appeared in issue 45. I still have the original
issues and to this day they are two of my most cherished possessions.
Given my interest in the Atari, it was inevitable I would end up in a
career in computers. I now lecture in computers at a third level college
in Dublin. The spirit of my Atari 800XL lives on in an emulator I have
for my PDA, with all the old favourites still keeping me hooked. Every
now and then, I fire it up just to remind myself where it all started.
Trevor Prendergast, January 2006