Like so many, I started programming on a Commodore 64. This was an affordable, simple computer with cool graphics and – for that time – stunning sound (it had three independent synthesizer channels with programmable ADSR waveforms). I think I laid my hands on one in 1983 first and I bought my own machine in 1984.
The C64 made me a programmer. Although quite a lot of games were available for that machine, gaming didn‘t interest me that much (and this is still so). After having read Rodney Zaks‘s “Programming the 6502” book I dived into the machine and I soon became quite capable with that little monster.
Back then, a group of journalists at Heise Verlag (now famous for c‘t magazine and the daily Heise Newsticker) started a cool project, called INPUT 64. It was actually a magazine on tape: the first interactive computer magazine ever and that way somehow a predecessor of the web today. All the software came on Tape (!) accompanied by a small booklet. INPUT 64 took off in 1985, changed to Floppy Disk in 1986 and lived until 1988.
As I lived in Hannover back then, I became aware of the project pretty soon and eventually became one of the programmers who contributed to the magazine‘s content. The staff chose my program DISC MON 1541 to be the program of the month. I was proud. And it was actually a quite useful program: you could interactively browse and change the memory of the peripheral disk drive in a pretty intuitive way.
Imagine my joy when I bumped into an archive of the INPUT 64 magazine today. And there it was: the disk image of the 08/1985 edition was there and contained the lost piece of software (you can run it using a C64 emulator like Frodo or Power64). Furthermore, me and my two programming buddies created the new introductory sequence that was included since 10/1986. And it is all on the web. The web is so cool.
Finally we contributed in another and final way: getting bored of the C64, we all turned to UNIX back then and we heavily evangelized UNIX in our neighbourhood. The editorial staff of INPUT 64 became addicted to UNIX as well and in the end INPUT 64 went away and the staff moved over to their next magazine: iX, a UNIX magazine, which still exists.