My father returned home from work with a brand new Commodore 64 home computer. Though this was not the first electronic gadget we had (we've had an Atari Pong console before that), this was my first programmable computer.

Copying games from my neighbour, who had 2 floppy drives, my games collection grew rapidly. And so in the first months, we did nothing but playing games with it. Pacman, Donkey Kong, Summer Games, California Games, Winter Games, International Karate ... we had them all.

Some time later I discovered, how to hack some game's code with a hex editor. So my friends and me were able to play International Karate at a slower or higher speed rate. Or we could initially have more coins in an adventure game.

I started digging into BASIC programming later, when I made a multiple choice character test with self-drawn pixel images and an endless scroll page. Depending on how the user answered the questions a result was calculated in the end, telling the user how smart or dumb he was. I've learned BASIC mostly from computer magazines. At that time, they published whole source codes of programms in their monthly issues, which had to be laboriously typed in in long nights. And woe betide you if you mistyped anything. My buddy, who sat patiently next to me, had to read the whole source code, including every single character to me again from the beginning. There were no debuggers back then. After the run command only a "Syntax error" would be thrown into the console.

One day, my father came to me with a special request. As a construction engineer, he sometimes had to visit other branches of his construction company and had to prepare a travel expense report at the end of the month. Excel or spreadsheet programs didn't exist at that time, so I was told to use the computer and write a program that would make the monthly travel expense report easier for him.

I managed to do it somehow. I can still remember how I built the table columns with single character sets and there were a fixed amount of table rows. Anyway, the dot-matrix printer could print it out and this was enough for him.

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