I have been interested in computers since the early 1980s. My father brought home a ZX Spectrum (the old rubber-keyed one) from Lasky’s (a pre-cursor to the Dixons brand) from Kingston-Upon-Hull. The fun we had (honest!) going through the Horizons cassette that came free with it. My brother would sit and play the Brick In The Wall game until he could get that ‘just right’ move of the bat in order to remove the final brick from the screen.
In 1987, I did the Spectrum & Amstrad CPC graphics port of the C64 graphics from ‘Out Of This World’ for Reaktor – it was a shameless rip off of Fantasy Island on the Sega Master System, but it was my one and only paid graphics work and, because I was 17 at the time, it was in cash 🙂
I was lucky enough to get a nice score in Amstrad Action (82%) at the time, but once I’d used the payment for the work to buy my Atari ST setup, I realised that, with the higher resolution and multiple colours, a career in graphics design/pixel-painting just wasn’t for me.
Programming, however, via the medium of GFA BASIC (and a little bit of 68000) was much more interesting. I could use a BASIC similar, but way more powerful, than what I’d learned on the ZX Spectrum and it wasn’t long before I was churning out utilities and some, quite awful, demos. Unforunately for me, most of these have been preserved on DemoZoo by Lotek. Believe me when I say that the sampled demos *are* awful 🙂