Mid-80's into the 90's.
I'd love to have been a part of that era.
I envision a lot of "problems" were solved by using hardware/physical solutions or calculations that implicitly relied on these fundamentals.
It'd be cool to be part of the movement of trying to figure out what we could do with computers.
You haven't had real fun until you've waited several days for your system's OS to re-compile (for a new driver), only to boot up the freshly-built kernel and have the hardware flip you the bird because something wasn't quite right in that newly-compiled kernel.
:) I remember when I took the family desktop computer over to my friends house for a Windows OS upgrade. While we waited we played starcraft and we played many a games until it was done.
I can only imagine the frustration and elation of waiting multiple days for a recompile and it failing but then ultimately succeeding.
I would suppose in the early days of computer there were many victories like this and high fives all around.
While a lot of the earlier problems with respect to hardware and computing are now not a common concern, I feel a sense of nostalgia and a want of appreciation through experiencing the "fun".
I was born in the 80's and my family did not have resources to get a computer until the late 90's (which was used for our writing assignments in school) and I at times play this exact "what if" scenario of either being born earlier, or time traveling back with the resources I have now to just explore the computing world.
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