When my dad first dragged home a PET from work, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. That thing looked like the future! It was white, with a little built-in CRT and probably made out of folded sheet metal (it weighed about a hundred pounds). I had some friends with TRS-80s and this thing made them look totally punk-ass. I mean, a TRS-80 just looked like a keyboard stuck to a TV set, while the PET looked like a NORAD/HAL-9000 love child. I played ASCII games -- Pac Man, Space Invaders. It had 8K and a cassette drive.

My dad was doing a software project for it and had some appropriately uber-geek high school students doing some of the programming (first geek exposure, very formative). They let me hang out while they were working, listening to Styx and Loverboy while the lines of code churned out. Once, when a dupe of some software had to be made, Rick (geek 1) stuck the cassette in his tape-to-tape recorder and turned on the sound. I'll always remember that squeal of bits coming through the speakers.