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The first computer I ever used was an Apple IIgs, located in my elementary school's computer lab. And the first program I remember running was The Oregon Trail by MECC.

Which, of course, means that the first famous computer game phrase I remember is, "You have died of dysentery."

For a fourth grader, it was a magical experience: You picked a program from the box of floppy disks, all proudly emblazoned with the MECC logo. You slid the disk into the floppy drive, closed the door, and turned the computer on. Within seconds, you would see the splash screen for your chosen program. And you'd hope that your program disk didn't have a bad sector (an unfortunate common occurrence).

For if your program disk did have a bad sector, the floppy drive would make loud, evil grinding noises. I've since come to realize that was the sound of the drive heads being repeatedly commanded to the end stop, in order to get the drive heads back to a known location before re-attempting access to the disk...

Should your program disk be free from defects, and your gameplay wise, then perhaps you would make it to Oregon before you died from dysentery.

A number of sequels to The Oregon Trail have been released since my fourth grade days. I've refused to try any of them, because the Apple II version from the mid-to-late 80's is the only true version in my mind. It's the version my inner geek wants to play again, on actual hardware, for the nostalgic value.

The Oregon Trail is also the first computer game that I never finished... Perhaps that's actually why I want another shot at playing this game.

December 19, 1998. A date which will live in awesomeness.

There are some who would disagree. Former President Bill Clinton, for example, probably didn't find that day particularly awesome. According to Wikipedia, that was the day he was impeached. But I digress...

Today, it seems like everyone has their own domain name. But back in 1998, the idea of personal domain names was a very new concept. While I know of one classmate who's family had a family domain name back then, I may have been the only person at my high school that owned a personal domain name at the time (one of a very small minority at most). And if it was not for a school project in 1998, it might have been several more years before I could claim a life achievement for registering my first domain name.

If it says anything, I only remember finding one .com registrar at the time – Network Solutions. And for a high school student, compared to one school lunch at $1.25, the cost for registering a domain name for a year was very expensive. There I go digressing again...

Long story short, December 19, 1998 was the day I registered my very first domain name: Only a true geek would fondly remember that day, and find that it ranked very high on the scale of awesomeness.

Or would that be true nerd...