All About Bob
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 Bob Portrait

 


Part One: The really boring stuff

I need a better secret origin.  My parents weren't shot in front of me, leading to a career of dressing like a bat.  My home planet, as far as I know, never exploded.  I didn't spring from the head of any greek deity.  Instead I had a boring beginning.  I was born to two loving parents.  We weren't rich, but we weren't poor either.  I had a brother and sister and grew up in the small town of Lockport, New York. 

Like many children of the seventies and eighties, I spent my time playing hockey, riding bikes and best of all spending hour after hour in the arcade.  From the first moment I saw space invaders, I was hooked.  I begged and pleaded with my parents to buy me an Atari 2600. 

My first real computer game was when I visited the home of a friend.  His father was in front of a computer playing a game unlike any I had ever seen.  He wasn't shooting at pixels.  He wasn't racing a car or driving a tank.  Instead he was exploring a world, fighting monsters and saving the village.  That game was Ultima 1.  It wasn't exactly a Saul on the road to Damascus moment, but it did wind up changing my life.

I spent the next few years doing anything in my power to log more computer time.  I snuck games into my school where the library had it's first and only computer.  Finally I traded my guitar for an Atari 800xl home computer.  64K of RAM!  Color!  Sound!  The best part, however, was the 300 baud modem that came with it.  My parents shook their heads and wondered why I would want to use a computer to talk with people.  "Why not just call them on the phone?" they wondered.  Little would they know that in just a decade they would be so hooked on e-mail they couldn't start the morning without it.

Teenage years passed and the computer began to collect dust.  I was more interested in attending shows, going to parties and living the life of a wasteful punk.  I spent the next half a decade moving from city to city, hitchhiking, picking up odd jobs and looking for the meaning of life.  I never found it, but I am convinced it has something to do with cheese.

Before I knew it, the roaring nineties had hit.  I was living in Denver and was convinced that my career would somehow involve drinking Mad Dog and asking for change.  Fortunately fate decided to step in and do something.  I bluffed my way into some help desk positions.  Sure, I had missed this whole "internet" thing, but how different could it be than running a BBS?

Then I discovered Ultima Online.  After spending nearly a week locked in home playing Ultima 7, I needed more. Walking into a computer store I noticed a magazine that had an interview with Richard Garriot.  In it he discussed his dream of a living, breathing Ultima world you could play over the internet.  It seemed like a pipe dream.  Little did I know where it would lead.

Part Two: As if you weren't bored already.

 


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