I want to speak to this show. In my opinion, one of the most wonderfully crafted 4 season portrayal of essentially the first 13 - 16 years of my life.
Born in 1980, I very much missed the boat on the dawn of personal computing. I mean, the very dawn. Not by much, though. With a father who started in software engineering in the mid 80's, I had access to a computer from a very young age. Like, from 4 and up. That normalization of computers so early in my life very much set the flavour of the life I would lead, and the interests I would gain.
Needless to say, this show feels like a tribute to the nostalgia that I carry with me, but more than that, it's a fantastic story of life wrapped in the trappings of nostalgia wrapped in the story of business and innovation wrapped in the story of people, intertwined.
Watching the show re-invigorated a part of me that lay a little bit dormant. The part that experienced that wonder for the first time. I was able to live again vicariously through the characters and re-discover home computing, bulletin boards, Sierra or Lucasarts style adventure games, the internet. All of it. It's fascinating how powerful an effect it had on me, if I'm honest.
I know as we age, our brains change. We still love new experiences, but there are less of them to be had. Less moments of wonder, maybe. I'm less and less surprised by what's possible with technology as my expectation has expanded quite a great deal since I was young. Since I first sat around playing a round of California Games on a PC out on loan from my dad's programming job there's been wonder after wonder, but it grew to expectation and became just taking it for granted that things would continue down what felt very much like an accelerated path.
I think there's some truth to that, in gaming for example, and graphics. We're still pushing, but it's like we've been improving by half again each time. What 'half of what's remaining' becomes is less and less actual improvement.
VR is the next thing I'd love to be excited about. I am excited about it, but I have a family now, and I have a mind that says I should wait for second gen, which is here now really. So now it's about responsibility, and well timed decision making, and pacing, and children, and quality time with my wife, and growing in my career, and gardening, and building things with my hands, and everything else.
Getting back to the show, I guess something it moved in me is wanting to find that feeling again in my life. Initially. That thirst for the next thing that drove those characters through their own journey. Not just thirst, but necessity.
I think I've found mine. Writing. It's something I've consciously decided to focus on improving and even as the onslaught by 'resistance' is strong, I keep on going. It's been about 17 days that I've written or edited or outlined towards the completion of a novella. My first goal is to complete the novella, damn the quality. To finish something. My second goal is to move on to the next thing, and the next thing. Ideas reveal themselves, and patience keeps them cultivated while I chip away at goal 1.
Trying to think about the purpose of this post, it's the twinning of that show, Halt and Catch Fire, with the flames it fanned inside myself, with setting a goal of becoming a published writer, with starting to make decisions that further my direction towards my goal.
It's nice that storytelling and writing as goals lend themselves to digesting the same. I've started reading books and watching shows with a different eye. An observing eye as to the techniques being used, the styles, the dialogue.
If you ever get bored, really bored, just pick something you think is mundane and look into it. Vinegar, drinking wine, bread, gardening. The most cursory of investigations will reveal to you the makings of a filter you can add to your perception to suddenly see a great deal more depth on your given topic.