Data Cassete – You can find many old Brazilian magazines and books, including some classics like Micro Sistemas (this 1982 issue is specially cool – it talks about all the “powerful” upcoming Microcomputers, like all the ZX-81s), and my favorite Input (oh how many hours I spent typing out those buggy games!) and many more.
Reading these old magazines reminded me of how my obsession with computers started. It was 1984 and I was 10 when I first noticed a little section at Mappin where a bunch of computers were on display (the 1982 Micro Sistemas I linked above even mentions this place!). I spent hours looking at older kids typing little Basic programs and was amazed at all the “Hello World!” printing on the screens. After that I spent all my time plotting ways to get money to buy one of those crazy machines (which were all very expensive). Explaining why I wanted to buy a computer to my family was not easy as well. It took me a couple of years and all my birthday and christmas gifts and rewards for chores but finally I got a TK-85 and everything after that is history.
When I grew a bit older I started to read many American IT magazines as well, and was amazed at how much more powerful and cheap American computers were… How badly I wanted to get my hands on an Amiga! I was pissed. Asking around why that was happening, I was told that we had a “market reserve” for computers, which meant no foreign product could enter our country.
That was probably my first reason to hate the Brazilian government and all their stupid lefty ideas (I didn’t know these were lefty ideas at the time of course… but I sure knew they were stupid).
By the way, that whole scheme worked great eh? Brazil has surely created a powerful IT industry complex! Prologica, Dismac, Microdigital… All a bunch of companies that were simply copying other people’s ideas without paying royalties. And were not able to survive even after that!