I’m going to issue a disclaimer before we proceed: I tried doing it the right way, I tried becoming a “real” programmer, I really did. But I failed. I started a computer science degree, but dropped out after about a year and a half. I’m sorry, but it bored me senseless.

As a young man, this career shift wasn’t entirely motivated by a need to restore the right-left hemisphere balance to my young brain; it may also have had something to do with the worry that knowing a lot about Alan Turing and C++ was probably not the best way to get a girlfriend.

My studies of early 1990s ideas of computing had so repulsed me that I made efforts to stay as far away from computers as I could for the next 10 years. For much of the 90s, I didn’t even ...

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