Chapter 1. The New Web Order—How the Internet Has Brought Opportunity to Everybody

My first KaChing moment was not a pleasant sound. It was more like a thud than a ring. It wasn't the tinkle of a bell, and it wasn't even the pleasing sound that the cash drawer makes as it opens.

It was the sound of a cardboard box landing on the kitchen table.

But to me it was sweet music.

The year was 1994, and I'd already been playing around with computers—the simplest kind, the type that are less powerful than today's MP3 players—since 1980.

Of course, when I say "playing around" what I actually mean is "playing."

I'd had all the right intentions when I bought my first computer. I'd looked at the manual that explained how to create BASIC code and tried to write a few simple programs. I even got the screen to show "Hello world!" and felt very proud of myself. But I also discovered that to play a game all you had to do was stuff a floppy disk into a slot and wait for the program to load. That was so much easier and so much more fun.

I never did learn programming. In fact, I can't code my way out of a paper bag. I leave that to those who are far more knowledgeable and talented in that arena. However, I have always had a love for computer games.

Games cost money, and back in the mid-1990s, I had the sort of income that meant every penny had its place. My career until then had consisted of a mixture of disc jockeying at weddings and bar mitzvahs and selling encyclopedias door to door. I couldn't really justify ...

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