In 2009, as a young journalist, I got the opportunity to interview KISS bassist Gene Simmons. As I fretted over my questions ahead of the interview I dug out a yellowing paperback of Berke Breathed’s comic Bloom County that had once belonged to my dad. In the world of Bloom County there’s a fictional computer called the Banana Jr. 6000—a cheeky dig at Apple—and a glorious fake ad in which a cartoon Simmons gives it his full-tongued endorsement. When my interview was over, I timidly asked him to autograph my comic. Simmons, wearing an unforgettable pair of lurid snakeskin boots, was tickled. “Of course I know about Bloom County,” he smiled while signing the page. “Of course .” Most of Bloom County has nothing to do with computers, but it was part of my early introduction to technology through my father, a hobbyist who spent most of his free time in the “computer room” at the back of the house. His domain was a dim, narrow space stacked with parts, manuals, comics, CD-ROMs and floppy disks, and a Macintosh, immortalized in the Super Bowl XVIII 1984 commercial that aired the same year I was born. The Banana Jr. 6000 was… Read full this story
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