It has to be playing King's Quest on an my parent's Apple IIe. Hitting the edge of the "zone" and being prompted to turn over the floppy or move to another floppy altogether. And having to walk very carefully up the stairs diagonally so that the leprechaun didn't steal my stuff. Oh, and Zork.
Oh ZORK! I loved Zork, it is what got me hooked on playing MUDs. Which I am still addicted to.
Watching my father examine vacuum tubes from an old RCA console AM/FM/Aircraft/Military radio (this was back in 1962), then going with him to the radio repair store and select and purchase replacement tubes to put into the radio. Later I learned to do it myself, along with tube testing & verifying. Scavenging tubes from old radios and storing them in egg cartons, then sorting through them whenever I needed one to make the big old console radio work. I liked "fixing" the radio, then tuning in distant stations and imagining where they were located.
There was a large u-shaped cylindrical tuning antenna behind the radio; you could carefully move the radio out from the wall and then reach a hand back to the antenna and turn it right or left to improve the signal strength of distant stations. Cool!
Building things with an Erector Set back in 1962, losing all the little screws and nuts. Building things with Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs, and graduating to Legos later on.
Taking apart dead washing machines and driers and learning how the bolts and nuts worked together, seeing how the electrical connections were made and broken, trying to unwind a 30-lb electrical motor's armature. I didn't know there were miles of wire wrapped up in there! Eventually I gave up on that one.
Playing with portable A.M. radios' components, seeing what broke them, what made them work.
Using "pot cleaner" on the tuners in my family's old black-and-white TV's to clean up the channel changing.
Wiring a two-pole lever-action switch to a doorbell transformer and an electric bell ringer, then tying the switch's knife handle to my bedroom door as a burglar alarm. As soon as anyone pulled the door open, the knife switch pulled down and made the contact, and the bell rang very loudly right overhead. My sisters learned to stop going into my room--goal achieved!
Wow, man. You seem to be a generation before me. HAM radio always seemed cool, I tried to get my no-code Tech license, but failed the test on my first try and never tried again.
I still would like to do that.
I think there are plenty of fun "get-your-geek-on" and "my earliest geek memories" to share/learn from every generation.
- One of my grandfathers got his geek on by starting a bicycle shop in NW North Dakota over a hundred years ago, learning how gears and chain and grease could be turned into money. Over time he leveraged that into a general store, a house in town and another out on farmland, eventually raising 14 kids and farming 22 quarters of land by horse and by hand.
- The other grandfather bought one of those bicycles and pedaled around the prairie, looking for land to homestead, and eventually dug into a small hill he'd bought, and used the turf to build a sod house. He had to bring the cow and sheep inside it to keep him warm enough to survive--but survive he did!
- One of my wife's grandfathers geeked out as a young man in an iron mine and became a locomotive engineer and its primary operator and maintainer.
- My father got his geek on after his father took him out of school in 8th grade--the last grade the law required--and eventually went back to get his GED at age 22, since he could see farming (this was back in the Great Depression) wasn't the way to prosperity. He then went to college for a Bachelors, then got a Masters in Earth Science, became a teacher, then a principal, then a superintendent.
Geek runs in my family, and I bet it does in many. But Network Geeking is something I claimed all to myself in this blood line.
Mine would be programming basic games whilst at school in the 80's.
But I was never interested in computers. In 1989 (2 years after leaving school) I scored a job as a computer salesman. I didn't know anything about computers though - I just needed a job. We were selling XT's with 20Mb hard drive, mono screen (or upgrade to EGA) with Dos 3.2. And I haven't left the industry since.
Well, my earliest geeky memory would be when I read a blog post about Ubuntu and thought it sounded cool (and, hey, it's free! why not!) My mom was at bible study, dad was out of town, and at the time mom didn't use the computer really ever. I was no more than ....10 maybe. I wasn't supposed to mess with the computer, which my momma knew, but she was at Bible study for another couple hours.... lets surf the web.
Well, long story short is that I accidentally installed ubuntu and repartitioned his drive so it was dual booting. Now I knew my dad had told me not to mess with his computer while he was gone, and the computer was booting into Ubuntu by default.
Then while I was trying to follow guides on the internet, I broke the boot option for Windows, but left Ubuntu working. Well, dad wasn't home for a couple days... I unplugged the computer (barely, looks like it just got yanked out) so if my mom tried to use it, she wouldn't get into Ubuntu. The next day at the library I printed out a different guide that showed how to edit the bootloader in grub. and an example of what a boot entry for Windows should have looked like and how to edit the wait times for booting.
Mom wasn't home for a few hours after I got off the bus, so I repaired the grub boot record for windows and adjusted the default to Windows and the time wait to 0. It wasn't even on screen long enough to read.
.... That computer was technically dual booted with Ubuntu for like 4 more years.
I would have to say my parents coming home a few weeks before Christmas with a Commodore 64. Learned a lot on that old beast. Pretty much every new pc upgrade after that has caused me to geek out in some way or another too.
One day my dad bought a computer game called F22 Raptor, and a cheap flight stick. We started playing it after supper. I kept playing after he went to bed. I kept playing all night. He woke up for work and asked if I went to bed, I looked at him and said what do you mean? That was a very long day of school!
It goes on and on like that lol.