This is the history of my computers. Funny enough, it’s also a story of a country at the brink of democracy. It is a story of how a little boy saw and didn’t saw the great things going on outside his window.. There is a whole generation of people like me out there, people who lived through the revolution and didn’t even notice it. People for whom the quiet revolution was so quiet, that it almost resembled a normal life. We didn’t even know what hit us…

Until I was 11 years old, Poland was a communist country (or a “people’s democracy”, as communists used to call it then, obviously totally ignorant of the meaning of the word “democracy”… “What’s the difference between democracy and people’s democracy?”, the joke asked. “Well, that’d be about the same difference as between a chair and an electric chair”). I remember TV pictures of the Round Table with Walesa, Gorbatshev talking about glasnost and perestroika, and of Berlin Wall being torn down, without really understanding the implications of those symbolic happenings. The rest of the revolution went quiet by, at least for us living deep in the countryside of north-west Poland. I saw and heard the revolution, breathed it’s air without even knowing it was there, as if living in the time of the “great breakthrough” was the most natural thing in the world. Things changed dramatically, and I suppose the changes were immediately obvious to my parents and to my older siblings. I, on the other hand, wasn’t able to see them until I grew older and could look back at my childhood and my youth and compare their realities. But I belive that this fact gave me the special perspective of a person who isn’t really aware of being the active part of the narrative, until they one day wake up and realise what shaped them and how. And sometimes it’s like strange kind of sci-fi slapstick comedy, where you get watch yourself from the outside the Matrix, and see yourself  taking a dignified stroll down the street with your head high up, just to stumble over a banana peel. But then you don’t laugh at yourself tripping, but rather at the banana peel, and at whoever placed it on your way, and at the dirty pavement, and at the whole Matrix.

Atari 65XE >>