Outdoor Kids With Indoor Toys – nAvTV

Outdoor Kids With Indoor Toys


It’s time for a little more nostalgia my friends, so turn away now if that’s not something you’re into.

I’m 31 years old.


The Apple II – not a spectacle of graphics or sound.

In some ways it’s a unique age when it comes to technology because I’ve been surfing this wave of technology advances since I was a kid. I’m not really old enough to have experienced the Commodore64 or the ZX Spectrum (though I have used them) – the fist computer I can remember using was the Apple II. The first computer the family owned though was a 486-SX66 and man, was it the greatest thing we ever owned. I remember my dad coming home with it one evening and my immediate comfort with it.

From there we went through the ranks – to a Cyrix MII 300MHz, Pentium 200MHz and then an enormous leap to the AMD Thunderbird 1.2GHz.

AMD Thunderbird - Super CPU from a bygone era.

AMD Thunderbird – Super CPU from a bygone era.

It was at this point that my aunt upgraded her computer, and I got my very own system for the first time. It was a Pentium 3 Celeron 667MHz. It has a garish blue fronted case, and to this day will always be the best computer I ever owned. It was already slow when I got it and couldn’t even really play games anymore (4MB of video memory, anyone?), but it was on that system that I introduced myself to geek culture and paved my way forward.

I got my first cellphone, a Nokia 3310, when I was 16.

I’ve just described my technology upbringing from when I was about 10 years old to when I was about 16 years old. I’ve owned a dozen desktops and notebooks since then.

Remember that unique age thing I mentioned at the top of this article? Here it comes.

When I was 10, the neighbor and I would ride our bikes around the streets.
When I was 12, a friend and I built a treehouse in the tree in the middle of the yard.
When I was 13, the same friend and I build sandboards and went sandboarding on the dunes near the house.
When I was 14, I played cricket for the school’s 3rd team (I wasn’t very good).
When I was 16, I had a close group of friends that spent a lot of time throwing parties and experimenting with things teenagers experiement with.

Treehouses - fun for kids.

Treehouses – fun for kids.

I believe that my generation and perhaps the following 4 or 5 years’ of kids were the last generation to grow up just on the crest of that wave where technology didn’t run your life, and you didn’t rely on it but it was slowly starting to enhance it.

We are the last generation that struck equal balance between indoors and outdoors as kids, where you’d be just as likely to find me riding my bicycle around the streets than you were to find me playing Duke Nukem 3D on the family computer.

We are the last generation to have made extensive use of the public library or call people on their parent’s landline hoping they’d be home.

We are the last generation to send snail mail or record things to cassettes from the radio.

We are the last generation to entertain ourselves with the world around us.

Not that we do any of that anymore, but we did, which is what is important to me.

We were outdoor kids with indoor toys.




Richard Ferreira

Richard is a 31 year old gamer from Cape Town with a chip on his shoulder and a worsening cynicism problem. He plays games (badly), drums (badly) and writes English good.

He also hosts the nAvTV podcast and this here website is his domain.

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