A week or two later, he gave my Dad an old military field computer, the Kaypro II and a box of older software (some of the programs he said he had written himself) with instructions that it was specifically for me.
I've since looked up that system and discovered the computer wasn't actually that old at the time. But as far as technology, it was probably very dated and from the looks of his home network, he liked cutting edge.
Tech was growing in leaps and bounds every year and that Kaypro II would have been no exception.
My Dad told me how the man had been excited about my interest and wanted to encourage me to learn about computers. In the box were several loose 5 1/4 floppies (software) and a case of more floppies that I would never figure out how to access. Plus a few paperback books. Some of those floppies were floating like castaways without covers while others were inside blank paper sleeves with titles written in pencil on the outside. I assume they were the programs he had told us he had written. The visual memory of that box is still extremely vivid in my mind.
I didn't know how to operate a computer at only 11 years old in 1986, it was probably only the second time I had ever touched a computer. In the box was a book about MS-DOS, I want to say it was called, "Learn DOS in a Day" but I can't remember the title. Only that I poured over every character, every number, every line. Completely in love. And it took me about a week to soak it all up.
Using it as an instructional guide for entering into this high tech realm of TRON or maybe, 2001, a Space Odyssey... I cautiously typed out commands... sometimes nothing happened. So each time the computer obeyed, I was exhilarated and triumphant. Every click of the keys on that beautiful piece of machinery was like music to my soul. I would never look back.