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The 80s

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Please share your stories about living during the 1980s. I'm increasingly fascinated with this decade and would love to read some firsthand accounts.

Some food for thought:

(I will add more to this list over time.)

1. What was being an 80s Star Wars fan like?

2. Were you tech-savvy? If so, were you an audiophile, a videophile, a computing enthusiast/programmer, ...?

3. Which technological developments excited you? Which didn't excite you? What did you think was coming soon, but was actually far off?

4. Did you participate in the early home video revolution? If so, how did you, for instance, obtain all of the episodes of Star Trek (TOS)?

Please don't just reply to this list. Write stories!

A picture is worth a thousand words. Post 102 is worth more.

I’m late to the party, but I think this is the best song. Enjoy!

—Teams Jetrell Fo 1, Jetrell Fo 2, and Jetrell Fo 3

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I remember being on my front porch opening a birthday present (granted this was well after '83 but the toys must have been in the stores for quite awhile after) and opening up the Max Rebo band. It was exciting to see Star Wars on network TV, which was my only Star Wars viewing during the 80s. I was young/uninformed enough not to even know which episode I was watching when it came on. I played with my not-yet vintage toys. Klaatu still has some playdoh stuck in his face I think.

Got a computer around the very end of the 80s. A Tandy 1000 SL. Mostly played King's Quest. I fooled around with BASIC programming. It beat the old Commodore I used at school during recess to play Oregon Trail. Still have the computer at my mother's, I'm always impressing upon her how important it is to preserve for the sake of humanity. I just remember really wanting a computer and begging for one. And then it was so annoying to have to switch out the floppy disks all the time to proceed in a game, so I begged to get more RAM (less switching) and a 3.5" drive (fewer disks needing switching).

Some of the older people here will have better memories. Short shorts with stripes on the side seemed to have been a prominent feature of that era.

The blue elephant in the room.

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Thanks for replying, Mrebo!

Do you remember playing any other games besides King's Quest? Did you ever type-in any BASIC games from source code given in magazines?

(My earliest video game memories are of the NES, so I don't have much to share!)

A picture is worth a thousand words. Post 102 is worth more.

I’m late to the party, but I think this is the best song. Enjoy!

—Teams Jetrell Fo 1, Jetrell Fo 2, and Jetrell Fo 3

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 (Edited)

For me being a Star Wars fan in the eighties was a bit torturous.

I was seven in 1977 and waiting three years was like waiting forever.

So when ESB ended as it did and I would have to wait another three years to find out if Vader was telling the truth, if Han would get out of that block of Carbonite and who was this mysterious 'other', t'was crazy making.

I lost my digital watch on the way home from watching ESB for the second time too.

Come 1983 and I had some sort of disagreement with my father and I was told I would not be allowed to see the film and I sulked in my room.

It wasn't so much not seeing the film that upset me more the not going with the whole family like we had twice before.

Whatever the thing was it was eventually put to one side and I did go with just my dad which was fun but not as fun as going with my sister and mum too.

While I found it exciting there was clearly something missing.

It wasn't as substantial or as polished as the second one and I would have to wait another three years to find out what happened next...

and then another three years...

and another...

and another...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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As I was born in 1987, I don't know if I have any memories of the '80s. My earliest concrete memory - that of being on an operating table to sew up my big toe after dropping a pickle jar on it - only goes back to 1990; I have no way of knowing if any of the images/impressions I have from the time before that go back much further.

Eat the multi-billion dollar corporate slop and pretend it’s social justice, you weirdos.

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King's Quest IV!

I used the manuals that came with the computer mostly. Started making a little game with a city constructed of ASCII characters and one could enter the various buildings. The nightclub had a flashing sign. Once you enter, a song played that I composed. All very exciting xD One of the reasons I wouldn't want to get rid of the computer. At the library I think I found a book on BASIC to help me. In college I did a course on Visual BASIC, glad to see it was mostly the same idea.

The 90s had their own fun though, like blowing into game cartridges to make them work. And AOL dialup.

The blue elephant in the room.

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DuracellEnergizer said:

As I was born in 1987, I don't know if I have any memories of the '80s. My earliest concrete memory - that of being on an operating table to sew up my big toe after dropping a pickle jar on it - only goes back to 1990; I have no way of knowing if any of the images/impressions I have from the time before that go back much further.

'88 here :-)

A picture is worth a thousand words. Post 102 is worth more.

I’m late to the party, but I think this is the best song. Enjoy!

—Teams Jetrell Fo 1, Jetrell Fo 2, and Jetrell Fo 3

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AntcuFaalb said:

DuracellEnergizer said:

As I was born in 1987, I don't know if I have any memories of the '80s. My earliest concrete memory - that of being on an operating table to sew up my big toe after dropping a pickle jar on it - only goes back to 1990; I have no way of knowing if any of the images/impressions I have from the time before that go back much further.

'88 here :-)

March of '88, present!

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'93. Am I doin it right guys

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

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bkev said:

'93. Am I doin it right guys

You. Lawn. Off.

 

;)

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It was a lot of fun being in my 50s during the 80s.

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bkev said:

'93. Am I doin it right guys

Hah! Come back when you have bags around the eyes.


I was born in 1992. No '80s memories to be found here. 

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I was born in 1989.

I have a really bad general memory, so I barely remember yesterday.

Keep Circulating the Tapes.

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I intend to see the 2080s.

The blue elephant in the room.

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 (Edited)

Star Wars was basically all I cared about in terms of Sci-Fi and toys from age three until age eleven or twelve. I had Star Wars wallpaper when I was eight or nine and Star Wars themed birthday parties. I saw Star Wars at age 4 in 1978 but I don't really remember that first experience. My parents went first to check it out because they thought Chewbacca might be too frightening. One of my earliest memories is from 1980, I had seen Star Wars several times by then and I remember seeing it almost back to back with The Empire Strikes Back when it came out. The line for tickets went literally around the block and I have not seen anything like it since. I still remember the brand of chips my Dad ate and my brother and I wearing our favourite Star Wars t-shirts.

After the movie I was so excited I got my Dad to go and ask the usher if there would be another Star Wars movie and what it would be called. My Dad came back and said "Revenge of the Jedi". It was one of the best moments of my childhood. Though I remember seeing Jedi three years later it was more just the film that I remembered, whereas with Empire at six years old it was the entire experience that stayed with me. I also saw Raiders of the Lost Ark at a drive-in movie theatre with my family, the first time I had ever been to a drive-in. My parents made us all close our eyes at the end, but I peeked and had face-melty nightmares.

My entire Christmas list was always Star Wars stuff and I still have most of it today. You can almost tell how old I was looking at the figures. The 1977 figures are trashed and missing weapons, the 1980 figures are a bit dinged up but reasonable and the 1983 figures are almost perfect. By the time I was nine I just stood them on my shelf instead of ruining them in the dirt. I remember playing with Luke Hoth and my Tauntaun in my parents' freezer and drawing Sarlacc pits on cardboard and cutting them out for dioramas. Playing on the weekend was usually outside, often roaming the neighborhood at a young age with no need for supervision. We rode our bikes or dressed up to play Star Wars with plastic masks, capes and lightsabers. Later it was Indiana Jones, sometimes Ghostbusters. We went adventuring in the nearby pine forest, collected toads from the swamp and made our own bows and arrows.

My Dad was kind of an early adopter, we had a video camera and VCR when I was eight or nine and an aunt who owned a "video library" We soon had our own copies of the trilogy, which were watched religiously every weekend. Our aunt lived interstate though and I remember it cost $300 just to join the local video library when it first opened. Movies were about $20 to hire. We also had an Atari 2600 and games like Combat, Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Defender. I did not like putting money in arcade machines like most of my friends. I remember Dragon's Lair was insanely expensive when it came out. It would charge a dollar to kill you before you made it inside the castle when most games were still twenty or forty cents. I played it once. Our first computer was an Apple IIE and it seems there is no trace of my first computer game on the internet (Wizard I). Other games I played were Karateka, Montezuma's Revenge, Mask of the Sun, Alpine Adventure and Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? The computer at my school required a whole room and we learned DOS working on terminals.

I was ten in 1984 - one of my favourite years for movies. I was a bit young to see some of them until later but it was still very memorable seeing Gremlins, Ghostbusters, Temple of Doom, Star Trek III, The Karate Kid, The Neverending Story and The Last Starfighter all on the big screen in such a short period. I got a digital watch, an early model Walkman and the Nintendo Game & Watch "Lion" when my parents went to Hong Kong and bought a bunch of duty free stuff. Later I got a few double-screen Game & Watches like Donkey Kong and Oil Panic. I could clock my Donkey Kong Game & Watch several times but could never even beat the first screen at the arcade.

I started skateboarding at age 12 after seeing Back to the Future and have a scar on my stomach from a skitching accident. I wore a denim jacket with the sleeves rolled up and mirrored sunglasses for at least a couple of weeks. My denim jacket had no pattern inside the sleeves so I wore a flannel shirt underneath and it was boiling hot. I made my first skateboard from a plank of wood and a roller skate when my parents wouldn't buy me one. They realized my home-made job was far more dangerous and ended up buying me a real skateboard. I broke my arm within the first year.

My favourite TV shows were The Incredible Hulk, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Knight Rider and The Greatest American Hero. My parents wouldn't let me watch The A-Team so I used to spend my pocket money on A-Team paperback novels. I collected the novelisations of my favourite movies or movies that I wasn't allowed to watch and bought every issue of Mad Magazine, mostly for Mort Drucker's artwork. I remember going into a Hi-Fi store with my Dad to look at the first Compact Discs when they came out. I wrote letters to my friends. A Mars bar cost forty cents. You see, back in those days, rich men would ride around in Zeppelins, dropping coins on people, and one day I seen J.D. Rockefeller flying by. So I run of the house with a big washtub and... hey! Where are you going?

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That sounds like a sweet childhood. Mine seems lame by comparison.

Keep Circulating the Tapes.

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(It hasn’t happened yet)

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Surely you could talk it up for an OP that was currently obsessed with your time period in another 20 years. But I can't complain :)

*drunken rant belonging in Politics thread deleted*

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Thanks for the story, doubleKO. It was really fun to read!!!

More, guys! More!

A picture is worth a thousand words. Post 102 is worth more.

I’m late to the party, but I think this is the best song. Enjoy!

—Teams Jetrell Fo 1, Jetrell Fo 2, and Jetrell Fo 3

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Leonardo said:

AntcuFaalb said:

DuracellEnergizer said:

As I was born in 1987, I don't know if I have any memories of the '80s. My earliest concrete memory - that of being on an operating table to sew up my big toe after dropping a pickle jar on it - only goes back to 1990; I have no way of knowing if any of the images/impressions I have from the time before that go back much further.

'88 here :-)

March of '88, present!

January here!

A picture is worth a thousand words. Post 102 is worth more.

I’m late to the party, but I think this is the best song. Enjoy!

—Teams Jetrell Fo 1, Jetrell Fo 2, and Jetrell Fo 3

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Now I know Frink's and Bingowings's ages.  Sometimes it's better to just assume they really are in their 70s :(

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 (Edited)

I wonder if there are any serious fans of Star Wars in their seventies and up.

Eat the multi-billion dollar corporate slop and pretend it’s social justice, you weirdos.