I sort of missed all the 8 bit computer days...
I may not have started home computing until I got an Atari ST, but you lot have cause some reminiscing.
Until I started work at my very first full time job I had never seen a computer up close, let alone done anything with them.
But then at the start of 1982 I got my first job as a trainee computer operator, and the machines there ranged from 1960's 16 bit machines used to digitise analogue seismic tapes, a TI990 (with 4MB of core memory) and best of all a VAX 11/780.
For those to young to have see one the 11/780 was approx 5” 6' heigh, 6” wide and 3” deep, plus this one had the extra expansion cabinet that added another 2.5” to the width.
The VAX was just being upgraded when I started to take it from 4MB to 8MB!
It was used by ~18 terminals/users and lots of batch jobs, the later needed loading and maintaining 24hrs a day. The machine was used for processing seismic data and needed constant operator input to change tapes (8 and later 12 half-inch Telex tape drives) and selection of the best job mix to use the hardware to its best. This was due to there being in addition the VAX itself, two array processors to offload the number crunching, a “rasterizer” that was used to convert data arrays for plotting on the 3" wide electrostatic plotter(s). The tapes were needed to both get the data in to process and then out to store the results as it only had 3 disk drives, each one the size of a washing machine with removable 18”, 12 platter disks which could store a massive 350MB each.
Best of all was on quieter night shifts playing Trek, Advent[ure] (aka Colossal Cave), Rouge, Moria, Empire (still being re-written every year as Civilisation++) and many other games, all running from a VT100 terminal (all provided by a visiting DEC engineer). Most of those games were available as .EXE only and ran in compatibility mode as they were originally built on PDP11's.
A few years later I got hold of Galaxy a multi-user (up to 6) Trek game (I had the source in Fortran for a while), and then in the late 80's the best Start Trek game called Universe.
Universe had a persistent process that ran the universe even when no players were present, players could join 4 groups Federation, Klingon, Orion, and Romulan and each had ships with different abilities (ie: clocking devices, shield strength, max speed...). There was even the option of enabling the planet eater that would slowly go around the universe wiping out all life on planets you had conquered. There's definitely something special/satisfying hearing a co-worker cursing you from another room, when you have just blasted them away with a spread of photon torpedoes.