I was the first kid in my high school in Colorado to have a computer, a kit from a financially shaky company called ‘the digital group’; it had a 2.5 Mhz Z-80 and 26K of RAM, and I permanently borrowed my mom’s cassette recorder so I could load and save programs on audio tape. When I moved to a better high school in the Washington, DC area I fell in with a group of friends who either had computers or really wanted them. My friend Jack got an Exidy Sorceror (a fine Z-80 based system with, I think, 32K of RAM), and our mutual friend Richard (who had a job and could afford nice things) had some kind of CP/M-based box with 64K and real disk drives (hard disks for personal use, in those days, were science fiction).
The Math Lab (geek hangout) at school had some Ohio Scientific micros (6502-based pieces of garbage, pretty much what you’d expect from a low bidder to a mostly clueless school system administration in those days). We hung out in the lab a lot, hacked in BASIC and found ways to crash the county’s IBM mainframe (it wasn’t hard; they told us to stop, and we did — not out of fear, but mostly boredom and disdain). We wrote games on those stupid OSI systems; some group efforts included a massive banner generator program, and a juvenile hacked-up version of Star Trek retitled “Star Fuck!!!” which was the perfect embodiment of teen-age boy humor of the most predictable kind. To put snoopy teachers off the scent, Star Fuck!!! was usually kept in a file named “assignment” or “homework” or something.
During the school’s parent invitation night, the teacher in charge of the math lab wanted to show off what “his kids” were working on. He found some random disk that was sitting around and started up a likely program on it labeled “demo,” whereupon “Star Fuck!!!” unlimbered its proud, majestic and definitely not subtle start-up animation. The teacher yanked the power and formatted the disk, right then and there in front of the aghast parents, and over the next few days he zapped all the other copies of “Star Fuck!!!” he could locate. This was our first lesson in the wisdom of keeping off-site backups.