Peek and Poke

The Dick Smith WizzardTRS-80ZX-81VZ300… Apple ][… Ami­ga 500. Do these seem­ing­ly ran­dom mix of let­ters and num­bers mean any­thing to you? I had read some­where that in Rije­ka (Croa­t­ia) there was a muse­um of cal­cu­la­tors and com­put­ers… “Wow! Let’s put that on the list of things to see and do.”

Whilst wan­der­ing around unable to find it, I sud­den­ly shout­ed “Look over there… Peek and Poke… that’s where I wan­na go!” My part­ner in crime said “Sure… OK”, but at the time thought I must have had a sud­den urge to go to a cheap peep show.

Much to her sur­prise it was the com­put­er muse­um we had been unable to find ear­li­er. Back in the old­er days of com­put­ers, to “Peek” was to look at a mem­o­ry loca­tion, and to “Poke” was to put some­thing into that mem­o­ry loca­tion. This is an unmis­tak­able mat­ing call to a com­put­er nerd. This place had just about every PC ever from the heady days of per­son­al com­put­ing in the 70s, 80s and 90s. The only dis­ap­point­ment was that they didn’t have a Dick Smith Wiz­zard – which no doubt made me the per­son I am today. Thanks Dick.

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