When I was six years old, my father got a computer for our home. It was KayPro, monochrome, amber against black. It had some operating system that predated DOS. All I remember is that each program was a letter, and it only went up to C. B was a Monopoly game, C was Wishbringer; I had put that one on myself. A was a word processor that my father put a password on; a four-digit number. It’s impossible to be six and leave that sort of thing be. The third number I tried, after 1111 and 1234, was my father’s birthday. 5443.

When it opened, all I got was a big blank screen I could type in. No dark secrets, no pornography, no financial information, nothing of consequence. I had accomplished nothing and gone nowhere. There is no reason I should even remember this, let alone feel any sense of pride about it.

5443. Got it on the third try.

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