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Year: 1982

The tan station wagon ground to a halt in the driveway.  One of the back doors flew open and a boy jumped out, clutching a large box, and ran towards his two friends who were waiting at the front door.

“I got it! I got it!” he yelled.

His friends jumped and cheered.  Then they all ran inside to the rec room where the big television was.

Wendell opened the box and took out the contents, an Atari VCS.  His friends took the twist ties off the joysticks while he plugged the power into the wall socket. 

“Oh no!  I need a screwdriver,” he said.

“What for?” asked Ed.

Wendell held up a small box with some wires coming out of it.  “I have to hook this up to the antenna thing on the TV.”

After a few minutes and some grumbling from his dad, Wendell came back with a screwdriver.  In a few seconds he had the RF switch box hooked up to the television.

“Here we go! Here we go! Here we go!” exclaimed Skeezix, the fat kid of the group.  He was practically dancing.

Ed plugged the Combat cartridge into the VCS and Wendell flipped the power switch to on.

“Ha!” cried Wendell, “I creamed your tank again!”

Skeezix passed the controller back to Ed with a look of tired resignation.

Year:2008

The green minivan ground to a halt in the driveway.  The side door opened up and a boy ran out lugging a large, heavy box.

“I got it!  I got it!”  he yelled as he ran towards his two friends who were waiting by the front door.

“Yes!” they both screamed out, jumping up and down.

After dad unlocked the front door they ran in to the living room where the large HDTV hulked.

They got the Playstation 3 box on the floor and opened, taking things out and getting them out of the wrappers and bags.  Wendell plugged the power cord into the wall, then took the AV cables and squeezed behind the TV to plug them in. 

“Where’s the USB cable?” asked Ed.  “I can’t hook up the controller without the USB cable!”

Skeezix, the fat kid of the group, waved the black cable at Ed.  “Here it is.” 

They finally got all the cables sorted out and hooked up.

“Okay,” announced Wendell.  “Here comes the power!”

Skeezix hopped in small circles on one foot exclaiming, “I can’t wait! I can’t wait!”

Wendell touched the power button.  They waited, captured by wonder, as the logos and opening music finished.

“It wants to know the time,” said Ed.

“Mom!  What time is it?”

Wendell’s mother called back, “It’s a quarter to two.”

The boys thought about that.  “What time is that in numbers?”

“13:45” his father yelled out.

“Mom!”

“Oh for Pete’s sake,” sighed his mother.  “It’s 1:45.”

“Ok!”

“1:46, now,” added his dad.  “PM.”

Wendell operated the pad furiously, entering the time and date.

“Here we go! Here we go!” yelled out Skeezix.

“Now it wants the network information,” said Ed.

“Uh, okay.”  He used the controller to type in the name of the wireless access point.  “This is freakin’ tedious.  Skeezix, go upstairs and get my keyboard.”

Skeezix ran out of the room while Wendell stared at the screen.

“Just type in the password anyway,” said Ed.

“I can’t.  I don’t remember it.”

“How can you not remember the password to your router?”

“C’mon, man.  The computers all remember it, I don’t have to.”

Skeezix came back with the keyboard and plugged it into the USB port of the Playstation 3.

“Wait, I think I remember it now.”  He typed it in and they waited while the unit tried to connect to the network.

“It’s in!” yelled Skeezix.  “Yes! I can’t wait to start playing.”

“You’re gonna have to,” said Ed.  “Now it wants to update itself.”

The boys waited while the Playstation started to download it’s new firmware.

“How long’s it been at 1%?” asked Skeezix.

Wendell sat on the floor with his chin on his fist.  “I dunno.  A couple of minutes.”

“Two minutes for 1%?” groaned Skeezix.

Eventually the update downloaded, then the Playstation 3 updated itself and rebooted.  They sat through the opening bits again.

“Okay,” said Wendell.  “What game do we want to play?”

Skeezix and Ed both yelled out, “Gran Turismo!”

Wendell slid the disc into the console and they waited for it to load.

Skeezix’s feet tattooed a crazy rythm.  “I can’t wait!” he said.

“Huh.  You need to install it first,” said Ed.

“Oh my God.  Okay.  It shouldn’t take that long,” sighed Wendell.

It did take a while.  When it was finished they started up the game.

“The intro looks fantastic!” said Ed. 

“Start it up!” yelled Skeezix.

“It wants to update again.” said Wendell, shocked.

“No,” said Ed.  “I think it’s the game that needs to update now.”

The boys waited through the update.

When it was done, Wendell waited for the game to start up.  It didn’t.  “It’s not doing anything now,” he said.

“You have to restart the game,” yawned Ed.

“Oh.”  Wendell told the console to restart the game and they waited for the intro to start again.

“Wendell,” his mother called out.  “It’s time for dinner.”

Skeezix’s eyes got big.  “Already?  I gotta go.”

“Me too,” added Ed.

“Can you guys come over tomorrow?” asked Wendell.

“Um, sure.  Say, maybe you want to install all the games and stuff tonight and make sure everything is updated.  Then we’ll come by.  OK?”

“Er, okay.  That’s good.”

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