May 7, 2005 at 1:06 am #25448
Ken and Roberta,
Did you know that you touched people’s lives in many ways?
I want to thank you both for everything you did with your adventure games and with Sierra. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed your games when I was younger. Your adventure games had a very strong impact on me. By playing your games I was learning many problem solving and computer and technology skills that would help me in the future. For example, I became great at typing using the older games that had the text interface. I was learning technology and having fun. I surpassed many of my classmates in school which helped me gain a sense of confidence that has helped me in life. I became interested working on computers and hardware, and running BBS’s when I was in middle school. I was even President of my school’s computer club. I give Sierra credit for my interest in computers.
I started in the days of the Tandy 1000 HX which had 256k memory and a 16 color monitor and 3 voice sound, which was ahead of the other IBM compatibles on the market at the time. Your AGI games were very impressive on that little computer. Later I upgraded to a Tandy 1000 TL2 which had a 286 processor and 640K. It also had “expansion slots” so I was able to go from 16 colors to 256 with a VGA card. Moving onward to a 486, DOS was still king but soon coming to an end. Your SCI games looked great and sounded awesome when I finally got my Roland MT-32 and SoundBlaster Pro cards. The MT-32 was great for music and the SoundBlaster was for digital sound effects. As we moved forward in to the Internet era, and Pentium machines and Windows being the mainstay with their GUI/OS, computer seemed to become less and less exciting. Back in the earlier days though, computing was so adventurous. Again I give Sierra most of the credit for this. I loved Sierra, the games, the hintbooks, and I couldn’t wait to get the Sierra On-Line magazines in the mail.
You probably don’t remember me, but my family and I drove from Kentucky to visit you and Roberta at the Oakhurst location back when I was in middle school (somewhere around early 1990’s) My parents have always been supportive of me and encouraged me to follow my dreams, and drove me halfway across the country just so I could see Sierra and meet Ken and Roberta. I still remember the old “bear” statue in Oakhurst,CA and actually getting to see Yosemite. The day my family and I came to Sierra, Roberta was not there but I got to meet you (Ken) and shake hands. I still have that picture of you and I shaking hands. That was such an honor and I wish I would have had the opportunity to meet Roberta too (I was a huge fan of the King’s Quest and her other games. This was also right after The Colonel’s Bequest was just released.) Roberta is such a talented writer. Let me know if you want a copy of that picture.
Back then (especially after taking the tour of Sierra) I was going to make a career out of computer programming. Basically I just wanted to work at Sierra, your company was so amazing! Although I have taken a different career path, I still have interest in computers and my background and knowlege with computers has (and probably always will) help me professionally. Today I have an MBA and work in business administration, and am a commercial pilot, which helps to keep the sense of “adventure” in my life.
I just wanted to tell you (BOTH) thanks again for everything. I know that I had an opportunity at least once, to shake hands with a great person who was very instrumental in the computer industry, and who touched people in so many different ways. I hope to hear from you someday. Take care and enjoy your boat!
May 8, 2005 at 9:33 pm #25449
It’s amazing how many of these stories are out there…
Your story sounds almost exactly like mine. You, however, seemed to hold it together much better than I. I blacked out when I met Ken Williams, then again when we ran into Roberta in the hallway.
I was just chatting today with my family of the honor I had in testing the 900 info line for Sierra. It seems I called it so much they felt that I could have some input as to how well it worked. For helping them I received Manhunter. I kept insisting that I had gotten more than enough just by being able to be a small part of helping the company.
I never get tired of telling the story of the PC jr orphans club in Oklahoma City near where I live. At age 12, I was allowed to do a presentation of Sierra games. I contacted Sierra, and told them what I was trying to do, asking for any advice they had. Three days later I received a HUGE box FULL of shirts, demo disks, boxes, cards, and information packets for the meeting. Try that with the Sierra of today…
Anyway, thanks for sharing your story, and your love for Sierra. I’m so glad there are so many of us out there…
May 10, 2005 at 10:20 pm #25450
Thanks for the reply. Like you said, many of us had similar stories of our earlier years and Sierra. It is interesting how we ended up in so many different walks of life. We can all share our memories of our experiences with the games and the company.
May 10, 2005 at 10:22 pm #25451