Welcome to Growing Up Geek, a new feature where we take a look back at our youth and tell stories of growing up to be the nerds that we are. This week we have our very own Associate Editor, Vlad Savov.
Yes, I grew up in the monochromatic nation of Bulgaria. As geek starts go, I doubt anyone could come up with a more unlikely one than being born in a village in the southwest corner of a country known more for its sporting and culinary exports than any sort of technical expertise. That’s not to say that Bulgaria was a tech backwater, but it’s the sort of place where you spent more time reading about gadgets than actually using them. Fortunately for me, my mother worked in a local computer club, where the bright youth of the day would gather to use Pravetz machines — finely crafted Bulgarian Apple II KIRFs — and it was a spot that I would inevitably retreat to after a thoroughly regimented school day. That’s another thing about growing up in the former Communist bloc: education was intensive and rigorous, though you shouldn’t let that rebelliously turned up collar in the image above fool you, I was madly in love with my studies (as any true nerd should be). Somewhere between that boy pushing buttons and tearing down floppy diskettes for fun and the current London-based cynic pumping out copy for Engadget during the American night shift, my life happened.