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2005-09-08 12:01 ☼ post

Today I’ve finally reached the the technologically significant age of 32, a number that instantly brings to mind computer terms like 32-bit processor, 32-bit graphics and 32-bit operating system. Never mind the fact you really only need six bits to express the number 32 and that 64-bit is all the rage these days. 32 is still pretty cool in my book because of its association with so many computer related things during my life to date.

The first birthday that I remember feeling was numerically special was my 8th birthday. Back in those days I didn’t know enough about computers to realize that was the number of bits in a byte, I was more excited about it because my birthday was September 8th and I was going to be 8. I was totally into space and astronauts at the time so we had a special space-themed party. My mom made me a rocket shaped cake (with USA on the side!) and we even had a special room that simulated the surface of the moon.

The moon simulation room wasn’t particularly fancy, but I thought it was cool at the time. We turned out the lights except for some strategically placed Christmas lights for effect and put sheets down on the floor over balloons and/or pillows (my memory is hazy on this one) to create a cratered surface. Then we placed several aluminum foil wrapped meteors” around the room in various craters. Each of my guests got to go back and get pick out one meteor” which contained a toy of some kind like a small space-themed Lego kit.

A few years after my 8th birthday I remember thinking age 10 was pretty cool because it meant I was one decade old. But since then I don’t think I’ve really felt like a particular age was all that cool. I mean the usual teenage milestones (13, 16 and 18) were sort of significant, but as a teenager I don’t remember deriving the same kind of numerical pleasure out of my actual age. I definitely don’t really remember what I did for any of my birthdays like I do for age 8. It’s funny how the mind works in that regard.