Inside every 71-year-old is a 17-year-old wondering what happened.

One [regret] is stopping cello lessons when I got completely mesmerized by computers. I really regret that now. It’s such a magnificent instrument.

When I was 15, and I had been studying cello for a few years, five or six, I was taken to a master’s class with Pablo Casals at UC-Berkeley. I still have his autograph. It was that same year that my father took me to see a system called SAGE, which stood for semi-automated ground environment, a tube-based computer that was used for radar tracking to detect Russian bombers coming from the North Pole.

I was completely fascinated that you could make computers do things like this. I diverted off into computers. By 1960, I pretty much abandoned the cello in favor of a computer keyboard.

I envy the ones who didn’t give it up. The ability to produce music has got to be more satisfying than producing good code. When you play in a group, there is something really intense, special and intimate about producing music.

Vint Cerf, in Laura Hambleton, “Vint Cerf, Father of the Internet, Looks Forward—and Back”