In keeping with the `Looking backwards, looking forwards' theme of this Artificial Life conference, this paper contains takes on the past, present, and future of life in manufactured computing. The next section sets the stage with a familiar tale carried into these new circumstances, bringing us from the more or less the beginning up to more or less the present. Following that, we draw out of the present state of affairs some basic `living systems' principles and guidelines as they increasingly seem to apply to networked computer systems, and present a few instantiations of such principles in research software development. We characterize computer source code as a principal genotypic basis for living computation, and consider methods of applying tools and techniques from biology to the understanding of computer systems. Finally we speculate briefly on possible futures for living computation and consider some possible implications of artificial life `in the real'.