Re: What was Data doing before the D?
He'd been activated about 26 years before "Datalore", so he might have been trying to emulate humans as early as then. The D crew simply encouraged him in those efforts; perhaps people from his earlier assignments didn't try to help him with it that much.
Moe: I'll take the blonde!
Larry: I'll take the brunette!
Curly: I'll take the Black and Tan!
--Wee Wee Monsieur (1938)