Now I can do Anything!
I was either 8 or 9 when I got my first computer: a ZX Spectrum. I know I was 9 when my friend showed me how to type:
10 PRINT "hello" RUN
I was hooked. Playing games instantly became passé. I could make the computer DO things!
The Spectrum was second hand and had long since lost its programming manual. There was no internet back then either so I did my best with scraps of information I could find here and there. I learned about variables, for loops, gotos and even arrays, as well as a bunch of built-in commands and functions.
My big break came a year later when a different friend loaned me "BASIC for beginners". I remember reading about the IF keyword. It was my first experience of a light bulb moment and I remember thinking, "Now I can do anything!"
The final couple of years of primary school saw many hours of pair programming, drawing graphics, home-made games and grand plans for programs that were beyond our skill level.
Over 20 years later, all three of us still program computers.
28 November 2015