My first computer was a TI-99/4A. My grandfather worked for Texas Instruments at the plant in Attleboro, MA, so my siblings and I were hooked up with all the add-ons – like the speech synthesizer and “tape drive” which was just a standard cassette recorder. And of course, we had one of the greatest video games of all time – Parsec! It was a pretty nifty piece of technology for the time. I believe the TI-99/4 series was the first 16-bit personal computer to hit the market.
At age 6, I got my hands on a TI BASIC programming book. While I don’t remember my first program exactly (though, I bet it’s saved on a cassette tape somewhere), I think it looked something like this:
10 CALL CLEAR
20 CALL SCREEN (8)
30 GOTO 20
This well-crafted code displayed a blank screen and set cyan as the background color. In 1983, this was exciting… not Saturday-morning-cartoons-exciting… but pretty close. My coding skills have only mildly improved since that day, but I learned two valuable things that have carried me throughout my illustrious IT career:
1) how to copy someone else’s code
2) cyan is a shade of blue