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What was the first system you programmed?


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Aside from BigTrak, it would have to be the TI-59. But the Ti-59 was rather difficult for kid my age at the time and I relegated to using it as a bike computer. I'd cruise the streets and pretend I was getting orders from base and spying on people and recording data. Like a tricorder of a sort.


Then came Basic Programming on the VCS. I did things with that that scared everyone.


My skills improved slightly when I got an Apple II. Later I became infatuated with Lunar Landing simulations when I got my TRS-80 Pocket Computer - 1. Then I went back to the Apple II and did BBS & MicroModem II programming.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My 1st machine - a 16kB Atari 400 with B-Key. My dad & I spent some time typing in Caves of ice from Compute (saving to tape BTW). After finally getting all the typos corrected, we run the game - and BAM. Out of memory error.


I only wish my dad had taken more of an interest like that, but I do remember typing in that same program. I cannot remember if it was while I still just had the 600XL and 410, or later with the 800XL and 1050. I'm pretty sure it was pre 1050, as I recall not doing a lot of manual program listing typing once I had that.


I also remember my pre 410 days. Type in a program. Debug the typos. Use it. Agonize over when to throw all the effort away so that something new can be delved into. ;-)

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  • 2 months later...

sml_gallery_35324_1027_11826.jpgRadio Shack TRS-80 Model I


For me it was the 4K version of the TRS-80 Model I. I was still in junior high school at the time, so whenever my folks went to town I would go into the Radio Shack store and stand in front of that thing for HOURS! It was a lot of fun.


Years later (before I worked for Radio Shack) I went in for some items and was taken by the sales girl, so I banged out a quick program on the Model III they had on display that asked the sales girl out on a date... It worked, we went out for over three years. :)

That's awesome that you did that! I did the same thing at my local Radio Shack! I bought the BASIC language tutorial book and everything. I would study it at home, then spend hours on a Saturday in the store typing in a "I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 10, can you guess it?" program.

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That's awesome that you did that! I did the same thing at my local Radio Shack! I bought the BASIC language tutorial book and everything. I would study it at home, then spend hours on a Saturday in the store typing in a "I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 10, can you guess it?" program.


Yeah, I think Radio Shack (in it's heyday) was a place many kids got their start in programming. Back when I was the Computer Marketing Manager of a store, we had a kid that always came in. The kid was brilliant, so much so that he wrote the BBS the store ran on the second line after hours. We eventually all chipped in and bought him his first modem for his birthday. It's sad to see what Radio Shack became.

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I believe it was a Commodore Vic=20 I saw out on demo at the Montgomery Ward at Lincoln Mall. Very basic BASIC programs:



2 GOTO 1


and something like


1 FOR A = 1 TO 10




They were printed on a card displayed next to the computer so you could try it out yourself.

And now I work on a major e-commerce web site, programming in HTML5, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript. Never did learn how to code games, though, but I'd love to. Just don't know how to do artiifical intelligence or I'd so jump into it.

Edited by Dauber
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  • 1 year later...

That is, what was the first electronic system you gave a series of instructions to, that it then followed out?


The first one for me was the Big Trak:





Which you could program to go forward or backward, turn, fire its weapon, or, if you had the optional Big Trak Transport, tell it to dump its load.



After that, I believe the next thing was Atari 2600's BASIC Programming (big disappointment!), then a Heathkit computer we had at school (I typed in a Lunar Lander program), and then finally the Atari 400 with Atari BASIC.


How about you?



O.M.G! I totally forgot that thing existed. But seeing it brought back memories.

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My first programming experience was the TRS-80 Model I in Junior High School. From there the Timex Sinclair 1000, 600XL, and 800XL.


I wish I still had my tapes from the TS1000. At the time, I didn't have a lot of literature on how to program the machine so I figured it out on my own. Also, since there wasn't many type-in programs at the time in COMPUTE! Magazine, I would translate their Atari and Commodore programs to the TS1000.


I also wrote a number of other games. They were slow because of the TS1000 BASIC but they were entertaining when that's all I had at the time.


Guess I should have sent them in but I didn't know that was an option back then.

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My first system was a timeshare back in high school, which was a DECSYSTEM-2020, which I was programming in MACRO assembler. It had 36-bit registers and TTYs to interface with. I learned a lot about programming and system on that hardware. Shortly after that I learned 8080 assembly on the Compucolor micro, which had a built-in floppy drive and color monitor. I wrote a defender clone for the Compucolor, then a version of pac-man.


These systems started me on my path for working in assembly language, that I still have not overcome..

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Being much younger than the majority of you here, my experiences are more recent.


Around 2007, 7th grade, I made a website in HTML.


At the same time I was working on a computer game, designed in Game Maker(before it became big and commercial). The software allowed you to create objects in a two dimensional space, supported sprite collisions. You could specify what happened to each object on a certain keypress, or just give them routines. Have them react to other objects. It was actually a very good system for beginning creators.


For example I would have a player object that you control, reacting to various keypresses. However there were also enemy objects. Then in the Enemy you could assign logic such that, if one object came within a certain distance of another it would trigger an event. In my case, if the player came close to the enemy it would start shooting.


Ultimately I was able to able to make an okay platformer, but I lost the source code when my HDD crashed(no backups), and that was that. An executable binary of the game still exists though.

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  • 1 month later...

I think it was the Apple II in our computer lab in Elementary School. Then our TI-99/4A at home. (There was a book I got as a kid that had a bunch of computer programming lessons...I think it was this book)basic-fun.jpg

Edited by Gibstov
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