I grew up in the 1980s programming on one of those early gaming machines. My brother and I received an Atari 800XL as a gift when he was 12 and I was 13, after several relatives chipped in for it. Both of us started programming in BASIC almost immediately (when we weren't fighting over Dig Dug or Karateka). I mostly wrote very simple text adventures (like the choose-your-own-way books, or my favorite Infocom text-based games), and my brother programmed graphics and 8-bit music.
Computers got way more expensive for a while there, and I couldn't afford my own until the mid-'90s. But despite a nearly 10-year gap between computers, my early experience with them kindled my interest in programming, and now that's what I do for a living. I really hope the Raspberry Pi catches on and gives lots of kids the same sort of incredible educational tool that I had in my formative years.
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