Let me first introduce myself. My name is Roger Ziegler and I have worked in IT for just about 25 years now. My interest in computers started at a young age. When I was in 5th or 6th grade I received my first computer, which was a Timex Sinclair 1000! I was so excited! Anyone who even knows what that was, will probably chuckle a little. It was a small, approximately 10″x10″ computer, with a touch-pad style keyboard, and it came with a BASIC compiler “baked in”. It had a composite video output jack and a 3.5mm audio output jack. I hooked it up to an old black & white television and used that for a monitor. This is not my setup below, but it was very similar.
I found books of games and other programs written in BASIC and would enter countless lines of code into that machine to make it do things that are laughable by today’s computing standards, but it was a great tool to start off with at that time.
When I hit 8th grade I upgraded to a Commodore-64 computer. The above picture again, is not my setup, but it does show all of the same components I had, including the 1702 color monitor. That was a great upgrade from the B&W TV. Yup, that’s a 5 1/4″ floppy drive on the right too!!
There were many books devoted to C-64 programming. After all, the C-64 also had a “baked in” BASIC Compiler as well. It was not unusual to spend many hours entering BASIC programming code, for very little “return”, but again it was a learning tool.
Fast-forward about 25-30 years
Now there are many different learning tools for kids interested in computers, but the one that I’ve found to be one of the best in the past few years is the Raspberry-Pi.
I’ve read so much about this little powerhouse and all the projects that kids and adults have used it for. They’ve been around for about 8 years now, current version is Raspberry Pi 3 Version B. There are endless possibilities with these mini computers. Check out the Raspberry Pi website https://www.raspberrypi.org for more information.