The year was 1981. The time was a visit to family after 6 years in Australia. The place was my parent’s home in Smethwick, England. The moment was finding my younger brother’s BBC Micro magazine.
With an interest born of known ignorance on the technology I turned the pages. A very peculiar feeling came over me as I looked at page after page of absolutely meaningless sentences and words – a feeling that sent shivers and sparks through my entire body and brain; and with it an overwhelming determination to understand this. It was akin to knowing I must learn a foreign language but with few sources, dictionaries or glossaries, and meeting concepts outside my experience.
That year I came across a Sinclair ZX81 while visiting a friend. Her son was on the floor with this magic little box attached to the family TV. Simple coding with such amazing visual results.
And then my touchpaper was lit – my sister gave me a ZX81 as a birthday present!!!