First Steps in programming

High school

I am in 11th grade I believe. My dad is a teacher in France, in Normandy, and as such, we received every 6 months a coop catalog of goods, called “Catalog de la CAMIF”. Kind of a sears catalog for teachers in France.
In early 1977, for the first time there is a programmable calculator. The Commodore PR100. I convince my parents to buy it for me.

It has 72 programmable steps. A step is any key that can be pressed on the keyboard. It has goto and conditional skips. It is very limited, but it is a computer. I am obsessed, and write all kind of programs for math and physics.

In high school, I am alone in this endeavor. Worst nerd possible. There is no one to share this with.

My most memorable challenge, was to write a program that would solve the mastermind game.

I know I did not succeed, because of the memory limitation, but I was able to write code that was “backtracking”. Which I am really proud of, because I had to invent that concept.

Anyway the passion was confirmed, and I started to do everything I could to get better computers.

My next machines were the Texas instrument 59, and my own 8080 based computer. See the next blog post