Humble Beginnings

If you love developing software, you probably have fond memories of your first computer and programming language.  Here’s mine, the venerable TRS-80 Model I:

You may remember them. The original model I had sported 4KB of memory, a Zilog Z80 processor, and a cassette deck for data storage.  At it’s peak, I had it built out to 48KB in the  expansion unit, two 5.25″ floppies, and a daisy wheel printer.  I can still feel the keyboard.

Level I BASIC was the lingua franca of the Model I, and that’s where I started my programming career. The spiral-bound BASIC manual included with the system was a very easy read, and I quickly discovered that programming was something I really enjoyed, and it came naturally – very much unlike plane geometry, physics, chemistry, or biology.  Especially biology.

As I look at my bookshelves today, over 30 years later, the vast majority of the books are about programming languages, and it all started with that 4K system running BASIC. Because of different job responsibilities over the years, the software bug (no pun intended) that bit back then may have gone dormant for short seasons, but it’s always seemed to come back. The iPhone SDK seems to have brought it out of it’s most recent hibernation with a vengeance, and I believe it’s back to stay.

I’ve always been fortunate to be able to listen to someone describe a business problem or idea  and be able to see a solution for it in software. And when given the opportunity, I’ve had a lot of fun building some of them. I’m especially fond of the iOS (iPhone/iPad) platform, so what you’ll find on this blog are:

  • How to take an idea and transform it into an iOS app
  • Good software design principles for iPhone and iPad
  • Building practical, reliable code that will last
  • Navigating the Apple App Store process
  • Getting your app noticed

and more, I’m sure.

But I’m curious, what was your first computer system and programming language?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Tim V.

    Looks like a fun blog, Scott. Have fun with it! My first computer was a Texas Instruments 55, with a 5.25″ floppy drive, a monochrome monitor, and a big honkin’ CPU with 256k of memory. It was one step above carbon paper, I believe, and harder to use!

  • But less messy!

  • Tim V.

    Well, you were right, the TI 55 was a calcuator, and a good one at that. I can’t rember the comuter number, but I’ll send you a picture. -TRV