Sometimes, only a few, we stumble upon things that change our lives. It happened to me back in the 80’s when I got my hands on one of the first Commodore 64 machines imported into the Spanish market. Will never, never, forget that day.
It cost 75.000 pts, nearly 450 EUR at that time, certainly an expensive device three decades ago, and I happily paid the premium price to be one of the early adopters thanks to my father, supporter and financing entity backing the initiative.
The Commodore 64 aka known as C64, was one of the early precursors of personal computing, running on 64Kb of memory and a 1 MHz CPU. May sound sort of trilobite fossil technology now, but, back then, I can assure you it was an amazing computing device grabbing 30-40% market share of the PC market against giants like Apple or IBM. I became obsessed with it to the point of turning myself into an amateur hacker at that time.
Here you have a footage I shot with my son about the original, no longer working, C64 machine. Actually, the youtube video captured the attention of Ajit Jaokar, founder of Futuretext (a follower myself of his content), who featured it into this great page: Concepts of Programming Languages for Kids.
30 years later, sitting now in the first day of 2013, date for this post, a similar learning experience can be obtained with a Raspberry Pi, a credit card size inexpensive PC available for less than $35. Alternatively, the Arduino microcontroller can also serve for the purpose.