The year was 1983. My best friend and neighbour at the time invited me over to see an amazing device that his father had brought home from work, an IBM PC. We played a game called Track & Field, and I was amazed that the machine remembered my name once I've entered it. (Uptil then the only machines with any kind of memory that I've come in touch with, were arcade games and my cousin's video game console, which was also the first electronic gaming device I've ever played, back in 1978). In the early 1980s, computers were anything but commonplace in Åland Islands, but I think that it was in 1983 that people became aware of them, and there was a budding interest to buy one, at least among us kids. It was my sister who wished for a home computer for Christmas, so the same year Santa gave us a ZX Spectrum. It came with a game called Thro' the Wall, an Arcanoid clone(, that has inspired me to make my own clone "Wall" for all the different home computers I've had, ranging from Commodore 16 and Canon V-20 to Amiga 500 and Amiga 1200). Unfortunately, we only managed to load the game (delivered on a C cassette) like once or twice after several attempts. It turned out that the hardware was faulty and dad got a refund after first having had to complain a lot at the dealer (which went out of business some ten years ago), and then bought the Commodore the next Christmas. Anyway, I wrote my first code on the ZX Spectrum. It doesn't really count for programming as all I did was typing examples and running them. I do recall altering one example though, a program drawing the Swedish flag on the screen, by adding an inner red cross thus turning it in the Åland flag. But, with the Commodore 16 (which had an excellent Basic interpreter) I got started with programming almost immediately and by the end of 1984 I had written my fist very own Basic programs. In 1996 I got my first IT job, and am still a dev. So, what became of my childhood friend and neighbour? He runs a successful computer dealership :)

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