It was 1987. I was 13. My first dev project started with a $1,300 IBM PC XT clone I bought from a relative who was a “dealer” of PCs for some company. It took all the savings I had from birthday money and mowing lawns for several summers at $5 a pop.

My mom wanted to encourage me to learn it more in depth, and she also wanted to know more for her job as a librarian, so she bought us a bunch of books about DOS, BASIC, and Assembler.

I first got familiar with DOS and then dove into Assembler without realizing what it really was (and how much easier BASIC would be). After hours and hours of typing in what, to me, then, was complete gibberish, I grabbed the BASIC book to see what it had to offer.

I never went back to the Assembler book.

A kid at school had given me a BASIC program he had typed in from a magazine. It was a flight simulator of sorts but with a helicopter, IIRC. I loaded up that bad boy and got to hacking. I didn’t get much done with it but I did build a few other menu navigation programs to explore the language more.

That led to PROLOG, C, PASCAL, Visual Basic, Perl, ASP, ColdFusion, and now PHP.

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