Back in grammar school we started programming in TI-Basic on a TI89 Titanium as it was part of math class (calculus and geometry). I didn't really understand much because the teacher thought it was a great idea to start with recursively calculating GCD (and we were in a sort of "linguist profile", nobody had ever touched a line of code in their lives before). I still liked it though and by some coincidence I got an old Win95 compaq notebook to play with from a friend.

I started playing around with the CMD prompt and batch files and could apply some of the things I had learned on the TI, like GOTO or If statements. I still didn't know what I was doing of course, and so it happened that I used the > file pipe when trying to compare two values. Suddenly there was a file with some code fragments and I started to get what I had done. I put the file pipe into an endless GOTO loop and was amused how those few lines filled up the whole desktop with nonsense files. I went on to refine this a little so I could control it with another file that acted as a kill switch when present. Over the next weeks I played some more with it and made it write out and start another batch file that would check whether the original script was still there and recreate it if not.

That notebook was so large and heavy I could not bring it to school, so I wrote all code by hand on paper and typed it in when I got home, that way I could still code in class when I was bored and no one would notice.

So my first ever "program" that I wrote myself was some lousy malware.

  • 1
    Good ol' Texas Instruments calculators. Had a TI-83 for two years and just returned my TI-84 Plus.

    I only wrote one simple program to calculate normal distribution density though. Fun times.
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    @olback Yeah I liked it a lot. The 89 Titanium came with a device explorer and some editors for the PC, so we wouldn't have to type it all on its own keyboard (I still think I was the only one in my class to have used that)
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    I had an 83 and spent so much time programming on it. That was a big part of my childhood.

    After I reached the limit of what I could do in basic, I started teaching myself z80 assembly. Send(9prgmZASM 😊

    Some days I miss it.
  • 1
    @Root I went into the opposite direction after that. I got a MacBook for school then and started coding in AppleScript which was really fun (and it taught me data types)
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    Hahaha, that’s awesome that you essentially stumbled into creating that piece of malware xD
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