I guess I was always into taking things apart to see how they worked. Radios, toasters and bits of HiFi. Pretty much anything I came upon that nobody else wanted and I didn’t understand. Maybe that explains why – in a perverse sort of way – I actually quite like debugging code, even if it’s not mine.
I went to a small English public school in London (think Harry Potter and Hogwarts but with no magic and significantly less humor). One of the good things about it was one of their alumni had donated a Digital PDP-11 to the school. So there I am at 11 or 12 writing FORTRAN, KMON scripts and a bit later MACRO-11 assembler.
Eventually after a lot of pestering my father came home and announced he’d bought us a BBC Micro computer. He and I wrote programs on it in BBC BASIC and eventually I graduated to 6502 assembler and almost finished a implementation of the CoreWar game in assemble code… but then I discovered the big outdoors, girls and beer. Roughly in that order.
Note: I’m still looking for a picture of me back then. When I find one I’ll post it.