age of Python programmers

Carlos Ribeiro carribeiro at
Fri Sep 3 14:57:09 CEST 2004

Are we in "good old days" mood? :-) 

I'm about to turn 38, and also started programming in Basic using a
Sinclair-compatible computer. Pressure-sensitive keyboard (not real
keys), a b&w tv set as a monitor, and a 40x24 screen with block
graphics for the overwhelming resolution of  80x48. Everything powered
by a blazingly fast Z80 8-bit CPU, I can't even remember how fast it
is, and 4 kbytes of RAM. And of course, the CPU had to do everything,
including generating the video signal. BASIC programs could run in
fast or slow mode. Slow meant that the code only ran during the
retrace intervals, and fast meant that the video would be unavailable
during program execution (I'm serious). Permanent storage? Have your
heard of personal cassete tape recorders? They would more than ever
not be able to restore what you just had saved.

I also had a HP41-CV pocket calculator -- similar to the one used in
the first Columbia shuttle flights as a type of handheld assistant for
some of the calculations for orbit reentry procedures and stuff like
that. And I shunned serious programmers using mainframes and CP/M
minis -- we could not play like we were used to, after all. It was
only after putting my hands on an Apple II that I started to realize
that I could do something serious.

I miss some of the excitement of doing then-incredible things. But no,
thanks, I don't want to go back in time :-)

On 2 Sep 2004 21:18:05 -0700, Michele Simionato
<michele.simionato at> wrote:
> Andrew Durdin <adurdin at> wrote in message news:<mailman.2753.1094102613.5135.python-list at>...
> > There seem to be a lot of Pythoneers who started with BASIC -- I guess
> > that's what came with most "home computers" in those days. I started
> > at 8 with BASIC on an Amstrad CPC6128 (though I played games more than
> > I wrote programs :).
> I started in the '85 programming Basic on a Casio pocket calculator;
> it had 1k of RAM, I had to erase old programs each time to make room
> to new ones. Somebody can recognize the model? I forgot, it was
> someting like Casio PC ## ...
>                Michele Simionato
> --

Carlos Ribeiro
Consultoria em Projetos
mail: carribeiro at
mail: carribeiro at

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