My early programming days
In the late seventies, every teenager in Switzerland had two dreams (that is
in addition to getting a girlfriend). The first one was to own a 49cc motorcycle.
The second one was to own a Sony walkman.
At age 12 my parents had decided that I
was old enough to start making my own money and they told me that they would pay half
of any thing that I would want to buy, but that I had to make the remaining fifty percent
myself. In order to earn some money I helped my father at his office and I also worked
at a pharmacy, delivering medicines on my bike. Since riding a motorcycle required to
be 14 years of age, my plan was to save the money in advance, to make sure I could buy
the coveted Endro moped on my birthday. However, business was much better than expected and I
was able to save the money I needed, well in advance. In fact, I had enough money to
buy my second dream, the Walkman.
So, I went on my trusted bike, that I had received on my tenth birthday, to the
Grand Passage store,
with the clear intent to buy the (at the time) hot music device.
That never happened. In order to reach the music section where the product
was sold, I had to pass through the office supplies section where calculators were on display.
I had seen the TI-58 before and the large number of buttons and capabilities it offered had
intrigued me, but it was way too expensive for my limited budget. However, for some reason,
on that day it was 50% off. I still see that moment as a pivotal moment in my life. Who knows
what would have happened if I had followed my original plan. I will never know, I bought the
calculator and never watched back.