After publishing his own personal programming history, Ziggy asked if I might like to write my own. Since I don’t do a lot of writing, was referred to in the article, and mostly since he asked me to do so, I decided to go ahead and see what I could remember.
The first action similar to “computer programming” that I can remember is assisting my dad (a career computer programmer and information systems developer) in programming runs of EPROM integrated controllers for trackballs that he was developing as a side business. It wasn’t actually programming at all: my job was to plug in a chip, press the “up” arrow twice in a terminal emulator and run the command from history to erase it, press the “up” arrow twice more and run the command to write the firmware to the chip, unplug the chip, drop it in a chip tube, and repeat. I feel like I probably did hundreds of them (in fact, it was probably only dozens), and I loved every minute of the monotony, just because it got me closer to “working” on a computer.