I was thinking this evening of the similarities between Tom and my grandson (Tom’s son, Garrett, affectionately known as the G-man). One of the similarities is their natural affinity for computers. Even though they are from different generations, they both have demonstrated a natural ability and understanding for computers. In Tom’s case, his early experience with computers (such as his Timex Sinclair 1000) involved programming. Back in the 1980s, we weren’t really sure what to teach kids about computers, so schools taught them to write programs using a language called BASIC. Some kids, like Tom, got pretty good at this. I also got pretty good at it by teaching myself, and I learned some BASIC programming in graduate school, so Tom and I used to trade programs to see what the other person was doing with their computer (we both had a Sinclair 1000). We didn’t have email in the 1980s, so the only way to do this was to save the program on a cassette tape, and then give it to the other person.
Of course, the world has changed a lot. My grandson uses Java, among other things, to write programs. I really admire his enthusiasm and skill. Very impressive — his father would be fascinated and proud as well.