My first computer was the Timex Sinclair 1000 that my grandmother gave me as a birthday present in 1983. I got that computer because it was cheap enough for my grandmother to buy, and she somehow determined back then that computers where the future.

One of the unique things about the TS1000 is that it had a membrane keyboard and each key had multiple functions, most notably certain function key combinations produced BASIC reserve words geared towards making it easy to learn how to program. The TS1000’s keyboard could be seen today as a predecessor to today’s on-screen keyboards.

Back in the 80s and early 90s all personal computers came with an operating system and the BASIC programming language. While you could buy some pre-packaged software, the most common way to add programs to a computer was by either writing yourself or by typing one that was printed in a magazine.

The TS1000 was an educational computer and the forefather to the Raspberry Pi that you can buy today for as little as $30. I have several Raspberry Pis that I tinker with, and I think parents ought to buy them for any child who is at all interested in studying computers.