born in 71.
First experience with computers at school on Tandy TRS-80 model 3 and odd breadboard machines with leds that could be hardwire programmed to light in sequence. I spent as long as I could in computer room with friends just trying stuff out.
in 82 I got a ViC-20 and on that day my first game was City Bomber which was on same cassette as 3 other games that were all worse! I went to the library and took out books of type in listings which I faithfully retyped and corrected and eventually translated others across to Commodore BASIC. ALongside that were the games, The perils of Willy, Jackpot, ACE, Flightsim 747, mower mania, chariot race, Metagalactic Llamas battle at the edge of time, Pharoah's Curse and many more - £1.99 went alot further in those days! But one game sticks out and sold games to me and distracted me from programming - Gridrunner. It was a revelation and still is, it is pretty much the only VIC game I still play to this day. A pure perfect shoot em up that was head and shoulders above anything else on the machine. It is still one of my go to games for a quick blast and unusually, despite the many other versions, the VIC version is the best.
At school I was coding on the zx81 and the BBC B which was too easy compared the PEEKs and POKEs of the VIC - we were taught by the maths teacher who for every class literally sat at the front and read out a chapter of a book to us then told us to go write about it said. He obviously had zero knowledge and training. With a few lines of code we could lock machines up and he didn't know how to even unlock them, it was a damning indictment of early 80s underfunded education
I strolled through computer Science and in 84 i got a c64 when my eyes were truly opened. The type in listings tailed off and I was playing games til they came out of my ears... I still coded but the balance was shifting. Elite took up ALOT of my time as I sat in my room roleplaying Commander Jameson as a rough tough space trader who tangled with pirates now and then! So many great games that are still playable today and I had friends over to play games, usually single player and taking turns but some great memories. Also went round to other people's houses to play games where I saw a BBC B (not a rich kid!), an Acorn Electron (rich kid bizarrely!), A Dragon 32, An atari 800 which was a very nice machine and very underrated. And I finally saw my first console, an Atari 2600 on which I played Empire Strikes Back (the one with the walkers that Llamasoft made an "homage" too ). I was underwhelmed but it was a different experience and that is what I loved about the varying platforms. Lunchtimes were spent down the local game shops - we had two in our small market town! Mixed in with the above I also had a zx81 briefly for a very small amount of money as well as one of those pong game things. Also my half brother had a spectrum so I had a limited exposure to that.
As O levels approached (remember them grandad) we all had to do a computer programme project... nearly everyone had a micro in the top set so we all wrote on our own platform, which was fine as long as the results were print out of code (or hand write it!). I coded mine on the c64 and it was a very simple currency conversion programme but you could record the new currencies, update them and it would store them on tape. I remember bug fixing at least 3 other programmes on various machines one of which was a quiz written on Atari 800 which needed a major rewrite. I did this in return for him getting his dad to print out my project as he had c64 at work with a printer!
Finally I left school behind and went to college where the Amiga became my focus. I coded in AMOS and enjoyed the 16bit era almost as much as the 8bit era (I am an 8 bit guy at heart)... I moved to go to college and had far fewer friends there and no computer owning friends. I coded there on Amstrad PCW256 in Pascal of all things, which was tortuous - to the extent that I flunked my A level completely. At the same time I was writing a graphics compaction routine for IFF images in AMOS which I released on local BBS's but that wasn't admissible as a project as they had to be on college equipment. Also ran my own BBS briefly. I got a Gameboy which was my first "console" I guess.
I then started work and that was it for my micro coding/gaming days - the amiga petered out and I got a Playstation. I didn't know a single person with a NES, SNES, Megadrive or master system - the Atari 2600 was the only console I ever saw til that point. I did get a SNES and Megadrive later on but neither grabbed me.