One day, my friend and neighbor said, "Hey, my dad wrote an article for his work's in-house mag. Want to read it?". I said sure. His dad was a rocket scientist, and the article was a very simplistic explanation of logic gates. I didn't quite understand it, but the idea that electronics can do arithmetic was interesting.
Couple years later, I was reading a general interest science book from the Soviet Union (might have been Physics For Fun), and it gave a very basic description of how a computer program might be work (i.e. IF and GOTO). Again, I found this interesting, but there was no chance I would see an computer anytime soon.
On the way to visit my college (by train), met a fellow student who had a Casio "pocket computer". Something like this. old-computers.com/museum/computer.... I learned BASIC by reading the manual for it. Pestered my dad to buy me one, and played around writing programs for it. And then college starts. We had an IBM 370 mainframe, and a required Fortran course in the first semester, so boom!
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