Hi, my name is Bruno Gavand. I live near Lyon, France, and I work in a small internet company.
I was born in 1965 and I have been interested in electronics and computers very early. I started to build my own electric motors, radio receivers, flashing devices and other weird circuits at the age of 8, after getting experiment boxes of electric and electronic games for Christmas.
My first contact with a computer, took place in 1977 with the hand-held calculator of my father, a Texas Instruments TI30 with red LED display, and gave me the way to computing.
A few years later (in 1982), I wrote my first ever program, with a Texas Instruments TI58-C programmable calculator, which I proudly owned. It was a simple counter display loop.
Later I received a wonderful gift, a Dragon-32 home computer : 6809 Motorola processor, 8 bits, clocked at 0,9Mhz (no, it's not a typo : 900 KHz !), 32 Kbytes of RAM, 9-colors 256x192-pixels display .
I started to write BASIC programs, saving them (and rarely able to reload them again) with the small audio tape recorder of my sister.
Besides, my father managed to get me a quick reference guide of the 6809 assembly language. Remember : at that time, there was no internet, and getting datasheets was very difficult !
Of course, I had no assembler on the Dragon32 : I wrote my first assembly language programs with a pen and paper sheets, I translated them manually into hexadecimal microcodes for 6809, and then I fed them into the computer using a home-made loader written in BASIC. I did experiment of course many crashes before the first one works correctly, but it was a great victory.
In 1986, the IBM-PC first compatible computers appeared, I bought one with a huge financial effort, from me and my family.
PC-XT Intel 8088 8/16 bits processor, clocked at 4,77 Mhz, 5"1/4 floppy disk (360 Kbytes), 128 Kbytes of RAM; parallel and serial ports, graphic CGA display : that was just like a kind of magic.
That was the start of another story ! Maybe I will tell you later.