I was 12 when I first used a computer. It was at school. The french gouvernment decided to equip schools with computers. It was call « Le
plan Informatique pour tous » (translated by « Computer for All »). The idea was to allow every students to have access to computers. France is
always a bit late in everything. They hopefully saw the potential of computer science for futur jobs. The idea was also to allow each student to be able to use a computer, even ones where family did not have enough money to buy one. I was one of these students.
French article : https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_informatique_pour_tous
So I wrote my first program in that clasrooms (« mo5 » computer from Thomson). I did not had any programming lessons sadly. The room was free access and student were allowed to use computer. I used Thomson MO5 and TO7. These are french computers. I remember having typed a small basic game with a car and a vertical scroll (of course no save on tape). That was fun and I knew and wanted to continue on this. This classroom helped to me convince later my parents that i needed to have a computer. 30 years laters I’m still programming, so thanks France for having spent so much money on these computers!
MO5 from my collection, mecanical keyboard. The one I used in classroom was a soft keyboard (quite bad)
The MO5 have a 8 bit motorola 6809 at 1Mhz. 320×200 in 16 colors with proximity constraints.
The TO7 had an optical pen
Some games I remember
And a game that looked like « Alien ».
« Logo » was the name of a visual programming langage. A robot could be programmed and has a tracer included. It was called the « Turtle ». I do
not remember having one at our school. The langage was based on motion « move » « turn right » …
And the robot that was able to draw things
Some of the school had a server system. The server was based on a Bull Micral 30. I never saw one.
Special pack « Michel Platini » a famous french soccer player.
Thomson created a full serie of computers : MO5 then MO6. TO7, TO8. But they were not very popular nor powerful.
The overall result of the « Plan Informatique pour tous » was not very good. Teacher were very quickly trained to computer (one week training
for 110 000 teachers). Lot of them have not learn much and were not able to transmit anything to students. The choice of the computer was also bad (apple was also a choice, but French government prefered Thomson computers). They were not much software on these computers.
Arcade Games of that time
To give the state of the art of computers and gaming at that time, here are some great games of Arcade. when I was on holiday in Italy I could play some.
Dragon’s lair (1983)
Star wars (1983)