Need Rec: Book to teach about computers and BASIC at an eight year old level

Ali cctalk at
Fri May 27 17:04:07 CDT 2016

> I learned a language called "Logo" first. It was taught by volunteer
> instructors at a local community center. I was 7, and the minimum age
> was supposed to be 10, but they let me in anyway. I enjoyed it. It came
> with a few media functions that made programming more fun since it was
> pretty easy to make music or games. Plus it was a little less
> sphghettish than BASIC. There are tons of Logo interpreters and books
> for kids. I get the feeling it's geared exactly toward teaching
> children. Everyone loved the turtle.

I believe you are right and I think Logo used to be taught in schools.
Unfortunately, I never learned Logo myself. I do have a copy of the IBM Logo
around here somewhere. I think thought Logo might be a bit too simple.
Unfortunately, time is something that is a precious commodity and as others
have pointed out there are far more useful languages for him to learn (in
fact his school has a coding class that teaches some more modern languages -
I don't think they even have a BASIC lab like we did back in the 80s/90s.)
So as cool as it would be for him to know Logo and other older languages I
want to expose him to simple programming and if he shows interest he can
move on to more useful stuff. 

> I learned ASM as a kid (I've never become that great at it, but I get
> by).
> As a child, I had so few people around who knew anything about
> computers, nobody was there to say "that's too hard". I had a book that
> came with a timex 1500 my mom got at a garage sale. I just picked it up
> and started doing examples.

Yeah, kids these days, as a general rule, are not that interested. There is
too much instant gratification for them to bother coding 10-20 pages worth
of code (like you used to find in magazines) to get a program to run. That
being said I would love for him to at least understand the building blocks
(binary vs. decimal, notations, etc.)


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