First taste of programming was on the AIM 65, a 6502 development system which had an assembler and a BASIC interpreter. This was followed swiftly by the purchase of a Spectrum 16k and hours spent entering BASIC programs from various sources, generating a few of my own and hacking Z80 routines nicked from the software that came with it. My work at that time gave me a lot of exposure to a lot of different machines, Osbornes, TRS-80s, TRS-80 Color, BBC-B, Olivetti Word Processing systems, a Z80 based multi user CP/M system along with a few CBM Pets both with proper keyboards and horrible membrane type ones. My next job was hardware based and involved building interfaces for Apple IIe's to hook up with various laboratory equipment both through conventional means and by hacked electronics (intercepting the display signals on a photon counter springs to mind). The advent of the Apple IIc and its closed architecture put an end to that and I got my first taste of IBM PC based programming and hardware hacking. Our first IBM was an AT with 512K of Memory, a 80287 coprocessor, a Hercules graphics card and a monochrome monitor, total cost was close to £4000. My next home machine was an Amstrad CPC6128 which was the last off the shelf machine (apart from laptops) I bought.