Microkhan’s in the midst of a vintage programming kick, and so we’ve inevitably turned out thoughts to Logo in recent days. We have incredibly fond memories of clustering around a battered Tandy in the early 1980s, to watch our school’s lone computer-proficient teacher demonstrate how simple commands could push a turtle-shaped cursor around. We’ve been hooked on the dynamics of human-machine interface ever since.
Our fandom’s led us to waste more than a few hours on this Logo emulator (which includes a valuable memory-refresher on commands). And we’ve enjoyed digging into the language’s lengthy history, which included many years in which the turtle was actually a tangible gizmo. The photo above, borrowed from the fantastic MIT Museum, is of a turtle robot named Arthur—the first such device designed specifically to respond to Logo commands.
When Microkhan Jr. is finally old enough to understand that computers are for more than keyboard banging, we’ll try to get him into Logo. Though our hunch is that, having grown up amongst wall-to-wall gadgets, he’ll be on to Java before he’s figured out that the Easter Bunny doesn’t exist.