Happy Birthday LOGO


It was LOGO’s 40th birthday a couple of days ago. Interestingly, last week, I installed the free version from Microsoft on my laptop and played for a few hours with my son (who is four, has his own computer and prefers playing games to watching TV). We made lines, triangles and squares with turtle graphics, and he grasped the idea of turning and moving the turtle quicker than I expected – I hope its in his genes.


Personal computers were very rare in Pakistan in the late 80s, so I never got to play with LOGO, but I remember being fascinated by kids drawing turtle graphics in a Sesame Street segment when I was eight. The first computer that I owned was an Atari XL 800, with 64K RAM(nobody needed more in those days), so I cut my teeth on Atari BASIC, quickly followed by the Atari assembly language. The dozens of 2nd hand COMPUTE magazines that used to be available in Anarkali, Lahore was my only source of information (do you remember a world without the www?), but somehow, I survived. (Uh, I digress).

This weekend, we are planning to make polygons. I have been searching for a program that will teach a small child the basics of logic (as applied to programming – loops, variables, increments etc.) but haven’t found anything else worth trying out so far. If you know of any such program, do let me know, and if your son/daughter hasn’t experienced programming so far, is never too early – instead of PSP or XBOX games, try a fun and educational LOGO session with your kid.