...praying for a computer with a color display and something better than the crippled BASIC that came with the first TRS-80.
I too started with a 16K TRS-80 (It had Level II Basic!). I got a job at a Tandy store during my school vacation in order to pay for it myself. I too very quickly became aware of it's limitations. Then I read about the Acorn Proton (which became the Acorn BBC) and I knew I had to have one. So I saved again, sold the TRS-80 and got one of the first Beebs to get to my hometown. That was cool - It had colour graphics, BBC Basic and 32K of RAM. I learned 6502 assembler on it. It still used cassette tape though, so then I had to save for a disk drive, and then... and then... and then... ...and here I am today learning Perl.