IBM 610 workstation computer 3354
When I was 15, I got a job programming for the local college (administrative stuff); at which point I got keys to the computer center, including the academic side (because of the way the building worked that was necessary to get to the administrative computers).
This is much better than the keys to the car (to reference elsewhere in the thread); and in fact I didn't get a license to drive for 7 more years.
For the year previous, I'd used time on IBM 1620s both at that college and at the highschool (I was a school below that, but they let me play with their 1620). I taught myself Fortran and then IBM 1620 buttembler. The job was buttembler on an IBM 1401 -- *with disk drives*!! The first I'd seen.
IBM 610 workstation computer 3355
I think he said when he was an undergraduate, so it was in college, not in high school, a bit...
I did get to tinker with an IBM 1130 at the *other* local college (I grew up in Northfield, my job was at Carleton, the "other" college was St. Olaf). But we didn't get to reserve blocks on any of the academic systems; just pick up unused time. I did a version of my test scoring program (people taking the test punched their answers into porta-punch cards) for the 1130, but it was never used for real (whereas other versions were; I originally wrote it by request of my 9th grade English teacher who wanted to do a multiple-choice grammar test. A later version was used for the multiple-choice part of my biology final the next year, too).
I also got brought in to help run the highschool report cards when the other teacher who usually helped had other commitments. They used the equipment at the Carleton administrative computing center (particularly a card sorter, and also paper decollator and burster, which the highschool didn't have). I also wrote much of the software the admissions office at Carleton was running when they accepted me. This probably contributed to my not having the slightest doubt I'd get in -- not that I'd cheated, of course; but my compebreastion was also my test data, and I knew I *should* get in. --
IBM 610 workstation computer 3358
John L I came along after the 7love series but I've always been told that compilers on pre-S-360 machines were not so easy to use. First, despite the claims, supposedly...