The ZX Spectrum thread got me thinking.
I bought one of these at a show for about R350 which was pretty much a month's salary. That wasn't a worry at the time as the SADF was going to double my pay anyway. Salaries for students sure suxxored but if we did a camp we got to keep the extra loot. That changed later when we got paid the difference - but the difference on a private's pay. Woot for having done OTC. But that is a digression.
Anyhow. A friend had a Tandy Radio Shack and it had the coolest game - Santa Paravia. You were a feudal lord and made decisions about how much grain to grow, how much tax etc. And then rats ate everything. Well, I wanted that game.
I had him printout the Basic code and that's when I found out that Basic wasn't really Basic. I had to make a few changes and dealt with Peeks and Pokes to get some sort of rudimentary graphics and sounds going. I also needed the casette recording thing because that was the only way to keep the game. And I got it working.
A lot more successful than my attempt to computerise Squad Leader using Fortran