"When I was a kid in the 80's, the only way to get your computer to do anything was to write programs yourself. So, with BASIC book in hand, I spent hours upon hours out my eyes and teaching myself to program. Computers today have to many things to keep a child interested so that type of exploration is gone. If there aren't any such programs available, then any suggestions about a good language to start with, basic books that a 6-10 year old child could understand, and/or inexpensive compilers would be appreciated."
I remember programs like Logo (which could be considered a language, too) and games like Zork which kept my interest in computers when I was growing up. One concern is that today's games are more distracting, focusing on the environment provided by the game, as opposed to interesting, which focuses on not just the game, but on things external to it as well. Any comments?