@thomasfuchs IDEAL's 1979 Electronic Detective is the first device I remember being utterly fascinated by. The buttons! The bleeps and bloops! The Don Adams ads!
My older brother received it as a gift, but I was repeatedly told that it was beyond my 5-year old grasp (I also assume it was rather expensive, which was another reason I was never allowed to touch it.)
I never did get to play it but it certainly awoke something deep in my nerd brain. I got a Speak & Spell not long after.