This is a brief look back into my "electronic" life. I was fortunate enough to be born more than 10 years after the transistor, so thermionic tubes never became a part of my life.
My father bought me a Philips Electronic Engineer kit for Christmas when I was 9. It wasn't a success - on the contrary - first, it didn't interest me at all. The following autumn I stumbled over the manual and started reading it. I found the kit stuffed in a drawer under my bed collecting dust, but most of the parts were gone!
My father must have noticed my grown interest. The following Christmas I got the biggest kit available - with ALL experiments included. It took me just 3 days to build all the circuits. They all worked on the first try! Even the radio receivers.
My respect goes to the Philips engineers for this remarkable, pedagogically clever and excellently engineered kit. The documentation was very good and interestingly written.
From there on I knew what I wanted to do for my profession. Thanks to my father (and Philips), electronics became soon an obsession. I needed to understand how circuits and transistors worked and soon found great satisfaction in constructing "stationary" circuits on real homemade printed circuit boards. A whole new world opened - much like learning a new language...