My first programming experiences were actually small games for the TI-83, a humble dream soccer and a bowling game.
PC's were very expensive around '95, a fact which also lead me to take computer science for having access to them at school and obviously, gaming :-) Warcraft, Dune 2, Lost Vikings and the sorts.
After my first job and subsequently, that fascination on developing games faded away under other things like e-commerce, corporate applications and messing with Linux also sinked a large deal of my spare time etc but haven't yet lost hope of finding a way into it.
That brings back some unpleasant memories. When I was a CS undergrad something the professors would enjoy doing was assigning problem sets on the very first lecture of a module that were deliverable by the next lecture (often the next day). I assume it was a mechanism for figuring out people's learning rates.
Of course it was great fun beginning a new term and having 2 or 3 such classes on the first day.
Also, you can take the class at your own pace, so no need to worry about artificial deadlines.
There are different senses in which the word 'programmable' can be used - you can program a VCR without ever seeing a line of code!
What I assume ekianjo meant was: There is a long standing tradition in the personal computing industry of being able to program on the computer itself without costly extra equipment or software. You look at your BBC Micro, your ZX-81, your TRS-80 they can all be programmed on the device. It was the same with mainframes and servers. Even DOS and Windows had QBASIC. Nowerdays, programming tools can be downloaded over the internet in a few clicks. The PC has always been a device which can not only consume software, but can produce it.
Many people in the hacking community see this as a good thing - as a democratisation of creative power, and for educating the next generation of technologists, engineers, scientists and makers.
The iPad lacks the ability to program on the device itself. It can only consume software, it cannot produce it. It does not belong to the long, revered tradition of self-programmability. It is in that sense that it is not programmable.