Seriously... I wrote a few simple programs on my TI-83, and I was one of maybe three people in my year who did. The difficulty didn't make it more compelling, it made it a huge waste of time. Digging through multi-level menus to find a min function instead of typing the min function on a real keyboard is a waste of time. I made a cube rotate slowly, then went home to play with cellular automata in Metal Basic, where I could write ten lines of code in the amount of time it took me to find the 'for' function on my TI. I think it was like a three-key combination to type quotation marks. It's agonizing just to remember it.
You know what they SHOULD do to get kids into programming? Bring HyperCard the fuck back. It's a simple interface, intuitive structure, easy English-like syntax... My nephews are being taught with Scratch, and they find its limitations unbearable. HyperCard is a playground for the mind. We should launch a new petition now that Jobs is gone.