I was not yet alive in 1983. This is something that I occasionally regret. I am especially sorry that I did not experience the 8-bit computer era as it was happening, because I think the people that first encountered computers when they were relatively simple and constrained have a huge advantage over the rest of us.
Today, (almost) everyone knows how to use a computer, but very few people, even in the computing industry, grasp all of what is going on inside of any single machine. There are now so many layers of software doing so many different things that one struggles to identify the parts that are essential. In 1983, though, home computers were unsophisticated enough that a diligent person could learn how a particular computer worked through and through. That person is today probably less mystified than I am by all the abstractions that modern operating systems pile on top of the hardware. I expect that these layers of abstractions were easy to understand one by one as they were introduced; today, new programmers have to try to understand them all by working top to bottom and backward in time.
Many famous programmers, particularly in the video game industry, started programming games in childhood on 8-bit computers like the Apple II and the Commodore 64. John Romero, Richard Garriott, and Chris Roberts are all examples. It’s easy to see how this happened. In the 8-bit computer era, many games were available only as printed BASIC listings in computer magazines and books. If you wanted to play one of those games, you had to type in the whole program by hand. Inevitably, you would get something wrong, so you would have to debug your program. By the time you got it working, you knew enough about how the program functioned to start modifying it yourself. If you were an avid gamer, you became a good programmer almost by necessity.