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insanecrazy4
June 10th, 2010, 12:26 AM
For about the past 3 years I've been trying to get a grip on programing. I always wanted to help make that greatest and best program but could never really find something that interests me. I never wanted to make money off of it. I started programming because I wanted to help make tools for MIRC that would help out the popular MMORPG Runescape and did an alright job with it. After a while I lost interest in the game and can't seem to keep that "grip" anymore. I tried learning an array of languages but can't seem to put them to use and eventually I forget them due to lack of practice. It never helped that my school never provided any programming classes.

How did you get involved in programming and what keeps you programming?

Barrucadu
June 10th, 2010, 01:32 AM
I'm not sure, I can't remember when I first gained an interest in programming as I was so young. I remember my dad getting me a large Visual Basic 6 Step by Step book…

shadylookin
June 10th, 2010, 01:47 AM
I enjoyed computers and decided to try CS in college. My motivation is that in general I enjoy solving problems, creating things, and working with computers. Getting paid to do it doesn't hurt either.

Perhaps it's just a useless anecdote, but I've been given the impression that a lot of beginners language hope in hope of finding a silver bullet that just isn't there. Or that they honestly believe the book title and think they can actually "Teach yourself X in Y days." Then they end up getting bored and frustrated and give up. Also programming just won't interest most people, and there's no real reason to force yourself to try and like it.

dtfinch
June 10th, 2010, 01:57 AM
It was 1990, and someone gave my mom a PCjr made around the year I was born (1982). It came with a small illustrated/cartoony spiral bound book "Hand-On BASIC for the IBM PCjr", and booted into BASIC when powered up without a disk in the drive. Sometime the following year I started learning to program on it.

mmix
June 10th, 2010, 03:34 AM
i was addicted to create lissajous curve & fractal,
teh combo was fantastic in qbasic in MSDOS.

mmix
June 10th, 2010, 03:38 AM
oh it was gwbasic.

dwhitney67
June 10th, 2010, 03:44 AM
Dear Abby.

McRat
June 10th, 2010, 05:16 AM
On a teletype at 110 Baud through an acoustic modem:


*CONNECTED!
################################################## ####################
#### WELCOME TO HUNTINGTON BEACH SCHOOL DISTRICT TIMESHARE SYSTEM ####
################################################## ####################
SYSTEM 370 13:22:15 12 NOV 1975

LOGIN:
########
PASSWORD:
########

*WELCOME PATRICK M. YOU HAVE USED 2:12:50. YOU HAVE 3:47:10 REMAINING.

>load basic
*LOADED
*2000 BYTES FREE
-

I remember when they bumped it up to 8000 bytes, and we wondered what we would ever need that much RAM for. And they got IBM Selectric terminals that would go 300 BAUD. Wow!!

DanielWaterworth
June 10th, 2010, 07:31 AM
I started learning C when I was 9 (about 2001), it was 4-6 years by the time I was anywhere never proficient. I tried to learn from books, but there's no substitute for reading other peoples code and tinkering, it does take a bit longer to learn that way though. In hind sight I may have been better learning an easier language first, but there's swings and roundabouts.

nvteighen
June 10th, 2010, 12:43 PM
With an old Sinclair ZX-Spectrum of my late grandpa... :)

Tony Flury
June 10th, 2010, 01:39 PM
Initially on a ZX81 - writing a snake game from scratch for myself and my sisters to play.
From then onto a BBC Model B micro, Amiga, and also as part of my career path into my current role.

.:PiXi²:.
June 10th, 2010, 02:23 PM
By reading about programming, because I had the ambition to make some sort of a PIM, that was 6 years ago.

cherva
June 10th, 2010, 02:34 PM
My first PC was a 486 and when I powered it up and ended at a black screen with the good old
C:\ I was confused. Then my sister sad "Ooo this is DOS" They were learning that in school.... She showed me some commands at the prompt and a few in Qbasic and I found myself writing programs before finding the
win command to start the Windows 3.11 ... It is strait forward from then :) Making computers do what I want and how I want them to do it ROCKS :guitar:

tbastian
June 10th, 2010, 02:43 PM
I took a c++ course in first year Uni... loved it, and now I'm in Software Engineering, and I have a job doing it.

Simian Man
June 10th, 2010, 02:47 PM
I started on the built-in BASIC interpreter on the TI-83+ calculator I used in math classes in high school. Our textbooks had short programs in the margins to solve problems and I learned from these and experimenting. I wrote a few text-based games and a chat program using the link cable so my friend and I could chat in class.

The way to learn something is to set a goal and attack it with vigor and not be afraid to fail. It's clichéd but true.

robots.jpg
June 10th, 2010, 04:12 PM
My uncle shipped me his old Tandy TRS-80 along with a stack of "The Rainbow" magazine. I think it had 32k of RAM, and I was lucky to have an old cassette recorder around the house with the correct I/O jacks so I could save the programs I copied by hand from the magazines. Of course the saves worked maybe 60-70% of the time, and later when I upgraded to a dual 5.25" floppy drive, it was still easy to trash the data on a disk if I forgot to unlatch the drive before I shut the power off.

I probably learned a lot more about patience than programming from that machine.

jimhenry
June 10th, 2010, 06:14 PM
We had Apple II's at my elementary school (two computers for threee or four hundred students), but I never got to use one, though I checked books on BASIC out of the school library and taught myself as much as possible with zero actual feedback in hope that I would get a chance to use one of those computers eventually. In middle school, I got to use the TRS-80s, writing simple games and graphics hacks in BASIC. The first computer our family owned was a Mattel Aquarius, with 4KB of RAM and no tape or disk drive. It started up with a BASIC interpreter, and you could write code and execute it, but you'd lose the program and its output whenever you had to turn it off. I continued using BASIC at first when we got an IBM PS/2, but started learning C a few years later, in high school; at that point I was mostly writing games in BASIC and graphics hacks in C. I learned C++ (which I used a lot for work, but have found overkill for my personal projects) and COBOL and Visual Basic (which I never used again) in college, and Awk and Perl after I started my first professional programming job. Nowadays, being retired, I use Perl almost exclusively, mostly to automate file management tasks that are a little too complex for bash and to process text files with ad-hoc markup into portable HTML.

Starting with BASIC taught be some bad habits I had to unlearn later. I'm not sure what I'd recommend for beginners to inculcate good programming habits - I've heard good things about Pascal, Java and Lisp in that respect, but I've never had occasion to use them. Perl is far more powerful than BASIC was in those days, but unless you already know good structured or object-oriented programming methods, starting to learn programming via Perl could probably teach you the same kind of bad habits young programmers used to learn from BASIC. If you start with Perl, make yourself always use the "use strict" and "use warnings" pragmas except maybe in short throwaway scripts that you'll only use once (and even then, if they don't work the first time and you have to debug them). C forces you to do things in a structured way, but it may be too hard for the typical beginner.

black gumby bear
June 10th, 2010, 06:37 PM
Learning Turing in high school, then I decided the best way to go further with it was to toss myself into a computer science program at university ... loving every moment of it :)

Cool Javelin
June 10th, 2010, 08:28 PM
When I was 16, I broke my leg in a motorcycle accident (OMG, was that really 36 years ago? Damn stupid 16 year olds.)

I was into building hardware kits from Heathkit, and my dad bought me a computer kit from SWTPC (Southwest Technical Products.)

It was a Motorola 6800 with 16K of ram and a couple of IO boards.

It had a 56 pin motherboard bus for the main computer board and the plug in 8bit wide memory boards, and then a small bus for the plug in IO boards.

I got to solder all the memory chips and there were a LOT of them, 4 4k memory boards with 32 memory chips per board plus glue chips. (Memory was not packaged very efficiently then.)

It ran MikBug as an "OS". I had to hand assemble code into binary as I didn't have an assembler. It came with a terminal/keyboard that I plugged into a TV set and connected via the serial port (I built that too :).

My first upgrade was to a tape operating system called SmBug. I could actually save programs I wrote to cassette tape via a modem built into the terminal.

I tossed it when I moved about 10 years ago. Upon looking for replacement machines, they are going for about $5000 as collectors items. (Damn stupid 45 year olds.)

Mark.

lisati
June 11th, 2010, 03:48 AM
On a teletype at 110 Baud through an acoustic modem:


*CONNECTED!
################################################## ####################
#### WELCOME TO HUNTINGTON BEACH SCHOOL DISTRICT TIMESHARE SYSTEM ####
################################################## ####################
SYSTEM 370 13:22:15 12 NOV 1975

LOGIN:
########
PASSWORD:
########

*WELCOME PATRICK M. YOU HAVE USED 2:12:50. YOU HAVE 3:47:10 REMAINING.

>load basic
*LOADED
*2000 BYTES FREE
-

I remember when they bumped it up to 8000 bytes, and we wondered what we would ever need that much RAM for. And they got IBM Selectric terminals that would go 300 BAUD. Wow!!

Eeek! S0C1! What sort of login were you using? My first S370 exposure was through TSO/ISPF on a 370/165 (or was it beefed up to a 168 oe 169 or something like that?) running MVS in 1982.....

I first started getting interested in the mid 1970s as well. My first program was a small "hello world" style program written in a dialect of FORTRAN, punched on "portapunch" cards, and submitted to a computer centre via a local bank. The machine it ran on was possibly a S370/145 or similar.

James78
June 11th, 2010, 10:44 AM
Probably since I was about 9. Always was playing with the internals of computers, always loved playing with hardware and software and whatnot. Tons of nonstop experimenting, especially with Unix-like OS's (those will teach you a ton of course).

Then I started playing around with languages like VisualBasic, Bash, Shell, Ruby, ASM (have to learn it for my degree), AutoIt, C++ (recently, probably for my degree also), BASIC (TI84+ silver edition and my TI89 Titanium, which is AWESOME for my computer engineering major).

Right now I'm learning C++ from scratch. It'll take a few years, but slow progress is going, and I'm making a Rapidshare Uploader which uses the RS API, with the cURL and popt libraries.

CMake is a pain too... And so confusing... :confused: