View Full Version : What was your first "real" program?

December 2nd, 2008, 12:50 AM
What was your first useful program (or whatever) that someone did or might actually use? Or maybe it was just something you made that you were proud of becuse you didn't use a tutorial.

I made several small programs before my venture into "real programming". In Dark Basic (that was great at the time), I made a game which had an objective of getting to the otherside without getting hit by cubes flying out you.

My first python program was a simple banking program with extra features.

My first C++, and ironically my first ever, program was a guessing game. I found out later it was in the book.

After I found out there were other languages, I quickly quit C++. Maybe I should learn C (not ++) now that I know more about progrmming.

Edit: I forgot to mention that you should post which language you used.

December 2nd, 2008, 12:56 AM
i will soon complete my icopter clone...that would be the first

December 2nd, 2008, 01:20 AM
i would say basic hello world

it maynt seem like much to some but for me it was a start

December 2nd, 2008, 01:26 AM
I made an online quiz application.

And a pretty cool c2c card game, invented my own protocol :)

EDIT: Java

December 2nd, 2008, 01:31 AM
What was your first useful program (or whatever) that someone did or might actually use? Or maybe it was just something you made that you were proud of becuse you didn't use a tutorial.

I made several small programs before my venture into "real programming". In Dark Basic (that was great at the time), I made a game which had an objective of getting to the otherside without getting hit by cubes flying out you.

My first python program was a simple banking program with extra features.

My first C++, and ironically my first ever, program was a guessing game. I found out later it was in the book.

After I found out there were other languages, I quickly quit C++. Maybe I should learn C (not ++) now that I know more about progrmming.

I forgot to mention that you should post which language you used.

December 2nd, 2008, 01:32 AM
I forgot to mention that you should post which language you used.

Edit your first post to include this :) Else people are going to reply then read this after...

December 2nd, 2008, 01:34 AM
im using C++ w/ SDL

December 2nd, 2008, 01:36 AM
Hand assembled (8080 assembler) tape control and read utility that handled a cassette tape drive and read/write the old Kansas city Standard (how many remember that ??? :) ) 1200 baud was fast in those days. Hey, it worked and loaded programs from tape - at the time, state of the art !! :lolflag:
Still remember quite a bit of 8080 code octal values !


December 2nd, 2008, 01:36 AM
snake clone in assembly (nasm). :roll:

December 2nd, 2008, 01:40 AM
snake clone in assembly (nasm). :roll:

how long did that take you?

December 2nd, 2008, 01:52 AM
The first program I made that I was really proud of received a number from the user, and told if it was even or odd, and prime or composite.

December 2nd, 2008, 01:53 AM
how long did that take you?

two weeks (2-4 hours/day).

(it was my first program in assembly except the hello word)

December 2nd, 2008, 02:48 AM
This may be a bit unusual.

I was tasked to create an in-world email client for Second Life. Thus enabling the user to send an e-mail from in-world to any valid email adress in existence.

Obviously this was coded in LSL. (Linden Scripting Language)

December 2nd, 2008, 05:57 AM
A password generator, based on the "Creating a secure password (http://php.8ez.com/drsmall/blog/?p=273)" blog by Dr Small.

I've since expanded the project.

Written in Python/Tkinter.

Tony Flury
December 2nd, 2008, 09:03 AM
Setting aside my university course projects - my first application was written in BBC Basic and was a menu for accessing multiple applications of a single floppy disk by recognising the various start-up programs, but that one never got used (apart from by me).

My first application that got use was a curses based logging client and library for use on VMS, and written in C - which allowed applications to log messages, and allowed the client to run on a seperate VT220 terminal and display multiple scrolling windows of log messages each of which could be paused, resized and repositioned.

December 2nd, 2008, 09:06 AM
Ok, you asked for the first real, useful program that someone else might use. I suppose a "Hello World" program as some posters answered is not what you were asking for.

I started programming on the Commodore 64 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_64) when I was 13.

The first program I wrote as a professional programmer was a program in C to analyze PCL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printer_Command_Language) data. (PCL is the language that HP printers use). I worked in a project where other people were developing firmware for label printers, and those printers could also use PCL.

December 2nd, 2008, 11:14 AM
My first useful program was a web bulletin board software called iyzi Forum coded in ASP. Actually it is still around :)

December 2nd, 2008, 01:35 PM
I've worked with 4 languages in my programming life. They are as stated below in their respective orders.

Visual Basic 6:

Prime Number Finder - Pretty much you'd specify the range in which you wanted to locate prime numbers and it would find them for you. Simple but perhaps useful in a variety of other programs.

Raster Drawing Program - It featured a paintbrush and a few bland shapes. Nothing special but I enjoyed playing around with the colours.

Polynomial Graphing System - This came in hand when I started learning calculus.


Physics Engine - Nothing special at all really. Time was short. The physics engine was fun to play around in but I did not possess the appropriate knowledge to make it work well.

C Language

Bitmap Loader - This actually started out as an assignment. I started one evening and finished about two hours later. I slept over it and then decided I was not satisfied. I ended up turning what was supposed to be a linear program into a full blown library where bitmaps could be loaded into memory with the ease of a single function call. Once loaded, bitmaps could be then flipped, inverted, colour shifted etc... Truly a fun experience for the time.

Hex-Editor - There have been multiply version of it. The current version is in two executable files. One executable decomposes a file into its raw hex format and then dumps contents into a *.txt file. The output file is formatted as like any other commercial editor. The second executable compiles the *.txt file back into in undecomposed format. While decomposed, the values of the file can be altered.

Hex-Tool - This was used when hacking a PSX game for gameshark codes. What I'd do was I'd run an emulator then do a few RAM dumps. I'd then run the RAM dumps through my program and get it to search for values. If the values were not what I wanted, the program would blacklist the address. After 4 or 5 run throughs I was able to find the correct address in memory. Very helpful program.

Porno Encryptor - This stemmed from the bitmap library. I was joking around with a friend about being able to make such a program. He became very excited and asked me to make it happen. So I did. With this program, I could hide the nature of any file I felt fit to. What happened was I'd load the contents of a file into memory. I'd then run it through a rotate function (rotate in Assembly) in 8-bit chunks. After being rotated, I'd write the data to a file with the same name. Easy encryption to break but hey, I become a hero overnight.

Chip-8 Emulator - Still in the works really. I've completed all the core system opcodes as well as timing. However I'm not sure whether it works properly or not. Its on a standstill until I get my graphics library working in colour.

Graphics Library - This is a mask for the X11 library. It can setup a window, as well as bind a bitmap surface to the window. However the problem here is that I haven't read into how to work with colour. I'm stuck with crappy monotone at the moment. Progress is tedious and slow however I'm getting there. Over the past week all work on it has been theoretical. If I can bridge the gap, I'll have one solid library for assistance.


I've never made anything worth mentioning in it. However I find the ability to use class's, simplified passing by reference (int&), namespaces, function overloading and string datatype extremely pleasant to work with. I'm only a newcomer to this language but it is great for large projects were C feels limited/tedious to an extent.

December 2nd, 2008, 01:43 PM
My first useful programs were actually different VB macros for Word and Excel.

My first useful standalone program was backup tool written with VB.

My first program which was actually used is too horrible to mention.

December 2nd, 2008, 01:43 PM
I'm programming in php. The biggest things I've done are an e-card (http://slipknotee.com/php/ekaart/) script and a guestbook (http://slipknotee.com/php/guestbook/index.php)

Right now I'm working on some scripts to get data from Last.fm


December 2nd, 2008, 02:57 PM
Language TIBasic:
A program to find the sum, angles, or length of the Force vectors given a specific (widely used in Physics course work and I was too lazy to do all the drawing and measuring manually) theoretical setup. It even had a GUI of sorts, with hotkeys.

Was used by only one other person, who got ambitious trying to do a more generic 3d version. Dunno what happened to that.

Second/third 'real' program was a nice little app that could do all sorts of Mathematical constructs. It could do things like dropping perpendiculars, plotting ellipses, hyperbola's, parabola's, bisectors, angle-measurement. It came with save etc. function. Some 477 people downloaded it.

Second/third was a (human vs. human) chessboard with save-game functionality, a bit of GUI...

December 2nd, 2008, 03:44 PM
I have a strange feeling that this topic has come up before... (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=451190)

December 2nd, 2008, 04:54 PM
My strong side is not c or c++ but Java.

My first real program was a chat, an Othello online and now a program (In development) to make my life in tribalwars easy. :D

December 2nd, 2008, 05:50 PM
Define "real".

December 3rd, 2008, 12:26 AM
My first non-trivial program was for my school. The school used to host a human-powered car challenge every year, and our IT teacher put on a competition for students to make a program to maintain team information, calculate scores and handicaps, etc., using Pascal. I didn't win it, but it was a good experience.

Others included: text compression utility (C), GUI version of grep (Visual C++ and MFC), PCM sound recorder (Java), oscilloscope firmware (C), WAP-based public transport information software (VB for mock-up and Java for hi-fi prototype).

December 3rd, 2008, 12:45 AM
My very first useful program I wrote was a calculator in VB6, complete with memory functions. I remember trying to make it into a scientific calculator aswell. Not sure how far I got with that :)

December 3rd, 2008, 04:03 AM
I made a tool that allowed a person to modify the artwork and maps for a game, Ultima Online. The first was a simple paint-like program, the second was a program that converted images into maps (because traditional map editing was way too slow for the size of map). Both in C++, my language of choice (people call me a masochist, but I don't know what the fuss is about).

December 3rd, 2008, 04:37 AM
My first useful program was a command-line Java time calculator intended to make my brother's job as program director for a small radio station easier, and which I wrote as the final project for my introductory programming class (we were free to come up with our own project ideas, and mine was much more elaborate than required). He never used it because he wasn't able to install the JVM on the dinosaur in the room where he did most of his work. So I decided to translate it to JavaScript and post it on the web. At the time, it was the only web-based free time calculator as far as I could tell. My brother still wasn't able to use it because the previously-mentioned dinosaur had neither Internet access nor a browser and the system was too unstable to risk installing software. I don't know why I didn't discuss this with my brother beforehand.

Eventually, I did a complete re-write of my time calculator, and I regularly get e-mail from users. It's at http://www.scottseverance.us/html/time_calculator.htm . I haven't checked in several years whether it's still the only calculator of its kind on the web.

December 3rd, 2008, 04:48 AM
Using AutoIt3 and PHP (with MySQL database). I wrote a program to identify the current system, identify what location it is in (ask the person to verify), then run the proper macros to go through all configured first run wizards. :)

August 8th, 2009, 06:03 AM

Keylogger - Using Windows API GetAsyncKeyState() call. Pretty simple. Got in a lot of trouble at school...

Aim Bot - Again, using the Windows API. You select a color pixel by clicking it and whenever that pixel color is drawn again to the screen your mouse automatically targets the pixel and clicks. Made it for COD 1.3. It worked with some obvious faults; if I targetted enemy head color and I walked by a corpes, it would fire at the ground... Never worked on this again.


HTTP Server - Plain text HTTP Server. Obviously it could serve up HTML which is parsed by the clients browser, but what i mean by plain text is that you could not stream media such as video, images, and music over the socket.


Website - My website which was first http://hacks4all.org/ which evolved to http://codecabinet.net/ which evolved to, which is the Synergy Software project website.


Synergy OS - This is by NO means a first program, but I feel I have to include it because it's the work that I'm most proud of. It's my operating system that's currently in development. It's written in 100% asm and one day you will all be clamoring to use it the way windows users run to unix and bsds for safety and cover.


Sublime Porte
August 8th, 2009, 10:57 AM
The first program of mine that really got used by a lot of people was Launcher Tools (http://www.3eportal.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=34&Itemid=34). Which is basically a set of tools to enhance the Asus EeePC interface. Written in Python/QT and some components in C++/QT. It's had well over 100,000 downloads last time I checked.

When looking back over the code, it was pretty sloppy, but my first real project in any language, so understandable. Also it just began as a tiny little interface to add shortcuts to the Asus launcher, but grew into a much bigger suite of utilities.

August 8th, 2009, 01:45 PM
I used a brand new language/ide/toy called Visual Basic 1.0 to create a database for the Karate club I belonged to.

August 8th, 2009, 02:31 PM
my first bigger program was a php based knockout tournament organisation system connected with a (third party) bot to warcraft 3 chat.
it worked but it is was a huge mess :)

August 8th, 2009, 03:27 PM
My first program was a spaghetti code for TicTacToe in AmigaBASIC when I was 12. Those were years.. :D

August 8th, 2009, 03:43 PM
I made KsArch, but I discontinued it because I completely lost all the code because of a formating error.

August 8th, 2009, 06:30 PM
My first real "completed" program, was a game engine we used for a project at school. We created a 3D-chess game with animated models++. But since I have no real experience with creating large projects the code was really ugly and unoptimized.

Who want to play chess with 10fps? XD

August 8th, 2009, 08:17 PM
The first program I wrote was back in the mid '70s. My brother was a systems programmer at a university maintaining an IBM System 370-50. One day, he set me down at a 3270 terminal and showed me how edit and run programs. The environment / language was BASIC (VSBasic). By the end of the afternoon, I had a brute force prime number generator.

I was hooked on programming since that day. I progressed on to be a C programmer in the late '70s using XENIX and then UNIX. After that I spent a couple of years programming financial tranaction processing applications targeted for the QNX OS. Then, our group rewrote the financial processing in C++ targeted for Windows.

I miss my old UNIX days; all the tools that were available. The Microsoft programming IDEs did have their good points. I went on to C#; I didn't understand the crying need fo it.

Now at home, I have Ubuntu Hardy (8.04) 64 bit. Still interested in prime numbers and number theory, I'm am porting my crunchers to 64 bits. I was using 64 bit arithmetic on XP, but it is all done with 32 bit library calls. I'm looking forward to using real 64 bit arithmetic.

August 8th, 2009, 08:26 PM
The first program I worked on at my first job was an ASM program to read the company mainframe's system management log files and report which programs had crashed. A later one was to read the same log files and report who had logged on, when they'd logged on and for how long, and give some indication of if they'd logged of normally or their session had bombed (or forcibly cancelled) in some way.

August 10th, 2009, 12:46 PM
My first real working program was a platform game called 'kronic the red log' which featured a red log running and jump around in a similar fashion to 'sonic the hedge hog' :D (written in C + ASM)

My first actual industry type program was a data collection system for chemists that used ISDN to retrieve spreadsheets and pipe all the data into a access db, (written in VB 3.0)


Glenn Jones
August 10th, 2009, 03:19 PM
Calculate mantle viscosity at mid-ocean ridges and/or at mantle plumes. It was written in fortran 77

Tony Flury
August 10th, 2009, 03:29 PM
My first application in anger as it were - that got used by someone else was a logging suite written for our VMS systems, that allowed one application to send logging data, and a client that created windows (using Ncurses) that showed the logging data in real time, with filters in each window, and the ability to save each window to seperate files, with time stamps etc.

That was some horribly written C code - but it did get used by a few people in my team.

August 10th, 2009, 04:14 PM

August 10th, 2009, 07:19 PM
my first real program would be a hacky mario clone i wrote in C# and XNA. my second would probably my recently completed alpha prototype https://launchpad.net/deadends would be my second. (well, my rfk implementation would be my second).

Mostly i fiddle around with stuff instead of working on projects. I find it more fun that way.

August 11th, 2009, 09:26 AM
snake game written in java..:)