How did you start off programming?



  • @pie_flavor said in How did you start off programming?:

    @anotherusername Is this merely graphical, too, or does this have an effect on gameplay?

    This would be the blakeyrat school of video production.

    WOMM. :man_shrugging:

    0_1509199616036_d4202c4f-e748-4d89-b56c-575c27770e42-image.png

    Try downloading the file and playing it.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @masonwheeler said in How did you start off programming?:

    @weng said in How did you start off programming?:

    Against all odds, we succeeded. The following year, she arranged for myself and one other guy, plus a couple of chicks from the field hockey team for data entry, to effectively sysadmin and maintain the system. Our first periods were all swapped out for some sort of made up bullshit and we earned A's simply for existing. Woo.

    Oh, and the nature of the solution meant I was exempt from ever receiving a system generated disciplinary summons for skipping classes and study hall. See, there was this bug, right?

    @weng = Conte Mark ???

    Nah. I would have done better than a 2.7 GPA.


  • Notification Spam Recipient

    @anotherusername :wtf: Why does it look like this on my screen then? And yeah, downloading fixed it.

    Anyone else have the same graphical weirdness playing that video?





  • @pie_flavor said in How did you start off programming?:

    Anyone else have the same graphical weirdness playing that video?

    Not the same, but for me it looks like this after clicking the play button:

    0_1509271031628_Schermafbeelding 2017-10-29 om 10.56.44.png

    and stays like that even if I wait a fair while.


  • kills Dumbledore

    @pie_flavor almost all animations and gifs embedded in posts go funny like that for me on my work pc but not on mobile or my home PC



  • The first computer I programmed on was my dad's Dragon 64 with it's basic interpreter, probably mid 80's.

    It had fun games, plus you could type into it and make it do things that YOU specified! I was in awe and spent a ton of time messing around with the Basic interrupter. My programs were mostly decision trees with some color effects, extremely basic...but it gave me the bug.

    That's really why I went into embedded systems. You can make the hardware and software dance to your tune. Modern-day Mage.

    Edit: I still have it in the loft, no tape drive can read any of the cassette tapes though. A project that will never get done is to make a system with a nice DSP to try and reconstruct the data with some modern signal processing. I should really get on that...


  • Notification Spam Recipient

    @cursorkeys said in How did you start off programming?:

    You can make the hardware and software dance to your tune. Modern-day Mage.

    This is why I think everyone should learn at least one programming language, probably something simple like Python or Lua.



  • This post is deleted!


  • @pie_flavor said in How did you start off programming?:

    @cursorkeys said in How did you start off programming?:

    You can make the hardware and software dance to your tune. Modern-day Mage.

    This is why I think everyone should learn at least one programming language, probably something simple like Python or Lua.

    Agreed, LUA would be good choice as I found it very easy but I'd still argue for BASIC though. It served me very well when I didn't have a clue what I was doing. If LUA had been the only choice maybe that would have had an entry point as low, or lower, but I'm not sure.



  • @gurth it does have strange problems seeking (every attempt at seeking either takes a really long time as if it's playing all the way through it to reach the location or else seeking doesn't work at all -- depending on the video player I use). There's probably something wrong with it.

    I was tempted to make the image meme say "codecs" instead of "aliens", but it's funnier as "aliens"...



  • I was never fascinated by computers as a kid, for everyone I knew that had one they were just gaming machines. But I started fucking around with radio stuff when I was 10 or so and got a ham radio license at 14. A year later I decided I wanted to to shortwave radio teletype and got a big-ass mechanical TTY that never did anything apart from making noise because I didn't manage to get the speed adjusted to the ham radio rate. So I wanted to try a computer and got a C64 from a flea market. Of course I did everything but RTTY with it (later it was still good for Packet Radio though), started copying games and trying to make cheats for them. Which required I learn assembler and some BASIC. Got an Amiga later, doing basically just amateurish assembler, until a friend showed me C. Then C it was, plus some dabbling in stuff like FORTH and the Turbo Pascal we learned in highschool, until I left highschool to study CS at the polytechnic. That didn't go so well, I hated most of the classes that were basically maths plus badly-taught useless stuff like more Turbo Pascal. Started fucking around with the mainframes that I hacked a student account for by scraping the disk of one of the PC/XT they used as a VT100 for deleted credential files, taught myself a bit if FORTRAN, NOS/VE and VMS, and finally changed to a Computatinal Linguistics course at university. Much better. Learned proper programming concepts with SCHEME, Java (for better or worse), Prolog and Perl, later Python and more Java for teaching undergraduates. After that, most of what I did in industry was Perl with a little C and very little assembly.



  • @cursorkeys said in How did you start off programming?:

    Edit: I still have it in the loft, no tape drive can read any of the cassette tapes though.

    Because the tapes are unreadable or because the tape drive won’t pick up the signal correctly? I remember that, after I began swapping tapes with people through the mail, our Spectrum usually wouldn’t read them. The solution was to drill a hole in the outside of the tape recorder so that we could adjust the head with a screwdriver, and then simply turn it one way or the other until the computer got a good signal. (The basic problem was that on a Spectrum, unlike with the rival Commodore machines, everybody used a different tape recorder so hardly anybody had the same head alignment except by chance. Not a problem for music tapes, but a definite issue with computer tapes.)



  • I wrote my first program as an extra credit assignment (from the textbook!) in my 3rd-grade math class. It was in BASIC, and it introduced a few simple operations. For a few years in the mid-'90's, my dad worked a job as a computer repair technician for a major hardware company. The store's policy where he worked was that employees could take home whatever software they wanted, so we got most of our software that way. Most of them were games, though there were also a few educational programs, including Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, which is how my siblings and I learned proper typing technique.

    Our favorite games were C&C (DOS/95), C&C Red Alert, Age of Empires, and Mechwarrior 2. We enjoyed trying to play through the campaigns and setting up custom maps and play around with all the twiddly stuff that the editors offered. We even figured out how to get a "negative heat sink" glitch in Mechwarrior, which let us put as much weight of whatever we wanted onto something like a Firemoth in the MW2 mech-lab. (It's interesting that stripping the Firemoth down to its least armor, no weapons, and lightest components still doesn't let it have the strongest engine available for it, IIRC, so this is really the only way to get it on the mech.) We also looked online and found how to get the hidden "Tarantula" and "Elemental" chassis.

    In our excursions into the world of the internet we happened across some different mods for Red Alert, and after trying out a couple, decided that we wanted to make our own mods. I found the XCC tools and we built a few. I was curious to see if the executable files had anything that I could use to add my own features to the game, but when I tried opening one, the only human-readable text I saw said something like "Delphi C++ 6". At that point, I decided that since I wanted to make my own game, I would have to learn programming, and since C++ was used to make one of my favorite games, I would learn that. I received a gift card for Barnes and Noble Christmas (I think. It might have been for my birthday), so the next time I was near one, I went and found a book on C++ programming: C++ for Dummies, 5th Edition. I read through it, used the Dev-C++ IDE that came with it, and tried building a few little things, but nothing near the level of a game like I wanted to make. I think I started on an editor to facilitate modifying .ini files, which were the primary source for RA mods.

    My uncle works in the aerospace industry as a chemical engineer, and when he found out I was serious about learning how to program, he gave me a full set of the documentation and IDE for Borland C++ 5. (I can't remember if it was 5.0, 5.01, or 5.02.) His company had updated to a new version, so this was their old one that they had obsoleted.
    The books included

    • C++ Programming,
    • C++ Reference,
    • Standard Template Library Reference,
    • Windows Programming,
    • Object Windows Library Reference,
    • Windows Tutorial (This walks a new programmer through making a Win32 MS Paint clone that supports undo and redo; IIRC, Win98's version of Paint didn't have that functionality),
    • DOS Programming,
    • Win32 Programming,
    • and probably some others that I can't remember at the moment.

    I read and re-read these books, followed the tutorial to build the Paint clone, and updated and rewrote my .ini editor. As I continued playing around with my new hobby, I found other free IDEs that were more up-to-date and still being maintained, like Code::Blocks.

    When I went to college (university), I decided to major in Computer Science, and I easily tested out of Intro to Programming and Computer Science I to start directly in Computer Science II. I had a fairly eclectic set of interests, so I didn't declare a minor and just took classes in other stuff I liked. My CS classes covered a broad range of topics, and since the professors all had or used to have actual programming jobs, they did actually teach the whys of programming that @heterodox listed.

    After I graduated, I eventually found a job where I'm now mostly using Java and SQL (mostly T-SQL, but a bit of PL/SQL for our legacy systems).


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @djls45 said in How did you start off programming?:

    Mechwarrior 2

    Wow, that brings back fond memories. :D

    Alpha Assault, this is HQ. What is your situation? Please comply!

    That's just one of the most fun game intros of all time.



  • @masonwheeler said in How did you start off programming?:

    @djls45 said in How did you start off programming?:

    Mechwarrior 2

    Wow, that brings back fond memories. :D

    Alpha Assault, this is HQ. What is your situation? Please comply!

    That's just one of the most fun game intros of all time.

    "HE'S GOT A LOCK ON ME!! HE'S GOT A LOCK ON M--"



  • @anotherusername Well of course he believes in extraterrestrials. He's clearly a Centauri himself.

    babylon5 Molari explains why centauri doll is an insult – 00:43
    — Chung Yin Lo



  • @djls45 I've always liked the intro for the first MechCommander:

    MechCommander Intro Video (Original Source) – 04:42
    — LynxVGL



  • @masonwheeler said in How did you start off programming?:

    Wow, that brings back fond memories. :D

    This all has reminded me of how much I loved the Descent II intro when I was young:

    Descent 2 Intro – 03:24
    — Honki Tonk

    "Good luck, Material Defender. Dravis out."

    Those graphics were freaking phenomenal at the time and I'm surprised now how good they still look.



  • @heterodox said in How did you start off programming?:

    @masonwheeler said in How did you start off programming?:

    Wow, that brings back fond memories. :D

    This all has reminded me of how much I loved the Descent II intro when I was young:

    Descent 2 Intro – 03:24
    — Honki Tonk

    "Good luck, Material Defender. Dravis out."

    Those graphics were freaking phenomenal at the time and I'm surprised now how good they still look.

    And the motion sickness if you weren't careful..I still remember that as well. :smiley_cat:


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @benjamin-hall said in How did you start off programming?:

    And the motion sickness if you weren't careful..I still remember that as well. :smiley_cat:

    A friend of mine simply can't play FPSs, because the perspective gives him severe vertigo and motion sickness. Poor guy...


  • Notification Spam Recipient

    @masonwheeler I had a teacher in high school who couldn't play Mario Galaxy because of motion sickness.



    1. DEC PDP-8. eventually PAL-8 Assembler, but only after front panel toggles...


  • @thecpuwizard said in How did you start off programming?:

    1. DEC PDP-8. eventually PAL-8 Assembler, but only after front panel toggles...

    Hey, are you my alt?

    @hardwaregeek said in How did you start off programming?:

    My introduction to computers was long, long ago (early- to mid-70s), ... The computer was a PDP-8/L,


  • SockDev

    I was 4. my father had a PC that ran DOS on a amber phospor monochrome screen. it had this king kong game where two kongs threw exploding bananas at each other.

    i discovered that if you selected negative angles and speeds you could cause it to do strange things.... which lead me to figuring out how to reprogram the game to make it impossible for me to lose no matter what happeend. i ususally used that to make myself sticky the winner then "accidentally" killed myself so i would win.

    annoyed my father to no end that he couldn't figure out how i did that.....

    and yeah. i kinda kept going from there.



  • @hardwaregeek said in How did you start off programming?:

    Hey, are you my alt?

    No; you don't bloviate about how great you are all the time.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @accalia Cannon games! Fun! I remember I once got asked to give a presentation to a group of students on computer programming. In order to make it fun, I sat down with a computer, a copy of VB, and a couple of graphic and SFX files I had previously gotten, and took about half an hour to build a working cannon game right in front of them and explain how it all worked. That went over surprisingly well. :D



  • @accalia said in How did you start off programming?:

    amber phospor B/WA screen

    FTFY :)


  • SockDev

    @gurth said in How did you start off programming?:

    @accalia said in How did you start off programming?:

    amber phospor monochromeB/A screen

    FTFY :)

    ......

    did you? did you really?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @accalia said in How did you start off programming?:

    amber phospor

    I remember those. Never owned one, as I went for the full VGA option on my first PC. Perhaps I should have gone for the better processor instead (I didn't have the money to do both). My cousins had the amber screen, and it was fine for text and rotten for graphics…

    I prefer green on black for my terminals now. Reminds me of the terminals I used as an undergraduate. ;)



  • @accalia said in How did you start off programming?:

    was 4. my father had a PC that ran DOS on a amber phospor monochrome screen. it had this king kong game where two kongs threw exploding bananas at each other.

    Gorillas! That was fun! I never tried reprogramming it.



  • @dkf said in How did you start off programming?:

    @accalia said in How did you start off programming?:

    amber phospor

    I remember those. Never owned one, as I went for the full VGA option on my first PC.

    We had one on our Apple II clone — my father bought it instead of a green one because amber was supposedly easier on the eye. It was replaced by a colour monitor later, that was then transferred to our first x86 PC for use with its CGA card. That machine later ended up being dual-screen when a black-and-white screen and a high-resolution (for the time) Hercules card were added to it. After we got rid of that machine, I didn’t see a dual-screen computer for the next 20 years or so, I think.

    I prefer green on black for my terminals now. Reminds me of the terminals I used as an undergraduate. ;)

    I’ve got one terminal preference set for 40 columns green-on-black and one 80-column amber-on-black, both using old-fashioned PC typeface fonts, for when I feel nostalgic :)



  • I was always very interested in computers and always knew I wanted to do "something with computers" when I was younger. But during my teen years the only thing that really interested me was playing video games, so I didn't really start programming until much later, during my early 20's to be exact.

    I started out with C/C++ and thought it was interesting and that maybe I should pursue a carreer as a software developer. Than I started studying business informatics and programming at a University was so much different. The bars where set pretty high (asking students in the second year to program a fully functioning GUI in Java, with many of the students having exactly 0 experience with programing wasn't exactly the smartest choice) so I began to hate programing. I mean, I wasn't completly lost and could find my way around, but it wasn't something I enjoyed doing.

    When I applied for my first job after uni, I applied for administrative positions, and landed a job at a company that was looking for an "admin/software developer" (yeah, right...). Since I was to replace someone who was a sole developer, I got more or less forced into that role, but at least I learned to enjoy programming again.

    Now I am in my mid-30's so that means I more or less have ~10 years of programming experience (keep in mind that I had to concentrate on other areas during my study as well), which really isn't that much. There's still much to learn.



  • @accalia said in How did you start off programming?:

    it had this king kong game where two kongs threw exploding bananas at each other.

    ?


  • kills Dumbledore

    @masonwheeler said in How did you start off programming?:

    @benjamin-hall said in How did you start off programming?:

    And the motion sickness if you weren't careful..I still remember that as well. :smiley_cat:

    A friend of mine simply can't play FPSs, because the perspective gives him severe vertigo and motion sickness. Poor guy...

    I can't play FPS games because I find the perspective completely umimmersive. I think it's the fact that it's supposed to be your character's entire field of vision but it's just a smallish screen in front of me


  • SockDev

    @zecc said in How did you start off programming?:

    @accalia said in How did you start off programming?:

    it had this king kong game where two kongs threw exploding bananas at each other.

    ?

    well.... i don't remember it looking like that..... but that could be because monochrome...... but yeah that description matches pretty well so if it's not that one it was a clone or something.



  • I was... maybe 5 or so? I remember that one day my father came home with a couple of big boxes with a fancy new thing to play games on (we didn't even have a TV at home, so that was the first screen we ever got)! That was an Amstrad CPC 468, and we had to wait ages (or so it seemed to me) for each game to load from tape. My mind was blown away the day, years later, when I discovered that the noise when the tape was loading was actually the exact same noise as when playing the tape in a regular tape player. Also, I couldn't understand how friends could pretend their computers (PCs) were better than mine since they only had monochrome screens while mine could use a whopping number of colours! (16? maybe even 64?)

    Anyway, I don't remember it but my parents told me that before I could even properly read I was copying word for word programs in some magazines that my father bought. So that would have been my first programs, although I wasn't more than a compiler really, translating the program from one form (paper) to another (characters on screen).

    My father, while not a programmer, had done some programming years before (FORTRAN on punch cards... I still have somewhere a binder with the course he followed), so he was quick to teach us the basics (and the Basic!). My older brothers took it up quickly, me, not so much. Probably I was frustrated that they could do it much better than myself (story of a younger sibling, I guess).

    We still managed to write together some turn-based fighting game ("What do you want to do? (A)ttack (P)arry"), although in retrospect my brother probably wrote most of it and I contributed nothing more than the name of the fighters.

    I did a bit of Logo in middle school, then goofed around with my TI-85 in high school, but not much that I remember. I know that I was frustrated when we traded our dying Amstrad CPC for a PC, because instead of a proper Basic interpreter, the command line was this dumb "DOS" thing that you couldn't properly program! But the games were much better and it had a "hard drive" which meant we didn't need boxes of disks any more, so that really made it up for me.

    I really started coding when starting uni (life sciences, not CS), we had a programming course in Pascal which I breathed through, and which really got me hooked. So when I got to engineering school, even though it wasn't CS, I picked all the CS courses I could.



  • @accalia said in How did you start off programming?:

    my father had a PC that ran DOS on a amber phospor monochrome screen.

    I was the kid who found a PC like that in the trash (well into the 486 era) and hauled it home to set up in the basement. Hercules graphics adapter and an amber monochrome screen.

    Along with a dot-matrix formfeed printer and the accompanying manual.

    Then proceeded to read the printer manual and figure out what codes to send to put it into raw mode, where you could control each pin individually and print pixel graphics on it.

    All from BASIC.

    Which I'd transferred onto it by a serial link cable, because the floppy drive in it was junked and it refused to read anything.

    I think that's actually the PC that I used to write that Tetris game, although obviously it was monochrome, which was why I didn't use different colors to create the 3D edge effect that I used on the pieces:

    0_1509639331652_bb8e2f13-1d32-4b6f-a210-abac1224e2c0-image.png

    Replace every non-black pixel in that image with an amber one, and that's approximately how it looked on the monochrome display. All I did when I copied it to the other computer was to make it use different colors for the pixels that it drew.



  • @dkf said in How did you start off programming?:

    I remember those. Never owned one, as I went for the full VGA option on my first PC. Perhaps I should have gone for the better processor instead (I didn't have the money to do both). My cousins had the amber screen, and it was fine for text and rotten for graphics…

    Mac Classics had a "high res" (at the time, 72 DPI was high res) black and white screen and it looked amazing:

    0_1509639908564_300736-dark-castle-macintosh-screenshot-title-screens.png

    0_1509639914752_dark-castle_4.png

    0_1509639919088_uninvited_2.gif

    0_1509639924624_prince-of-persia_8.gif

    0_1509639928888_the-manhole_8.png

    0_1509640670971__resize.jpg

    0_1509641458314__resizfrfe.jpg

    0_1509641463898__resifze.jpg

    It helped that the white was actually white (not like blue-white, or green-ish like on a Gameboy display) and the black was actually black as shit.

    Not photo-realistic or anything, but a unique look that's still striking today. (And almost a lost art. Although there was an indie game that came out a few months back that uses the Classic Mac art style...)


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