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History - B. Henderson Asher's Moments of Mirth [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Listen in, listen Ian!

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History [Oct. 10th, 2007|11:07 am]
Listen in, listen Ian!
I have discovered this morning that a recent(!) innovation in RPG, the
programming language I use for a living is the for loop. For many
programmers of my age, the for loop was probably one of the first bits of
programming they learnt, because after you'd had all the variations of fun
that you could have with

10 PRINT "TIM RULES OK!"
20 GOTO 10


then the thing you'd move onto would be something along the lines of

10 FOR I = 1 TO 10
20 PRINT I;
30 PRINT "squared = ";
40 PRINT I * I
50 NEXT I


I just got kind of wondering what the cut off point is for remembering when
computers would just dump you straight into a programming environment.
Nowadays, the chances are that if you want to do some programming in the
home, you have to go looking for the tools to do so, possibly even spending
money on them.

Have you ever written a computer program?

Yes
53(88.3%)
No
7(11.7%)

In what year, approximately did you first write a computer program?

On what type of computer?

In what programming language?

linkReply

Comments:
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[User Picture]From: atommickbrane
2007-10-10 10:14 am (UTC)
Actually I have a vague memory of Spectrum from even earlier but I can't remember actually doing anything on it so BASIC stands. I wrote a caterpillar game you know, how shocked was I to see it appear on Nokia phones in a few years times. I should sue. Never mind that I typed it out of an Usbourne progamming book myself...
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[User Picture]From: k425
2007-10-10 10:16 am (UTC)
And it was a nightmare. We had to write a program to parse natural English, before we'd learnt enough about English formal syntax or, indeed, programming, to be confident.

I spent hours on it. My lecturer spent hours with me, working through tens of pages of code to find the missing bracket, etc. I sweated over it, I cried over it.

I got the second highest mark in the class and, as one of the class reps, successfully campaigned for the module to be made optional...
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[User Picture]From: spoonrefuter
2007-10-10 10:30 am (UTC)
In Prolog! Blimey. Natural English Parser? Shooting for the stars, then.
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[User Picture]From: freakytigger
2007-10-10 10:17 am (UTC)

Nerd Trumps

My first program was a dungeons and dragons character generator!
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[User Picture]From: brigbother
2007-10-10 10:18 am (UTC)
> I have discovered this morning that a recent(!) innovation in RPG,

IS IT A D26?!?!?!?!?

I was always irritated that I couldn't get Pangolins that came in the back of the Spectrum 128k +2 manual to work.
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[User Picture]From: braisedbywolves
2007-10-10 10:19 am (UTC)
I do a fair amount of at-home programming in Perl, which is, ahem, light on IDE. Dear god, let there not be a Microsoft Visual Perl!
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[User Picture]From: braisedbywolves
2007-10-10 10:23 am (UTC)
Chapeau d' mentalism to katstevens! I can't believe there was still Pascal in 1998!
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[User Picture]From: katstevens
2007-10-10 10:27 am (UTC)
I have just remembered it was called TURBO PASCAL! This is actually making me cry.
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[User Picture]From: braisedbywolves
2007-10-10 10:24 am (UTC)
Exclamation mark!
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[User Picture]From: katstevens
2007-10-10 10:24 am (UTC)
I still find it hilarious that I chose to do a degree in programming after a year of noddy Pascal and a year of Visual Basic For MS Access. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA this is my education people.
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[User Picture]From: katstevens
2007-10-10 10:26 am (UTC)
Where 'degree in programming' = lots of ridiculous maths and about 2% procedural programming... My god, what was I thinking?
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[User Picture]From: huskyteer
2007-10-10 10:26 am (UTC)
I never actually got further than 10 PRINT "ALICE" 20 GOTO 10, to be honest.
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From: minnesattva
2007-10-10 10:29 am (UTC)
Oooh, I got the name right! You can read about it here. Picture:

Yeah I was one of the cool kids.
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[User Picture]From: amuchmoreexotic
2007-10-10 10:32 am (UTC)
Nowadays you can get a tutorial and programming environment for loads of languages straight off the Internets. In the old days we had to make do with slightly modifying the game listings you typed in from books. So surely it's easier than ever to do some programming at home now.
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[User Picture]From: spoonrefuter
2007-10-10 10:42 am (UTC)
Ahh, jumpers for goal posts. Typing in code from magazines.

I remember vividly typying in some code from a periodical publication to draw some kind of funky sprites on my Electron - IIRC it was firebreathing dragon, but the idea was you could tweak the sprite and change it to be what you wanted it to be.

The listing was a combination of BASIC, 6502 Assembly language and the actual sprite data itself as hex code with the program. I spent fvkcking hours typing it in - and would it work? Would it buggery.I checked. I doubled checked.. I got my brothers to check it. I got my mum to read out the listing, and I checked what I'd typed. No joy.I spent a couple of days on it, was very disappointed, and gave up.

Three years ago, I was cleaning out my parents attic, and I came across a box stuffed full of '80s computer magazines, and I found the one with that listing in. I recognised it immediately, plonked my arse down in the rafters and started reading the article. I found out why the code hadn't worked : the listing was published across two editions of the magazine, and I only had one. GAAAHHH!

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[User Picture]From: caramel_betty
2007-10-10 10:33 am (UTC)
[info]hoshuteki -- Amstrad CPC 64, IIRC. (There were numbers somewhere in the name: I remember it wasn't the better '128' which had a disk drive (!!11!1!!).

464 had a built-in tape-deck. The rarely seen 664 had a disk-drive, but (mostly) the same spec as the 464. The 6128 was the big beast with a disk drive and a ridiculously annoying to access second 64k of RAM.
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[User Picture]From: shermarama
2007-10-11 12:16 am (UTC)
I had a CPC6128! I sold it on ebay last year for thirty quid.
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[User Picture]From: katstevens
2007-10-10 10:54 am (UTC)
(I also feel obliged to point out that I'd been faffing around on Dad's Amiga since 1988, but never did any actual programming on it. He only stopped using it last year after it got struck by lightning.)
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[User Picture]From: cob_web
2007-10-10 10:57 am (UTC)
My first program was as part of my hydrology module. I had to code up soemthing that would use Darcy's law, and possibly do some basic geostatistics, can't quite rememeber.

I remember beign mightily pissed off with all my mates (who were doing CS) as none of them had ever used Fortran, so were no help whatsoever.

I also remember beign vaugely alarmed that we were using a prrogramming language that was designed BEFORE I WAS BORN (Fortran '77), which was clearly WRONG.

I have since tried Java, html (does that count), VB (in excel for macros) and some stats programme where I had to write the thing beucase my supervisor wouldnt' trust the button that said "plot variogram".

I have pretty much sucked at programming.
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[User Picture]From: caramel_betty
2007-10-10 11:11 am (UTC)
I remember beign mightily pissed off with all my mates (who were doing CS) as none of them had ever used Fortran, so were no help whatsoever.

I gather that a number of Universities have this problem. Every so often, Computer Science looks at the languages it teaches and wonders if they should be updated. Should we use Haskell instead of Scheme? Java instead of Pascal? When the time comes, they make preparations and make the change.

Every so often, Physics does the same thing. Should we replace Fortran with anything else? What? Replace Fortran? But we've spent years doing all these high precision calculations in Fortran and we couldn't possibly move from it!

At cam.ac.uk, Maths does something similar with a (small) computing project it has. People there have to teach themselves C - which is also not a language taught by the Computer Science department, so most people won't get too much help from their CS friends.

Gotta love it.
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[User Picture]From: kiss_me_quick
2007-10-10 02:33 pm (UTC)
I still have my original Spectrum.

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[User Picture]From: carsmilesteve
2007-10-11 12:14 pm (UTC)
i still have MY original* spectrum, although not in the box.


*original except the pad under the keyboard which went several times due to DTD.
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