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Old 01-04-2005, 10:57 PM   #1
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: sweden
Distribution: Slackware 10.2 and Win2k
Posts: 127

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When and why did you start programming?

I started at an age of 12 because i wanted to make my own games.
My first book about C sucked so i didn't learn much, but i remember an article in the Swedish
PC Gamer about level design for Unreal Tournament which learnt me the basics of UED and
reminded me of my old dreams. A year or two later mom bought me a book about C++,
Stephen Prata´s C++ Primer (3rd edition) and without it i would be stuck with level-editing .
Now, at an age of 17 i know a great deal of C++ (both theoreticly and practicly), and i was really
suprised when i found out that my programming teacher didn't know what RTTI was :/ . Futhermore
thx to NeHes tutorial and some books i know the basics of OpenGL, Win32 and Memory Management
besides other topics. Right now im studying Xlib and 3D Physics.

Books ive read or am reading:
Pagina´s C in a nutshell (Swedish book, totally sucks!)
Stephen Prata´s C++ Primer: a great book but doesn't include a CD so you have to type in all
examples and get a compiler.
Trick of the Windows Game Programming Gurus : Explains of Win32 and DirectX well but his math tutorials sucks and he even doesn't mention OpenGL!
Linux 3D Graphics Programming : Great book for learning 3D theory, X11 and software 3D rasterization but a bit boring and out-dated.
Game Programming Gems 4 : A great book filled with proffesional game progamming tricks.
Old 01-04-2005, 11:26 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Denver, CO
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 95

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It was probably around 1976, 10th grade or so, when I first encountered a computer. I accessed the computer through a DEC writer terminal. Basically a keyboard with a line printer attached to it, with a box of paper under it, fan-fold style. You had to dial up a phone number, then, when you heard the modem screech on the other end of the line, you put the handset into an acoustic coupler modem.

I could dial up the mainframe at a local university. They had a Xerox mainframe. We used to play these text-based games... some version of Star Trek, and I remember this golf game.

It would type out things like "You're on the tee of a par 5, 410 yards. Trees to the left." Then you typed in what club you wanted, and probably a percentage of the swing, and it would type back the result.

It is incredible that such games were fun, but that was all we had back then. Video screens on computers were rare. And even rarer were any kind of graphics. And PC's, or anything resembling a PC, was years away.

Anyway, I listed the Golf program. It was written in BASIC, with the numeric line numbers and all. I could see by looking at the program how, basicially (no pun intended) it worked, and realised that I could figure out how it worked, and modify the game.

And that was the beginning of my (not so) illustrious career as a computer programmer.

PS: If anyone knows where I can get a copy of that old mainframe Golf game, I'd appreciate it. I've found the old Trek game, but cannot find the Golf game.

Last edited by jlangelier; 01-04-2005 at 11:32 PM.
Old 01-04-2005, 11:56 PM   #3
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: MD
Distribution: Fedora Core
Posts: 269

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1995, 2nd year of high school, I took a pascal class to satisfy the foreign launguage requirement. I ended up taking 2 years of pascal and 1 year of C++ in high school, and went on to college to be a computer scientician.
Old 01-05-2005, 03:01 AM   #4
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: France
Distribution: Arch Linux
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At the age of 10 or so, in a group on holliday, we were sit in front of TO7 computers one day, and told to write just that (syntax appart...):
10 input "Quel est ton nom?" $nom
20 input "Quel est ton age?" $age
30 print "Bonjour $nom, tu as $age ans!"
It ran well, and that was magic to me, all the more because I understood why it worked (even though it may sound contradictory).

Some years later, I got a TO7 at home, and there was a cool "yeti" game, but no car game. I read the reference manual for basic, and wrote one for two players.
Also I wrote a graphical layer for browsing files and launching commands (much like mc, I realize), controled with the TO7's optical pen.

Then there was the Atari, and I didn't program anymore... but I'm back to programing with Linux, and meanwhile, that became my job

Old 01-05-2005, 03:12 AM   #5
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Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Athens, Greece
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1998, at the age of 17,5 when i entered conputer egeeniring and informatics department in the univercity
I started learing C and I stuck with C. C++ is fine but ...
Old 01-05-2005, 04:29 AM   #6
Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: OS X 10.4
Posts: 172
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9th grade i had to take computer science because all the other electives were closed.

i loved it and been programming ever since

ahh i rmmr my first program
int main() {
cout << "Hello World!"
return 0; 
Old 01-05-2005, 06:33 PM   #7
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: UK
Distribution: Debian SID / KDE 3.5
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I was 8, so that would be 1983 on a Commodore Vic 20, writing games in Basic, with my Grandads help. Good times, PEEKing and POKEing.

Then in Chronological Order: Assembler, C, C++, RPG, COBOL, Machine Code ( PLC's typing in Hex ), Java, Python.

Best C++, worst RPG5 on a AS/400 25+, yes RPG is worse than typing in Machine Code by hand.
Old 01-06-2005, 06:49 AM   #8
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Pakistan
Distribution: OpenSuse 10.2, Slackware 11, Solaris 10
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I started in 1996, I think I was in 6th or 7th grade.

I started programming off with Visual BASIC 5.0, I think I stayed with VB upto 1998 or seomthing, then I learned JAva, then C++, and the rest is history.

I never used any programming book or something I purely learned from experimenting, and reading other peoples code.

Except for C++, I studied this book by Wrox, it is good.
Old 01-06-2005, 07:35 AM   #9
Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Cornwall
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian,Knoppix
Posts: 85

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Did some early stuff in the eighties...mainly playing with zx sprectrum and Acorn machines.
Started on Pascal whilst at college. Played around with Visual Basic. Kind off stopped when I started work as an accountant The experience does come in usefull though
Old 01-06-2005, 08:59 AM   #10
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At the age of 4 or 5 my mother bought an HC'90 for my older brother. It only had one thing running on it a version of BASIC (think it was BASICA). I was amazed (then) when I saw him drawing on that machine.
It was about 8 years later, when I entered 5th grade and entered a programming class that I first wrote a program in BASICA. A year or two later I saw a program written by a friend's older brother. It was written in Turbo Pascal and it made a small circle seem to rotate and that blew away. A few months later I learned a bit of Pascal and wrote that program for myself and I remember being sooo proud about it .
After that I learned some Visual Basic and after that I didn't really bother with programming annymore. But I did learn some C/C++, Perl and Assembler (but pretty basic stuff).
Now I'm starting all over again but this time with C/C++ and I'm currently trying to learn the ropes for OpenGL and network programming.
Old 01-06-2005, 10:00 AM   #11
Registered: Oct 2003
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I was 12 or so and I found a small Pascal book at home. A dad's friend gave me Turbo Pascal 5.5 and started writting a some simple progs. I programmed from time to time. Later I learnt Visual Basic and wrote a simple graphical vector calcs utility for the phisics class and a text file encryptor. I also learnt Logo for the technology class (it sucks dudes). Later C came to my life and started this project: I played a bit with C++ and wxWindows and now I'm learning Opengl, C++ and OpenSceneGraph. I'm a spanish 16 years old boy .

Old 01-06-2005, 12:44 PM   #12
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Lithuania
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I also learnt Logo for the technology class (it sucks dudes)
The second language I learnt a bit (after BASIC) it really sucks now for me, but it was very cool when I was 10 (Because syntax was written not in english, but it was translated to Lithuaninan , looks silly now.). Now C/C++ all the way.
Old 01-06-2005, 03:10 PM   #13
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the new milenium marked my interest in computing... ahh so symbolic. I got a HTML coding book from my dad. I asked for a programming book, and he brought me that. Disapointed at first, I am now a HTML whiz kid (hehehe. just kidding) and that helped me kick off into my programing. Currently attacking java. messed with Basic. Wrote my last Basic program (a simple calculator) this year. It was for school. java's GUI stuff rocks!

Old 01-07-2005, 03:27 AM   #14
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
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File me with the Commodore Vic-20 starters. In the early 1980's my school actually offered an introduction to Basic programming on the Vic-20, and I snagged the class. In two weeks, I (a) read ahead through the entire book, titled "Armchair BASIC", (b) pursueded my notoriously suspicious of technology parents to buy me my own C64, and (c) embarrassed the teacher in class by correcting him so many times that I had to drop out from pure stigma.

I dropped programming as an interresting, but useless toy and turned to other pursuits. Next, I had a 386er running Windows 3.1 in the early 90's, and discovered QBasic. That really drew me in. But I quickly got sick of Basic's limitations, and have left it behind. Even after discovering QB4.5, which actually compiles an executable (a slo-o-o-ow one!) from your QBasic code!

Ever since, I've come back to programming again and again. I am now fluent in C/C++, and I still code avidly (just for a hobby). I've also discovered Linux and enough HTML/Javascript to grind out a blog. I've read enough Perl code to be confident that I could get a "Hello World" out of it. My latest obsession is creating GIF animations in Gimp, in preparation for utilizing graphics in C code in Linux. Except for that free class when I was a Junior High student, I am entirely self-taught.

In retrospect, I would like to debunk the myth that "Basic ruins you for better languages". If you have any talent at all, you'll do well no matter which language you start learning in. If you just don't have any knack for it at all, no language in the world will magically make up for your short-comings. QBasic was valuable for teaching me the basic elements of programming structure and logic, such as conditional statements, loops, variables, arrays, I/O, and Boolean logic, which are common to all programming languages.
Old 01-08-2005, 12:34 AM   #15
Registered: Jan 2005
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started in 8th Grade with HTML becuase one day i was bored and was lloking in the google directory under the computers directory. Then the next year i took a compsci class as an elective. Now whenever i get bored i look for another language to play with.


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