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Ignore the video, the best thing about this post is the following comment


Jason Gullickson - You know what's crazy? This is what every kid I knew growing up during the 80's was doing. That was what made computers amazing back then, that, for the most part, if you wanted to play a game or something like that at the very least you were keying in BASIC from a magazine and through such exercises, even learned how to write your own programs.

Then we grew up and turned software into an "industry", and figured out that we could convince users that it was just "too hard" to program and they should really just pay people like us to do it for them :)

The sad part is that most of them believed it, and we found ourselves at a point where new computers don't even come with programming tools installed (unheard of in the early 80's).

So this is encouraging and hopefully children like this will encourage the generations to come to put down the game controller and pick up the keyboard, to write "the great american killer app", before it's too late!


Never seen it put so succinctly. My first PC a C64, switched it on, it had a flashing cursor. We typed in "hello", "run", "yes", "go" nothing happened. We flipped to the back of the manual and read pages with lines starting with number 10, 20 ,30 and typed them in, ensuring semi-colons were there. No idea what would happened, and then bang, it did something.

We dissected the lines, pulled some out, ignored others, started to learn what they meant, WITHOUT being taught what they meant. No way to save (cassettes sure, but not when 'hacking'). We removed a semi-colon, realised it did not work, added it back in. We ran into every shop selling computers, typed in
10 Print "Iqbal is cool";
20 Goto 10;
[syntax escapes the grey matter currently]

Learnt howto control keyboard interrupts next time we went back to annoy the staff. Made the screen flash third time back, and then added a password lock.

We spent hours typing in 30000 lines of code ensuring all the words were correct, the brackets were correct, then someone started printing some sort of code check algo, which if yours matched then it meant you had typed it in correct. Eventually we 'stole' cassettes which had music on them, plugged in cables and listened to some high pitched squeals whilst we saved and then loaded code.

No teachers, no howto's, no buttons, no google, just the desire to work out how it all worked. We figured out howto make the PC 'beep', and then change the tone of the beep, and then relate that to musical notes. Eventually we coded 'Fur Elise' just for fun (could not do it now :-)), music to our ears.

We needed more, it was like a drug. We need to get under the hood, machine language, thats what we needed, but where to get an assembler, I think we got Maxam, cost £40 or was it £70 which was alot. No idea what it would do, supposed to assemble some code, so you could become 'leet'.

We even built cables which would split keyboard entries so we could read on our monitors what password the guy next to you in computer class was typing :-)

Now its just about inserting into a database and extracting from a database :-) ....

Coding is not hard, use techies just want it all to sound like rocket science, and believe me its not, I spent too many years studying designs of spacecraft to know the difference .....
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