Monday, April 23, 2012

Remembering the first time I programmed.

It was 1981, on a TSR Model 80 version III that belonged to a teacher. She let all of us geeks use the computer in her class room. None of us had a clue what we were doing. We found programs in magazines and typed them in, taking turns because the programs were so long. We would then save the programs to cassette tape and each make a copy.

I started by just changing the existing program and seeing what happened. Seeing the relationship between the little bouncing letter on the screen and the numbers in the program. Made it go faster, or slower, made the bouncing area on the screen smaller.

Then added in a new feature. Can I make 2 letters bounce around on the screen independent of each other. Most of my tries ended in failure, week after week after week, but eventually I got it to work and there were two letters bouncing around on the screen. There was a feeling of joy at that point. Sure, it wasn’t pretty, it was in basic after all, but I had made the computer do what I want. A lifetime of programming was born in that moment.

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