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expandables
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Your first time coding experience

Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:04 pm

I am learning how to code and it seems to be a daunting task. Question to all, how difficult coding was when you first started learning?
:twisted:
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joan
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Re: Your first time coding experience

Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:21 pm

Simple, probably because my first program would have been something like.

10 print "hello"
20 goto 10

Start with the simple stuff.

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Re: Your first time coding experience

Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:07 pm

Most of us won't remember, my first coding experience was 30 years ago (and there are plenty here who significantly pre-date me).

I remember coding in basic (bbc micro) and making patterns appear on a screen (no details, just the wonder of having made patterns form).

I remember copying the cheat for elite code from the bbc micro magazine and let me tell you, you youngsters have it easy with copy and paste. It literally took me days to copy (typing each line as written in the magazine) and another few days to debug. (Unlike some I do know the meaning of literally as opposed to figuratively and I really mean that it took at least a week from starting to code it to getting it working).

Elite was much easier after that, because cheat grade lasers and shields meant I fidn't have to worry if I accidently shot a space station whilst fending off pirates. (Or whatever it was that I frequently accidently did to offend the vipers)
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Re: Your first time coding experience

Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:13 pm

BMS Doug wrote:Most of us won't remember, my first coding experience was 30 years ago (and there are plenty here who significantly pre-date me).
I pre-date that be about six years - first code was written on a ZX80. Probably the first program from the first page of the supplied instruction manual.
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Re: Your first time coding experience

Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:24 pm

Research Machines (RM) 380Z. A bit of dabbling in BASIC with CP/M, then a few years later the ZX80 came along and I programmed on a friend's one.

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expandables
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Re: Your first time coding experience

Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:42 pm

I believe you senior citizens had it better then us because you had no distraction.
Today's world ADHD is on the rise and it's harder to learn even though the resources are there.
Coding is no walk in the park for me i literally stare at my PC for hours when i don't know a code.
For example

Code: Select all

if [[ "$INT" =~ ^-?[0-9]+$ ]]; then
:twisted:
By thinking like an engineer you can create a raspberry pi.
Michael Jackson enthusiast.
I got the PI model B, B+ and PI 2 model B.
When will I get the A? I don't know.

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Re: Your first time coding experience

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:26 pm

I taught myself BASIC from the pages on PCW magazine, now long gone, but I had no computer. Then I bought a ZX-81 and had to modify slightly what I had learned. My first program, and the reason for the computer was to catalogue my record collection. I hadn't realised that 1KB RAM was not going to help much!

However, I wrote a database system to enter, search and retrieve my record details, and started entering the data. About 3 records in, I got "error 4: Out of memory". At least I think it was error 4!

I haven't looked back since. I had a 16KB Spectrum and two microdrives which I wrote a database system on for a friend who was a professional photographer. He used it to catalogue his wedding photography and to create advertising displays for his shop window.

A quick three years in college and I entered the computer programming world, but with a soft spot for databases (can you see a connection?)

Then came a QL which came with a database program called Archive, and I finally cataloged my collection. I still use that catalogue but on a QL emulator called QPC.

Now I run a small IT company - which I will not advertise here - with my wife, and guess what? I'm an Oracle Database Administrator! My wife tests software.

I love tinkering, hence all the Sinclair computers, and my collection of Raspberry Pis, take me back to the good old days. I absolutely love the whole concept of the Pi and all it stands for.

Sorry, I think I got carried away there!


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Re: Your first time coding experience

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:31 pm

expandables wrote:Coding is no walk in the park for me i literally stare at my PC for hours when i don't know a code.
For example

Code: Select all

if [[ "$INT" =~ ^-?[0-9]+$ ]]; then
:twisted:
The best advice I can offer, do not code in Perl! :D


Cheers,
Norm.
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Re: Your first time coding experience

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:38 pm

NormanDunbar wrote:
The best advice I can offer, do not code in Perl! :D


Cheers,
Norm.
Oh really? Because am interested in SED, AWK and PERL :cry:
:twisted:
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Michael Jackson enthusiast.
I got the PI model B, B+ and PI 2 model B.
When will I get the A? I don't know.

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Re: Your first time coding experience

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:44 pm

Well I think my first program was on a TI-58 calculator using a magnetic card.

Just a little before I was introduced to LOGO at high school with a tty terminal. The terminal with a cylindrical head which move up and turn to punch the correct letter on a paper. Then we got grant from the government at mid term and we got an upgrade to our system with brand new video terminals. Mr. Seymour Papert from MIT went to visit us. I think it was him. It has a very long barb anyway. This was in 1976. One of my first program was a tic tac toe game but with the video we start to make flowers and geometrical shape!

In 1978 I build my own computer using the RCA 1802 micro-controller with a big 4K bytes of ram. One of the first program I did was a FSK audio modulator to write program into a cassette tape. And the second one was the reader version. I needed that because the only way to store program was to enter the binary code using a button to enter each byte by DMA.


This in a way tell my age.
Last edited by danjperron on Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Your first time coding experience

Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:03 am

rpdom wrote:Research Machines (RM) 380Z. A bit of dabbling in BASIC with CP/M, then a few years later the ZX80 came along and I programmed on a friend's one.
Same here with the RML380Z, would have been around 1978.

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Re: Your first time coding experience

Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:17 am

expandables wrote:
NormanDunbar wrote:
The best advice I can offer, do not code in Perl! :D


Cheers,
Norm.
Oh really? Because am interested in SED, AWK and PERL :cry:
:twisted:
sed and awk are text utilities as is grep, not fully fledged languages

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Re: Your first time coding experience

Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:18 am

expandables wrote:Oh really? Because am interested in SED, AWK and PERL :cry:
:twisted:
Sed and awk are good, I use them almost daily. Perl just does my head in! I consider it to be write once, read never! Too many hieroglyphis for my liking. I never got to grips with Lisp either - all those brackets!

Good luck with it though, if you decide to go for it and do Perl.


Cheers,
Norm.
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Re: Your first time coding experience

Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:23 am

my first coding (in 1977) was 6502 Assembly code for my KIM-1
Image

I wrote assembler code in an old school notebook, then hand assembled it using a 6502 instruction set booklet. Wrote scrolling text message code, a simple electronic organ and simple games like NIM.
After assembling my handwritten code, I had to enter it as HEX codes, then before running it save to cassette as any bug in the code would certainly wipe out the memory. Luckily memory was limited to 1K.
It was fun!

Much later I got my first BASIC system with a video display, a ZX80.

Had learned BASIC by then at school on the few original PET's they had, and at the local Tandy store where they had a model I TRS-80, wrote a pong game for that right in the shop, to the delight of the shop owner!

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Re: Your first time coding experience

Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:32 am

BMS Doug wrote:Most of us won't remember, my first coding experience was 30 years ago (and there are plenty here who significantly pre-date me).
Heh....just a bit. The Summer of 1964, so 51 years ago. First languages were FORTRAN IID and SPS IID, both on an IBM 1620 Mod. I. Done by keying ones program into cards, together with job control cards, and submitting an "SBD" (Small Banded Deck) to the operator and getting any output back as a card deck (no printer attached to the 1620...you could take your output across the room the a 407 Accounting machine and print them...likewise your source deck of you wanted a listing to work from). Usually what you got back (on the front of your deck) was a pink card with a bunch of check boxes marked, and possibly a hand written comment. In that shop it was known as a "TS card".

Terminals (especially video display terminals--VDTs) came later...much later.

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Re: Your first time coding experience

Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:44 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
BMS Doug wrote:Most of us won't remember, my first coding experience was 30 years ago (and there are plenty here who significantly pre-date me).
Heh....just a bit. The Summer of 1964, so 51 years ago. First languages were FORTRAN IID and SPS IID, both on an IBM 1620 Mod. I. Done by keying ones program into cards, together with job control cards, and submitting an "SBD" (Small Banded Deck) to the operator and getting any output back as a card deck (no printer attached to the 1620...you could take your output across the room the a 407 Accounting machine and print them...likewise your source deck of you wanted a listing to work from). Usually what you got back (on the front of your deck) was a pink card with a bunch of check boxes marked, and possibly a hand written comment. In that shop it was known as a "TS card".

Terminals (especially video display terminals--VDTs) came later...much later.
Terminals? You had terminals? We had to scratch binary patterns into the dirt with a stick.

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Re: Your first time coding experience

Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:02 am

ame wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote: Terminals (especially video display terminals--VDTs) came later...much later.
Terminals? You had terminals? We had to scratch binary patterns into the dirt with a stick.
Teletypes go quite a ways back. To before electronic computers. None of the shops I worked in
used them, though. VDTs came in during the mid-1980s and those were installed....at first, a few
shared ones. It was later that there was one of the desk of every programmer.

Another note... Back in the day "coders" were supervised by "programmers". During the Nixon
"Wage-Price Freeze", companies weren't allowed to give more than nominal raises. This gave
the companies two choices: Either find a way to give substantial raises, or have massive churn as people
left for better paying jobs. Their solution was title inflation, because you could give someone a
raise if they got a "promotion". What people actually *did* didn't change, but "coders" became
"programmers", "programmers" became "programmer-analysts", and so on. After that, "coder"
was no longer a job title.

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Re: Your first time coding experience

Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:24 am

expandables wrote:Oh really? Because am interested in SED, AWK and PERL :cry:
:twisted:
Didn't you say that you stare at the code for hours and never figure it out? Perhaps Perl was made up by a guy who was only joking. That's obviously true about Python.

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Re: Your first time coding experience

Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:12 pm

ame wrote: Terminals? You had terminals? We had to scratch binary patterns into the dirt with a stick.
http://dilbert.com/strip/1992-09-08

I read a book about programming Basic on the ABC-80 a year before I actually got my own computer, the VIC-20.
The first time it was mostly about typing programs by hand from computer magazines and saving them to tape.

I don't know if you learn more or less by just being able to cut&paste from a web-page, but it saves a lot of time. One can learn a lot by looking at other peoples code and trying/failing to modify it.

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Re: Your first time coding experience

Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:14 pm

I started with poking holes in cards, Fortran? , and then Machince code on a Z80 processor board.
Started BASIC ? on some mainframe at Polythechnic and then on a ZX81.
Last edited by gordon77 on Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Your first time coding experience

Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:29 pm

joan wrote:Simple, probably because my first program would have been something like.

10 print "hello"
20 goto 10

Start with the simple stuff.
I remember doing this on my ZX81.
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Re: Your first time coding experience

Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:46 pm

Apple ][, trying to make it draw a circle with like minded youths, whilst headmaster looked on, wondering what these new fangled computers could do.

Turns out drawing a circle isn't that easy, not in 1979-80.

Then borrowed a UK101, then got a BBC Micro. Still got it....

All 6502 based.
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Re: Your first time coding experience

Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:17 pm

Hmm. Can't remember the date, so it's probably an invalid data-point, but must have been in the seventies.
Open University course, so every week I'd go down to Kingston Poly and 'play' on a teletype down a modem to a DEC computer "out there somewhere"
Then on the Summer School someone introduced me to Colossal Adventure, so between lectures during the day and playing that at night, I got no sleep at all for that week.

When I got hold of a copy for the Beeb, I was disappointed to find that both the mazes were random, unlike the original.

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Re: Your first time coding experience

Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:22 pm

jamesh wrote:
Then borrowed a UK101, then got a BBC Micro. Still got it....

All 6502 based.
Does it still work?
Do you still use it?
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Re: Your first time coding experience

Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:29 pm

I'm nowhere near being the oldest kid on the block but I'm getting there. To get back to the OP's main question, as I read it-- I had a little bit of formal classwork in college, using Fortran, but mainly I am self-taught. When you can get your eyeballs on a good book and your fingers on some hardware, that's the best way. But the most important thing is the motivation, as several of the other posts in this thread hint at. When you have the books, hardware and motivation, everything else comes automatically. Especially when you have really great support in the workplace, in which I have been more fortunate than I can express. The Raspberry Pi community is a terrific alternative to this! Being immersed in some kind of supporting and invigorating culture is no doubt the most important element.
I wrote programs for operating my cell poker (somewhat like atomic force microscope), the fluorescence photobleaching experiment, and for collecting and autocorellating photon count data, all starting on a CP/M system with CAMAC modules, for which I used Fortran and a lot of 8086 assembly. This work migrated onto the NS32000, which I hoped would dominate the market since I believed the architecture to be a lot more rational than the Intel was. I did a huge amount of assembly programming on that. Eventually I was forced to move onto the PC platform, using C and extended DOS. My cell poker program for that is the precursor of experix, which I use for everything now. But DOS was already seriously obsolete, so I started looking at Windows. I could not find any book that would tell me how to write interrupt handlers, or anything else really useful! Then I heard about GNU-Linux, and quickly found far more instruction and documentation than I could ever absorb.

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