I remember in the late 80s and early 90s if you were a consultant and therefore had a business incentive or just had lots of money, you had a CompuServe
I didn't have either. But during one of my consulting gigs at IBM Boca PC Center one of the tasks I had was to help people overcome basic programming hurdles, be it for Dos, Windows or OS/2. I thought it was so cool because they gave me a CompuServe account to post code snippets in response to questions. At that point I had never done any programming for Windows. I had to dig around to find working code so that I could understand how to do whatever it was that was asked. Then I would write an example snippet and post it after testing that it ran without crashing.
Of course there was always some feedback of the "why do they make you do it that way? That makes no sense" variety. Unfortunately I was not allowed to reply "I don't know. They don't invite me to the board meetings." So I would just say that I didn't know why these particular flags had to be set when making such and such API call, even though there seems to be no rhyme or reason for it. All I know is if I don't set them the call returns with an error. Maybe me catching some of the flack there avoided support calls or something, if it happened to concern an IBM compiler.
It was kind of fun though. And it got me started with the old fashioned message loop switch statement type of Window processing.
One of the user groups I joined was The C Users Group
which gave birth to The C Users Journal
. Getting published in that journal enabled me to break into the business as a Software Analyst with no relevant work experience. A lucky break. They solicited articles in the magazine with specifications for the article text and working code. I submitted an article and forgot about it. Never thinking it would actually be published. But a couple of months later I got a call from a CUJ Editor. Anyway, if I tell everything now nobody will buy the biography.
I call it a biography rather than an autobiography because my plan is to ghostwrite my biography, then hire another writer to put his name on it and take the blame.
By the way, speaking of nostalgia, The C/C++ Users Group has a page on the web here:C/C++ Users Group
Edit: Note that The C/C++ Users Journal was purchased by the company that owned Dr. Dobb's Journal. The CUG site is just an archived page and links to the journal are no longer valid. However they did archive the articles published in CUJ. I wish they also archived the cover images for the monthly magazines but back in those days image files must have seemed like they used a lot of storage. Fortunately for me four of my articles, those that were published in CUJ, still survive there. I have links to them on http://milesaheadsoftware.org
if anyone is curious.