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Odd/Fun Ways You've Learned Programming

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I had a very simple program that I made for an RPG, and every time I'd learn a new programming language, I'd re-make it in that programming language with a few improvements. :)
-wraith808 (September 18, 2013, 09:05 AM)
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Funny, I did the same sort of thing to acclimate to some environments where I didn't usually program much with my "Frackin' Reserve" program. I did a Windows desktop client, a Linux/OS X desktop client, a jQuery web version, and an Android version.

Using a simple program that you KNOW to jump into a new environment really makes things a lot easier.

I played with a Sinclair ZX80 for a month or two (it was only $88!), then upgraded to an Atari 400. Soon after that someone (company name lost in the mists of antiquity) released a language cart called "Action!" that I pounced on. Among other things it allowed you to call assembly routines stored as strings, so I crafted a whole library of string handling functions in lovingly hand-assembled, relocatable tiny 6502 assembler... I think the most exotic routine was probably around 40 bytes of code. Ah, those were the days! (Moving up to an Atari ST with a good assembler and an IDE and debugger seemed luxurious, satisfying in a different way; not as intimate with the code as the hand assembly was, but a whole heap more productive...)

(Coding was my key to a sysop post on Compuserve for a few years too, back before all that newfangled WWW stuff...  :P)

I had a very simple program that I made for an RPG, and every time I'd learn a new programming language, I'd re-make it in that programming language with a few improvements. :)
-wraith808 (September 18, 2013, 09:05 AM)
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That reminds me of the "Pass the Translator" game that I used to play with Krishean, before Google killed their free translator API.

We would take turns "building a translator" and making it somehow better than the last version. We could change the language it was written in or whatever else we wanted to do to it. Then pass it, with source, to the other. You could reuse any part of the source from any of the previous versions, in your next version, including usng something contributed by the other person. The only catch, was that it had to be a desktop app.

The last version in our little game was the Fried Babelfish that was submitted for NANY 2009, reusing the script Krishean contributed in his .hta app version, and turning it into a 2 tabbed Delphi app.

Our little game started when Krishean mentioned how much he hated looking at the ads plastered all over the Babelfish site, and I loaded the site in a little app I whipped up, with the window sized to show just the important part, thereby hiding the ads, written in ibasic.  :D

Another interesting way that I learned was via the Beagle Bros contests (in old fashioned BASIC with Assembler calls).
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Dude!!  I LOVED Beagle Bros back in the day, hammering away at their advertisement's 'one-liners' on the school's Apple ][+ and ][e's.  I learned SO much from those.  Our family was too poor to afford computers back then, but I had read through so much BASIC code that I knew it by heart by the time we finally got a Timex-Sinclair 1000.  
I made two programs on that; a 'catch the falling object' game that got faster and objects falling farther away from you as you progressed, and a 'steer a vehicle (actually a letter "A") between the ever-closing walls' game.  Both of them I saved the source, hand-written on school note paper, for years so I could show off to my friends whenever I had the chance (they all had Commodore VIC-20s and TI 99/4As, the lucky bums).  That's all lost to the sands of time now...
Funny thing, that's also how I learned how RAM could affect a computer's speed.  Because the Timex-Sinclair 1000 had only 1K of built-in memory, I always had to code in larger slow-down loops when programming other computers, and when my uncle bought a 16K RAM pack for his TS-1000, I thought it was the fastest computer I had ever seen.  :o

Now, I'm learning Pascal (seems to be the only language I have the bean for anymore) and as a learning exercise, I'm turning all the text-mode tutorial programs into full GUI apps in Lazarus, with sometimes unexpected results.  :D


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