A 'techie' post.

In 1979, at a time when I had several weeks of enforced recuperation to endure, I bought a Radio Shack TRS80 computer.  I also bought Radio Shack's instruction tapes (literally - cassette tapes - 16 of them - each of them one lesson) on programming in Basic.

I must have been a miserable person to be around, after that.  All I could talk about was the amazing logic I had encountered in the process of learning to program in Basic.  I instantly regretted all the Computer Courses I had NOT taken in Junior College.

Of course, over time I have programmed applications in other languages.  Basic, as it was structured then, wasn't suitable for really large or complex applications, so I soon found myself learning to use different "tools" to do different jobs - always trying to use the programming language's strengths to fit the job at hand.

I accumulated a number of language skills.  C and C++.  Smalltalk and Pascal.  Java and Javascript.  And several different database languages.  RBase, Dbase and SQL.  And PLSql (Oracle).

Over time I have learned that there is a process to "programming" that lies outside the tool selected to do the job.  That process lies in identifying the job in terms of the logic involved in the actual program that is to be developed.  Knowing that logical structure helps to identify the "right tool for the job".  There is nothing worse than figuring out halfway through a major programming project that the language selected won't do the job.  Or it needs "help" from another language that does some element of the work quicker, or better - and that helper needs to be integrated into the overall project.

I have found a new language that I like, a lot.  It has characteristics of many of the languages I know.  And many features of "other" langages have been incorporated and simplified without sacrificing the effectiveness of the feature.

The language is "D".  It's available for Windows, and Mac OS X, and Linux.  It's a compiler, but very simple to implement.  And, to the extent that actually telling your computer what to do and having it do exactly as you have instructed is fun,  D is fun.  And FREE.  Just download, install, follow the tutorial (on the web site) and have fun.  Seriously.  Have FUN.

Like I do.

The site is dlang.org.  Links down the left side of the page will take you to download and tutorials.  try it.  it's easy and cool.

Ndinombethe.  Ubuntu.


kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

OMG I had a TRS80.

I loved that thing. And I was the coolest kid in school cause not only did I have my own computer, my dad owned a Tandy store.

Thanks for the flashback!

Tara R. said...

All of this is Greek to me.

PattiKen said...

Interesting that musicians make good programmers. Seems the "language" is the same.

Big Mark 243 said...

... one day, I may take that plunge..! When I do, I will make sure to contact you.!!