Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hobby #10: Programming

Screen 13. Gosub 10. ?"Hello World!". Did you recognize any of these commands? If you did, then you probably have some experience in the field of programming.

Programming is the using of code to create computer applications. On the earliest computers, there were no bundled applications, no text editors, no graphical interfaces, not even any operating system! They usually came with nothing but a programming language.

A good example of this is the Atari 800, as seen above. This was the 80's equivalent of a desktop computer. You use a cartridge with BASIC loaded on it (Did I mention there were no CD's either?), and coded your application. Using a peripheral, you could burn your application to a blank cartridge. This was a very neat feature, but was ultimately the downfall of the system. It was so easy to code for the system that the market became flooded with mediocre products, and no one could tell the good from the bad.

There are many ways to get started with programming. First, I recommend you start with QBASIC or BASIC. After you get used to that, try using Visual Basic. Finally, You can learn C or C++, which is the modern programming language.

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