Thursday, November 29, 2007

void Main()

Hello, and welcome to my blog, "Translucent Reality". My name is Rick Fleming and I am a software consultant in Bloomington, Illinois. This is also my first blog post so bear with me as I probably ramble on way to much.

I have programmed in a variety of languages, mostly on the Microsoft platform however also on the Linux platform to an extent. Currently I mostly work with Microsoft.NET Languages, but I also like to keep my mind open to new things.

A little bit about me, when I was six years old I used a computer for the first time. It was an Apple II, we had one in our first grade classroom. Of course back then I didn't know about programming but I knew I wanted a computer. We got to use the computer from time to time in the classroom, and the main program I remember using was Paws, because the school was impressed at the speed at which I could type, according to Paws anyway.

When I was somewhere between eight and nine I got my first computer. Neither one of my parents knew much about computers, and there was a computer for sale for two hundred dollars, a Texas Instruments 99/4A. Keeping in mind that this was approximately 1989, and the TI was far from obsolete, but also keeping in mind they didn't know anything about computers, they bought it for me.

The TI changed everything for me, it came with a couple of books, one of them taught TI Basic, and the other was the TI Basic Reference Manual. I can remember when I first turned it on, and all those colors showed up, I was impressed (since the Apple II looked so dreary in comparison), and then I pushed a key to get to the menu and then 1 for TI BASIC.

And then there was a prompt. Of course, I didn't know what to do, so I started reading the books.

Within one week of having the computer I had went through all of the examples that were in the book and learned the commands of TI BASIC. It was as though I was born to program, and hence started my journey to where I am at today.

That Christmas my dad bought me an Epson dot-matrix printer. I can still remember scouring the booklet that the printer came with, because it had a listing of all of the Escape Codes to make the printer do different things. My TI had the expansion box, and a port card, so I was able to hook the printer up. And I wrote my own word processor. It wasn't elaborate, but it worked.

Eventually I moved on to an old IBM PC XT that my dad got from a lawyer friend of his who upgraded their offices, and from there a 286, then 486 (my first new computer), and so on, and on, the repeating cycle of upgrading. I moved on to GW-BASIC, and then QBASIC, PDS 7.1, Turbo Pascal, Turbo C++, TASM (I used to create libraries I could import into BASIC), Sphinx C-- (anyone remember this thing?), and then Windows with Visual Basic, Visual C++, Turbo Pascal for Windows, Java, .NET (C#, VB.NET, Boo, etc...) and the list goes on...

Now that the personalization and introduction is out of the way, this blog intends on focusing on software development, mostly with a .NET edge but also potentially more generic constructs such as practice and methodology. We'll see where we lead.

Stay Tuned!

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