Where to begin?

! Warning: this post hasn't been updated in over three years and so may contain out of date information.

MeThere is, in my view, a huge stumbling block to writing a blog: what to write in the first post? So I have decided the thing to do, is to write a short intro about me and what I hope to get from producing this blog.

I have been writing software now for just over 25 years. Things have changed a hell of a lot in that time. My first programming experiences were standing in WHSmiths at the weekend programming a Sinclair ZX81 looking forward to the day I could afford to buy one and program it at home. With its 1Kb of RAM and a “fast mode” that involved turning off the 256×192 pixel monochrome display to get the thing to run four times faster, it was pretty rubbish even 25 years ago. The software changes from those days have been dramatic too. From those early day, where BASIC and Machine Code were king to today, the changes have been huge. Anyone remember such programming gems as 100 GOTO A*1000?

Over the years I have tried out, and sometimes been employed to use, numerous languages: Basic, Prolog (a language I love, but sadly seems to have no real-world use beyond teaching people recursion techniques), RTL-2, Coral 66, C, C++, Ada (painful to use, but it taught me all about generics), Java, PHP, JavaScript and, most lately, ActionScript and C#. To mind mind, the best of these by far is the last one, C#. Its many features just seem to fit comfortably with the way I like to program. My least favourite moden language is JavaScript: its lack of class-based OO and the lack of data typing of variables are serious deficiencies. The other great “evil” of programming of course is pointers and it amazes me that people today still willingly use C and C++ with all the nasty problems that pointers bring to those languages.

So that is a very brief summary of where I’m coming from with software. With that out the way, I can start posting articles…

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