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saranine
12-12-2013, 02:08 AM
This sounds like a joke. But I am serious.

When I was about 6 it was the early 1980's. I went to my school library and borrowed a book on BASIC programming. I don't know why. I just saw it. When I went home I read the book from cover to cover. It was full of these programs on making games like "landing the spaceship on the moon" and stuff.

Anyway, my weird point is this:

I had never seen a computer. I didn't know what a computer was. Nor did I know what programming was before reading the book. When I finished the book I still had no clue what a computer was. In fact I wouldn't see a computer until about 6 years later.

That is weird. That is like someone learning French without having a clue that there is a country called France. :D

spherical
12-12-2013, 02:34 AM
Not alone. This happens to me all the time, in more areas than just computer programming. That's why I work in so many diverse disciplines that to many seem to be widely dispersed. When I first encountered programming languages, they immediately made sense to me. My brain is wired such that I natively thought in those terms, as if I had been schooled for years previous or came here from the future or from another Universe.

Other people "think" in music. I have difficulty with that; although I love music and have an extremely wide range. I have a cello and have been working (not enough) to learn it. As I work, I hope one day that the "music keystone" will drop into place, once I have put in the requisite number of hours, and it will begin to make sense. I'll be able to be in the moment and not have to drive myself to place my fingers in the positions that they need to be. It will just flow. That is how my other disciplines do work.

I don't have difficulty thinking in physics, art, engineering, psychology or writing. Guess I'm a bit out of the ordinary; and well happy to be so. Having all of these abilities has created a lot of fun things for people to enjoy and learn from, and through, to enrich their lives. I feel well blessed... but I'd probably make more money as a successful musician.

Oedo 808
12-12-2013, 03:06 AM
Haha, I programmed that landing a spaceship on the moon game an Acorn Electron my dad had bought, funny, I didn't care one bit about computers, I was probably 6-8 years old, but someone in my sister's class had one and that made her want one. After we got it though, I was hooked, big time.

My favourite game from that kind of book was Death Valley, where you'd fly an asterisk through zig-zagging valley walls comprised of the letter I.

I changed the the asterisk to a TIE Fighter (Darth style), something like <=O=> and tried to get different games to load from tape as a Star Wars mod, but I never managed it, ahh the memories...

pauland
12-12-2013, 04:37 AM
I used to read about programming in fortran on the IBM 1130. Of course, I didn't actually have one, or even access to one. Eventually I had access to another computer that ran fortran, but the dialect was quite different.

In the dawn of the consumer computer, one of the radio stations in Bristol, UK; used to close down at about 12:30AM. When they did so, they used to broadcast computer programs for home computers for you to record to cassette and load onto your own machine. Our reception was never good enough to get a good recording. :-(

sublimationman
12-12-2013, 03:30 PM
I learned Basic at an early age (around 9) because I had a Tandy computer (Radio Shack) and the books it came with were excellent.

A few years go by and everybody in school is worried about next year math as it's introduction to Algebra. I was so nervous as math is a poor subject for me normally. When we got our first lessons I realized I already knew it due to Basic, it was just using variables and I could not understand why everybody else was having such trouble with such simple math as A=5 B=2 A+B=C What is C? really???? It's 7 duh....

spherical
12-12-2013, 04:41 PM
In college, computer programming languages qualified for foreign language credit. Took a bit to get that across until we made the case that you cannot be more foreign than talking to a machine. They got the point. Now, of course, there's Siri and all sorts of other AI but the machines of the time weren't that advanced. And, AI machines of today are still programmed with code, so not a lot has changed on that front; only the perception that you can talk with a machine that has sophisticated enough code to do voice recognition and synthesize speech.

sublimationman
12-12-2013, 05:15 PM
Siri is not all that far advanced from the Eliza program I had on my Commodore 64, and it talked to you as well.

spherical
12-12-2013, 08:14 PM
True. Just wanted to clarify, before someone came in yelling that we can talk to machines. Interacting within a constrained, programmed envelope, which is what Siri is, is distinctly different from "talking to the machine" to teach it what to do and what not to do and when. Being able to code through talking and modify a machine's operation in near real time is coming but still a ways off.

roboman
12-14-2013, 04:35 PM
Back in 72 ? 73 I was in 5th grade and discovered Boolean algebra. Searching for more information on it then just text books, I found a book called 'We built our own computers'. I had note books full of drawings, trying to figure out how to build a main frame computer out of open relies and switches.

hazmat777
12-14-2013, 05:03 PM
"Other people "think" in music. I have difficulty with that; although I love music and have an extremely wide range. I have a cello and have been working (not enough) to learn it. As I work, I hope one day that the "music keystone" will drop into place, once I have put in the requisite number of hours, and it will begin to make sense. I'll be able to be in the moment and not have to drive myself to place my fingers in the positions that they need to be. It will just flow. That is how my other disciplines do work."

I was accepted to Berklee College of Music when I was 17. I personally wouldn't wait for the "keystone". The best way, in my opinion, is to listen to something over and over AND OVER AGAIN. Seriously. Just keep rewinding it until you teach it to your fingers. Also, study the rhythm of singers you enjoy. When all those combine you will be well on your way.

spherical
12-14-2013, 09:43 PM
I was accepted to Berklee College of Music when I was 17. I personally wouldn't wait for the "keystone". The best way, in my opinion, is to listen to something over and over AND OVER AGAIN. Seriously. Just keep rewinding it until you teach it to your fingers. Also, study the rhythm of singers you enjoy. When all those combine you will be well on your way.

Interesting approach. Similar to the axiom that it takes 10,000 hours practice in order to become expert in anything. What that takes is dedication. Dedication often benefits from interest. Interest often benefits from grokking the concept in the first place... or just plain ol' "I think I could to this--let's find out". In the latter, the ability to devote that much time to an iffy project is relevant to Tim's Vermeer. He has time to waste, as his livelihood is secured. The rest of us have to still work every day to keep a roof over our heads; while endeavoring to improve ourselves, our view of the Universe and, hopefully enrich others' lives with that which we create.

Thanks for the thought. Much appreciated. I'll let it percolate and I'm sure the cello will call to me when it's time. Still, a keystone of understanding would be welcome. :thumbsup: