[Coco] Thoughts on modern computers (sort of off topic)
msmcdoug at iinet.net.au
Tue Jan 31 12:35:19 EST 2012
On 1/02/2012 3:30 AM, Jay Coleman wrote:
> The resources given by the internet make it far easier to learn
> I do my programming under linux, but all the common languages are freely
> available for windows. Python, perl, GCC, and so on are just a download
> and install. High quality IDEs are available freely, too.
> On 1/31/2012 8:11 AM, Louis Ciotti wrote:
>> There is now [sic] "basic" included with them. In the windows arena
>> you have to download something (i.e. MS VB, or Java) and start wading
>> through how to manipulate graphics, windows, buttons, etc. My first
>> IBM/compatible with MS-DOS 4.01 at lease had GW-baisc where one could be
I get the point(s) that *both* of you are making.
IMHO the crux of the matter is the fact that the sheer number if
choices, and the complexity of those choices (made necessary by the
complexity of today's computers) is far more daunting than it was 'back
in the day', when you had a choice of BASIC, with a few dozen commands,
These days with compilers and cross-compilers that weigh in at
multi-megabytes, with hundreds or even thousands of headers and other
support files, optional libraries for various networking technologies,
graphics sound, etc - it's not so clear to the uninitiated. Multiply
that if your intended project uses multiple languages/technologies
of mine required!) And the plethora of information on the net can be
just as intimidating as it is helpful to the complete noob.
Even for the experienced programmer, it can sometimes prove frustrating.
Microsoft documentation for their device driver development kits is a
prime example; often you can't find what you're looking for because you
need to know what it is before you can find it or, to put it another
way, there's very little in the way of 'howto' and the documentation
really comes down to an API reference.
I cut my teeth on (TRS-80) BASIC then moved on to Z80 assembler. I got a
glimpse of what was 'under the hood' and over the ensuring years, and
throughout my Computing Science studies, I felt it gave me good
grounding. At least these days I have some concept of what my C compiler
is actually doing with my code. I'm sure today's up-and-coming
programmers don't appreciate this aspect at all; with Gigihertz CPU
speeds and gigbytes of memory, they feel they don't need to.
| Mark McDougall | Error: witty remark not found!
| <http://pacedev.net> |
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