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suchanoob
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« on: February 10, 2004, 04:06:04 PM »

Don't remember seeing this forum before...

I want to learn more about programming, but the thing that has always slowed me down or held me from researching it is the question:  What am I going to program?  What application do I need that isn't out there?  

Anyway, does anyone have some tips for me?
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PoorboyTech
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2004, 04:23:06 PM »

I first began programming in basic, then pascal, fortran then cobol....

I really didnt start truly enjoying myself until I started programming in C, LPS modula coding. Since then I've worked my way slowly up the hill and fiddle around with Visual Basic and C++.
There are many things you can program! Most of the educational stuff I did were just small little sidejobs that I use for bill paying, etc.  Sure there are tons of programs, but can you actually say there is one that 100% specifically fits your every need?
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suchanoob
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2004, 04:55:24 PM »

how would i go about learning?  

I was thinking school textbooks would be good, because they assign projects, but the lack of instruction on a tough area would be a downfall.
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2004, 04:59:52 PM »

Will sound funny, but even the for dummies is helpful.  Some of the books out nowadays like "learn X in 21 days" are helpful because they include a CD which has a basic format of the program instead of having to spend hundreds of bucks on an enterprise edition
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suchanoob
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2004, 06:30:19 PM »

Cool, I will check that out.
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azimuth40
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2004, 06:52:46 PM »

As to what to program, do something that you already know well and then look at and try to figure out how to add features that you have seen in other products.  Some examples, duplicate notepad, the windows calculator, paintbrush.  Notepad and calculator can be done in text mode so that you don't have to deal with the windows gui until you understand whatever language that you choose.  If you wish to do a gui, try Visual basic or Java first.
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mikop
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2004, 11:56:02 PM »

think small... you don't build apps... your first will be a simply console app <--- hmmmm what did I just said about app ;/

I would suggest taht you enroll in your local community college and start from step one. baby steps, build solid foundations, then worry about the other aspect.

everyone need to know C++, start there, then after 1-2 courses, you can then make informed decision as to where you want to go.

like az said, one of my suggestion would be.

how do you like notepad, how do you like ultra edit and other editors on the market with multi tab interface...

how much you hate the highlight tab search and etc etc just doesn't seem to work right.... how can you do it right, just the way you like it.

look at linux editors... there is a trillions of them, there is a reason for that...

I think many VB book start you with drag and drop build your own browser, would be cool for newbie to VB, but as far as total newbie, start with C++, anything else is a fraud.

you don't appreciate anything till you have to deal with memory management...
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mikop
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2004, 12:06:02 AM »

as far as intro books for C++, I would suggest you get all these

1. c++ from the ground up by Herbert Schildt.

2. Object-Oriented Programming in C++ by Robert Lafore

I think all the 21 /week thing sucks.

don't need to buy the book to get a compiler.

dev c++ for c++ obviously
sharpdevelop for c#
netbeans for java

one of the better intro site
http://www.functionx.com/cpp/

there are tons others all pretty good, but that should atleast get you started.
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azimuth40
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2004, 02:58:40 AM »

good book choices mikop.  Nice site too. I agree, follow his lead guys. If you can grok C++ then real programming is probably for you and most everything else will be easy. C/C++ makes you think like the hardware acts.
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Dr. C
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2004, 05:44:41 PM »

Quote
Originally posted by suchanoob
Don't remember seeing this forum before...

I want to learn more about programming, but the thing that has always slowed me down or held me from researching it is the question:  What am I going to program?  What application do I need that isn't out there?  

Anyway, does anyone have some tips for me?


Start off small, automating tasks that you know you want to get done, but don't feel like doing by hand . . . deleting all files in a temporary directory, for example, or periodically downloading a file, comparing it to another file and updating it, for example. These are tasks ideally suited to basic batch file or shell programming, which is where I suggest you start. Starting with a language like C or worse, C++ will likely leave you very confused to begin with. Using the native windows or unix shell scripting language may give you a good many more ideas as to what you can program easily and how to make your tasks easier.

If you have a web server running, you could try a language like PHP, which is simpler than most and will allow you to automate common web tasks. You will easily be able to think of small applications that you can use then . . . doing database queries and displaying the results, for example, computing simple problems and so on.

Start off with a simple scripting language like the above, and as you encounter the limitatons inherent in them, you will then branch out as you find it necessary.
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2004, 05:45:41 PM »

Quote
Originally posted by azimuth40
C/C++ makes you think like the hardware acts.


That would be assembly, not C++.
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azimuth40
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2004, 08:33:08 PM »

Well I guess it depends on your background and if you mentally blur the line between hardware, nanocode, microcode, firmware and software. Mine was hardware first. I guess you never did hardware design with Pal's or ROM based state machines.  

My opiniion stands, my first assembly programming was in 1968, learned C from K&R version 1, and am a early member of the MLOC club first doing C++ using the original pre-processor wrapper. Then ARM came along. I was already doing Simula in the early 80's for mainframe design functions and Algol68 before that so C++ made sense right away. Hardware was originally just boolean formulas on paper, schematics came later to make it easier.

Yea I know, rocking chair stories but us old farts are not easily impressed by the continuing move to new and improved attempting to make something appear hard. It was 1's and 0's in the past and it is still so today.
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2004, 08:45:10 PM »

Quote
Originally posted by azimuth40
Well I guess it depends on your background and if you mentally blur the line between hardware, nanocode, microcode, firmware and software. Mine was hardware first. I guess you never did hardware design with Pal's or ROM based state machines.  

My opiniion stands, my first assembly programming was in 1968, learned C from K&R version 1, and am a early member of the MLOC club first doing C++ using the original pre-processor wrapper. Then ARM came along. I was already doing Simula in the early 80's for mainframe design functions and Algol68 before that so C++ made sense right away. Hardware was originally just boolean formulas on paper, schematics came later to make it easier.

Yea I know, rocking chair stories but us old farts are not easily impressed by the continuing move to new and improved attempting to make something appear hard. It was 1's and 0's in the past and it is still so today.


For a beginner to programming, C++ will probably be a bit much. I think the best approach for newer programmers is to use a fairly simple scripting language so that they can learn to automate common tasks and think up simple applications that make their work easier, then as the complexity of the needed applications become necessary, build up to other languages as necessary. Going through C++ or Java to code up a simple application is usually more trouble than its worth. The advantage of OOP doesn't usually come apparent until projects get to be rather complicated themselves.

Assembly is the best if you want to get close to the hardware, but it also requires the most work and I am not sure if the tradeoff in manhours in really productive using most modern operating systems, so that's what I usually suggest to others. That way they can concentrate on the program logic more and the language less until they need something that powerful.
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