000 Programming History 000
Introduction -Some of the work I have in learning and developing in code.
This page I will try to outline the many attempts that I have in designing and creating assorted programs, also it will run into a bit about my current stage of programming /script editing. I suppose it all really started when I had a computer class at school, at that time they had Apple IIE's And a Pentium 1 in the Library. Our Computer classes were on learning how to use a Apple IIE and eventually we moved in to learning basic touch-typing.
My first use of program code call it that as it was very basic, it was first through Maths that we began playing around with Logo with Turtle Basic, where we had to program line diagrams and spirals.
Remember these were monochrome displays (Dark green and White) The Apple IIe were easy to use, just switch them on the back and there was the password screen, after which the desktop would appear with an array of assorted icons, similar to the way windows appears (example the old win3.1). After many weeks spent in each computer class going through the typing tutor we then began learning about some basic programming, which ended up in us learning how to program a picture in Pascal.
The object for the excercise was to program a set of 6 building shapes that were from a tutorial that we had to follow in a book. It was so simple. After that we began to do something more challenging 2 streets of buildings (shops a factory, church, etc.) Now everyone else had the same basic idea that was to do them completely straight on with one street above the other as in the image below on the left. While one other person did one resembling the image to the right, straight over from the air.
However I decided to do something different in 3D which would be of more of a challenge, which I display below in these thumbnails.
While everyone else was asking questions/problems every 5 minutes with there's, I however did not find too much trouble and only asked for help a couple of times, even though mine involved more work, but I worked it out, rather well. After this we did a few more pictures with the paint program, such as this one that I never managed to finish it, since I did not get that much time to work on it, however I surprised my teacher showing that you can render with such a basic palette as in patterns.
They were surprised that it were posible to do a descent looking picture even in a monochrome texture pallette.
I did also several other pictures one which had a couple of battleships and another re-created a scene from the "Super NES" game "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" all in the limited pallette as shown below
My British Rail 9F Steam Engine "Evening Star" which I ran out of time to complete it, yet scored an "A"
And that was it for a while, I would for sometime atend a special session at lunchtimes where we would have access to the computer room, but that lasted till they decided to discontinue that idea.
It was a few years before I had another chance to use a computer again, durring which time I borrowed from the library books on programming which were mostly on brogramming in basica, but with no computer of my own, all I could do was dream and design on paper of a future project that once I did get a chance would attempt to try and create.
First Computer and the beginnings of my Computer art.
It was about April of 1995 that I finally purchased my first computer, a IBM 8088 from Cash Converters, Northcote.
After a rough ride in learning on my own about this system, I finnaly set to work on learning Batch programming and interface design, from assorted old books I could obtain, yes your wondering why I had a 8088 being a pre 1980 machine, it was my first real pc I had ever to have and as I was used to learning a apple when I was at school as mentioned earlier, and IBM Compatible was something different.
It did not take too long before I began into even testing with QBASIC and the older Basica since I was given a few old games done in basica.
I would spend time going over trying to decipher how the code worked and how to recreate it in QBASIC, ah those were the days.
I concentrated more on Batch and found it alot easier and since Qbasic was taking some time to work out I made several progresses with Batch.
At that time I as well produced a special menu system that allowed me to run different programs from a set of options., this was later modified and was distributed to a couple of my fathers work mates who had troubles trying to run programs from a doss prompt, it even on version 3 included a quick little color graphic, before the menu.
I began my project though it was a time consuming one but it did work, however its too fast too see on todays computers but was optimised for the computers of the 8088 or even 386.
I found a 386 DX about 5 months later, below is some screens showing part of what I had accomplished at the time, it worked well.
I further developed the application further in "Med8tor Personal 3" which was to become a interactive encyclopedia which was to incorporate a 3d Simulation that would alow you to either walk or fly through, touring the ship.
I upgraded extensively that former 386DX, from there on. While experimenting with Qbasic and managed to repair an old Basica game of a 747-flight simulator that refused to work before, but managed to fix the code and it actually played, so I was able to see it work. I spent many days and hours at going through trying to work it all out, only managed to draw a line in red, as the rather annoying help system kept telling me what it needed all the time in the code that I would put down, saying that it needed a variable here and a comer there, etc. I soon produced walk through simulations with programs developed by Virtus corp, such as "Soft key’s Key Design Centre 3D" and then eventually upgraded to "Virtus 4.0"
I pick up a developer magazine that included a game developing tool article and code that I had to type out and compile with a compiler. I managed to obtain several programming tools and editors, and again started to try and work them out, the game developing tool I managed to write 2 files of code. it was for a level editor based 2D map system.
On one evening after work while at thecomputer shop at Northland Shopping center I discover a game edditing program that had a click and what you see is what you get setup called "Click'n Play" , and begin testing with it, playing around with it the idea of my simulation comes back, yet I also consider creating a test game based on the Super NES, game Metriod, this is when I began to learn about sprite design as I had experienced while I had played "id's Doom". It was not until I connected to the Internet that my search for a better tool came about, where I happen to find out that there was a list of links of over 300 3D engines in existence, (Note this list has now grown to over 600). So I began analysing several of them for any free ones.
I found that that most were in un-compiled form, requiring a compiler to compile them for use. I discover "3D Game Studio" and after reading the write up for it and testing a couple of examples I decide to buy it. 8 weeks later it finally arrives and after some troubles in getting it from customs I get to see the program. I began its 7-day "Wed" tutorial and managed 2 files but the program would not compile it even though it had been followed correctly. 4 years later I buy "3D Game Studio A5" which has its own level editor and model editor and is the easiest set of tools to use. I have produced several stand alone 3d walk through simulations with this.
This has been my main one of choice for a few years, and had upgraded again to version A7, later on I decided to try out in learning Visual Basic and possibly Visual C++.
Only did a few completed tutorials with Visual Basic enabling me to create my own working set of applications including a working basic web browser.
I began learning Visual Basic after sometime when I had been doing some programming in a job onprogramming CNC Router combination machines, like the Morbidelli.
This involved the design and programming of G-code to rout and drill parts of Laminex board for commercial office Furniture, which was essentually easy. I made progress in creating quite versitle programs with many assorted options for drilling and or cutting assorted shapes, like the example below cuts a rectangler shape with rounded corners and a 45 degree cut off as per the code below which I illustrate as a bsic example, some of my more parametric programs spanned more lines of code with parametric questions, this one has no parametric questions and so just cuts the shape as is.
Though this is different, it still does relate to code and the XYZ axis, z being the depth of the cutter or drill as an example.
I have shifted position and now am involved in the production of 3D models which suit better for my skills, even though this
G-code was interesting and I did create some super programs at the time.
These days I have concentrated more on scrypting as I still search for a better way or method to gain the abilities that I had dreamed of.
Much of what I have been doing latly in regards to code has been coding scripts for Activeworlds, for the more interesting and or advanced capabilities for that platform.
All content on this site, copyright of David. S. Cooper unless otherwise stated.