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Mick

I took my first computer programming course at university in 1965. The prof hired me, i worked for the Computer Science Dept for 6 years. The two biggest projects were the design and construction of an interupt driven OS for a PDP8/i, and leading the team that wrote a COBOL compiler. That compiler was actually what we called an interpreter, so it was the same idea as the Java system - the compiler generated a list and the the next phase "executed" the program by interpreting the list. Then i taught computer programming at the community college for 25 years and retired in 1998.

My specialty has from the beginning been machine and assembly language programming. In the 90s we called it "programming to the metal", getting around the bugs in the board hardware on those early PCs. I published two articles on those topics in Windows Developers Journal in the mid 90s. I did have to learn the old high level languages in order to teach them, and i did have some fun programming microcontrollers such as the M68HC11. It was all a good time.

At the end i had all my courses on the internet in addition to regular classes. I had WinNT Server running at home with a high speed internet connection. Students uploaded their assignments directly to my home using FTP. We used e-mail extensively, course outlines, assignments, grades, etc on my secure at-home website, all coded up with HTML. I ran a time server to keep the system board clock accurate as one of the evaluation criteria for assignments was submission by a specific time. It is all still up on my website at http://mdawdy.webs.com/ [click on "Professor"]. The last summer i was there [1997] i ran an HTML course for the second year students, and a Java course for the 3rd year students. All that internet knowledge got them good jobs. A HUGE amount of work for me but i loved it.

All that and i did not learn much Java, or any object oriented concepts. I became somewhat familiar with the terminology, but the students learned far more than did i. I have never been a high level or abstract thinker, hence the machine/assembly language preference and teaching at college rather than university. Learning C with all its data types, data type rules, strange syntax, libraries, abstractions, etc was far more difficult for me than learning a "simple" :) CPU. But i do still have my t-shirt from the 1997 Java World Tour in Toronto Canada :) "Write Once, Run Anywhere."

So i am a complete beginner with Android, Java, and Android Studio, although i have used other complex IDEs. I am having a difficult time of it for now as i do not accept abstract stuff easily.

It has been more than a dozen years since i have put down any code. But my enthusiasm has always been more important than my technical knowledge. This is interesting stuff. The world has moved on while i have been doing other things. Perhaps i'll catch up, at least a little :)

Mick

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  • London, ON Canada
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  • Last seen Oct 12 '18 at 16:44

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