The Struggle Is Real

342/366 - Backlit keyboard I've had a lot of false starts coding... 

My first exposure to code was when I was around nine years old. We got a computer. Unfortunately, I wanted an Atari and we got a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A. That's right. It was the 1980's kids. It wasn't retro yet. We thought fluorescent clothes were legitimately cool and I owned a hot pink guitar. Don't judge!

I remember having some kind of manual that explained the basics of coding in Basic (Ha! See what I did there!) We also started getting a magazine that contained Basic programs. I would copy some of these into the computer and run them. Sadly, we didn't have a way storing them so they drained from the computer with the electrons every time we turned it off. We later got a tape recorder to capture these gems of mine. Yea!  I can play the skier game over and over and over. Boring!

This early exposure made me a standout in middle school "Computer Class."  However, by that point I had other things on my mind and outside of playing Nintendo I had little interest in computers.  In college, I coded a little in Pascal, but my main interest in computers was how I could use them to make music.  This was an expensive and complex task until recently so that didn't go far either.  In 1998, I had a Geocities site complete with a flashing "Under Construction" gif.  I learned enough to get on the net, but not much more.

Things really got interesting in 2004, I got my first laptop and ran Linux for the first time using a Knoppix CD.  It is funny how something so trivial these days terrified and excited me at the same time.  I thought I was going to hose my Windows partition at any minute.  Eventually, I started dual booting various versions of Debian on anything I could get my hands on.  This is the time period where I heard of Python.  The message was Python was for normal people.

I found that I must not be normal.  I got some of the basic tutorials, but would eventually get stumped and give up.  I dabbled in different languages over the years (C, C++, Ruby, Perl).  I didn't know anyone that coded and wasn't building anything of interest.  I kept losing steam, other priorities came up, etc.

To be continued....

In my next post I am going to talk about what has me excited about coding again.  Sorry for the cliffhanger, but this post seems a little long winded.  Until next time...


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