39
Karunamon
41d

So rewind back about 24 years. I was a little kid who thought computers were the coolest thing evar, and our family had just gotten our first machine (a monstrous tower from a company named CyberMax, running Win 3.11 on DOS 6, 33MHz and a 250MB hard drive).

My aunt (big into coding at the time) came by with a box full of disks and loaded the machine up with all kinds of games and fun stuff. One of the thing she installed was Hoyle Classic Card Games (https://playclassic.games/games/...)

My parents fell in love with this and played it for hours. The problem was, the process to get it started, while not complicated, was still a pain in the ass. You had to either hammer F6 to get the startup menu and type a bunch of commands to switch to the directory and start the game, or let it boot into windows, then leave windows for DOS and do the same thing.

On a lark, when we had gotten the machine, mom had also bought this little dos programming handbook. I can't find it nowadays, but it went into very exhaustive detail on the cool things you could do with batch files. I was a voracious reader, especially on anything to do with computers, and one of the things the book covered was how to write startup menus using the CHOICE command! Little me figured out that you could write this into the AUTOEXEC.bat, and have a menu come up on every start!

It took me a couple days of piddling around (again, I was like 6 or 7, and this was the first "program" I'd ever written), but I eventually got it to the point where you'd turn the computer on, and the first thing it would do is ask if you wanted to go into windows, or if you wanted to play cards. I was proud as hell when this was set up and working!

I didn't do much writing of programs since then (I was more interested in games at the time), but yeaaaarrrs later, I encountered Why's Poignant Guide to Ruby, fell in love, and I've been hacking code ever since

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