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Search - "duke nukem"
I once had a client who wanted a system where no matter what type of file someone uploaded we'd make a PDF out of it. I don't mean "print to PDF", I mean like a straight conversion. A picture, a doc file, a speadsheet, an MP3, a video, a CAD file, a .ivt file format you and I make up right now and tell no one else about for storing Iowan votes, anything.
I told him that was impossible.* There are indeed things out there where you can print to a pdf, but it would mean that a program that knows what a .grml file is, and how to represent it on paper, assuming it even can be, is involved in the middle.
He refused to believe me, and found a company where the sales person swore up and down their product could do it. I said "then you explained it wrong" and we went back and forth. It culminated in me being put in contact with THEIR programmer. I explained what he was looking for. Their programmer replied along the lines of "but that's impossible, and also what would a PDF of half these examples even look like?" I basically said "I know, but your guy is telling my guy you can do this, so you need to tell your guy to STFU before we ALL get roped into trying to convert Duke Nukem maps and zip files full of dlls to pdfs."
Luckily it finally died after that, but the whole ordeal took months.
*I'm being direct/blunt for the sake of brevity when recapping what I said, just fill in the usual "talking with a client niceties"13
Tl;Dr - It started as an escape, carried on as fun, then as a way to be lazy, and finally as a way of life. Coding has defined and shaped my entire life from the age of nine.
When I was nine I was playing a game on my ZX spectrum and accidentally knocked the keyboard as I reached over to adjust my TV. Incredibly parts of it actually made a little sense to me and got my curiosity. I spent hours reading through that code, afraid to turn the Spectrum off in case I couldn't get back to it. Weeks later I got hold of a book of example code to copy out to do various things like making patterns on the screen. I was amazed by it. You told it what to do, and it did it! (don't you miss the days when coding worked like that?) I was bitten by the coding bug (excuse the pun) and I'd got it bad! I spent many late nights on that thing, escaping from a difficult home life. People (especially adults) were confusing, and in my experience unpredictable. When you did things wrong they shouted at you and threatened to take you away, or ignored you completely. Code never did that. If you did something wrong, it quietly let you know and often told you exactly what was wrong. It wasn't because of shifting expectations or a change of mood or anything like that. It was just clean logic, simple cause and effect.
I get my first computer a year later: an IBM XT that had been discarded by a company and was fitted with a key on the side to turn it on. With the impressive noise it made it really was like starting an engine. Whole most kids would have played with the games, I spent my time playing with batch scripts and writing very simple text adventures. And discovering what "format c:" does. With some abuse and threatened violence I managed to get windows running on it. Windows 2.1 I think it was.
At 12 I got a Gateway 75 running Windows 95. Over the next few years I do covered many amazing games: ROTT, Doom, Hexen, and so on. Aside from the games themselves, I was fascinated by the way computers could be linked together to play together (this was still early days for the Web and computers networked in a home was very unusual). I also got into making levels for Doom, Heretic, and years later Duke Nukem 3D (pretty sure it was heretic; all I remember is the nightmare of trying to write levels entirely by code!). I enjoyed re-scripting some of the weapons and monsters to behave differently. About this time I also got into HTML (I still call this coding, but not programming), C, and java. I had trouble with C as none of the examples and tutorial code seemed to run properly under a Windows environment. Similar for my very short stint with assembly. At some point I got a TI-83 programmable calculator and started rewriting my old batch script games on it, including one "Gangster Lord" game that had the same mechanics as a lot of the Facebook games that appeared later (do things, earn money, spend money to buy stuff to do more things). Worried about upcoming exams, I also made a number of maths helper apps, including a quadratic equation solver that gave the steps, and a fake calculator reset to smuggle them into my exams. When the day came I panicked and did a proper reset for fear of being caught.
At 18 I was convinced I was going to be a professional coder as I started a degree in Computer Science. Three months later I dropped out after a bunch of lectures teaching what input and output devices were and realising we were only going to be taught Java and no C++. I started a job on the call centre of a big company, but was frustrated with many of the boring and repetitive tasks we had to do. So I put my previous knowledge to use, and quickly learned VBA to automate tasks. It wasn't long before I ended up promoted to Business Analyst where I worked on a great team building small systems in Office, SAS, and a few other tools.
I decided to retrain in psychology, so left the job I was in and started another degree. During my work and placements my skills came in use a number of times to simplify and automate tasks. I finished my degree, then took a job as a teaching assistant while I worked out what I wanted to do next and how to pay for it. Three years later I've ended up IT technican at the school, responsible for the website, teaching a number of Computing lessons each week, and unofficial co-coordinator for Computing as a subject. I also run a team of ten year old Digital Leaders who I am training in online safety and as technical experts; I am hoping to inspire them to a future in coding. In September I'll be starting teacher training with a view to becoming a Computing specialist teacher. Oh, and I'm currently doing a course in Android Development in my free time.
And this all started with an accidental knock on the keyboard of a ZX Spectrum.7
Energy star ⭐ logo always remind me an old computer (boot logo) back in 90s and of course the games doom and duke nukem 3D ... The first things I saw and played on a computer .
You guys, what do you remember every time you see the logo ?12
When I was a kid I loved Microsoft because they built that thingy that I could play my computer games on. I learned how to reinstall the magical but fragile Windows out of necessity, instantly promoting me to the position of the family's computer whizz-kid.
Now I just see them as one of many shady international mega corporations who on behalf of their shareholders best interest (oh the irony) are fighting to gain power so that they one day may own the planet and basically rule over everything (yess, stocks reach all time high!)
My first exposure was a Windows 98 computer around 2002 (i was ten at the time). I got to play classics like Prince of Persia, Commander Keen, Jazz Jackrabbbit, Duke Nukem, Doom + other sharewares. My favorites was the point and clicks like King's Quest, LucasFilms stuff and The Longest Journey.
Edit: I'll add Willy Beamish as another favorite
My first memories of the very first computer i got?
Not sure exactly when that was but all the first memories are of me playing games:
Some paper plane game on the really old macs (giant screens i think it was highlighter orange)
My auntie also had a computer when i was little i'd visit her for the holidays and j played some kid game about dogs.
When we got our first computer i remember some 2d metroid like game but it was where you play as some lady with a whip.
Also duke nukem 1, one of the games me and my dad played together.
Then later on we got a win98 computer i played age of empires and solitaire!
(i used to ride around on my bike with a sword pretending i was a cataphract LOL, i was never very good at RTS games when i was little so i'd build things and not have room for units to move, i kept building houses thinking you need a lot lol, me and the AI were at a stalemate, most because the buildings were in the way)
I remember my teacher giving me tips about age of empires when i was in primary, one of my favourite teachers too.
I once was sitting in a somewhat boring class on networks and computer architecture towards the end of the term. Nobody was really listening and the lecture was kind of a collection of random bits and pieces related to the subject matter.
So I tried out playing Duke Nukem on my rather weak laptop on DosBox. I was sitting quite in front of the class room, and the profesor could clearly hear my fan working like crazy. Later in his lecture he did a short excourse on cloud gaming, showing us nVidia's graphics card cloud where you could do remote gaming, the graphics being rendered remotely and streamed to your box over the interwebs.
I looked up from my game and said to the professor: "If I had this now, my fan would not be that loud." Even the professor laughed.
I remember that when I was about 8 years old, my dad brought a desktop computer home one day.
I don’t remember any specs, but it had a huge ass CRT monitor, a very loud clicky keyboard, a mouse with a real ball inside, and a CPU that uses floppy discs and CDs. Nope, CDs, not DVDs. And on that computer, it ran Windows 95. There’s was no internet most of the time (it was still quite expensive and unnecessary and dial up was troublesome to set up back then).
I remembered playing bootlegged games sold in CDs that my dad bought during his trips to China back then. Duke nukem, Command and Conquer Red Alert 2, Microsoft solitaire and GTA 3. Those were the games I played.
As a kid, it was glorious, looking through a box on a table, seeing and interacting with so many different worlds, stories, characters and games. I really miss those simpler times.
These days, every time I open my laptop, and I see that new mail that need to be dealt with, that homework that’s about to be due and a reminder of my next class in 15 min. Well shit.1