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Search - "my desktop is 7 years old"
Don't feed the pigeons.
A cautionary tale.
When you feed the pigeons they keep coming back. They don't stop pestering you for help, and they don't ever listen to you.
I gave my father-in-law my old laptop, and installed the latest version of Office 2016 because I'm a nice guy.
Now, every week at family dinner there's something he needs me to help him with.
Mind you, his previous computer had Windows XP and the one I gave him had Windows 7. So it was quite the texh upgrade for him.
Except one of his octagenarian siblings wrote a family recipe book, and wrote it in Word Processor. (because Old People!) Well fuck of course it has pictures, clip art, special formatting, vertical and horizontal lines. It worked fine on XP because Word Processor was supported by XP.
The following is me explaining to him over the phone why his recipe book wouldn't load into Word. I was in his house picking up 2000 rounds of ammo for my and my wife's pistols (target practice) while he was out and about.
FIL: "It's the link on the desktop. It comes up in Word on the old computer but when I tried to put it on the new computer it wouldn't work. I used a thumb drive."
Me: "Okay well I tried to..."
FIL: "I don't know why it would work in Word on one computer and not the next."
Me: "Okay, well I clicked on the link to the file on your old desktop and it opened in Word Processor, not Word."
FIL: "No it opens in Word on the old computer, but it won't open on the new one."
Me: "It opens in Word Processor on the old computer, it won't open in Word on..."
FIL: "Which computer are you sitting at? The old one is on the left." (as if I wouldn't recognize the computer I had for three years and just gave him a month ago!)
Me: "The old one."
FIL: "Okay so it should open in Word on the old computer."
Me: "It won't. It will open in..."
FIL: "I was thinking maybe it had something to do with a screen that popped up when I logged in to the new computer. Something about antivirus software?"
Me: "It will open in Word Processor on your old computer, but it isn't formatted..."
FIL: "Yeah, it's a '.-w-p-s' file so it should work in Word."
Me: "Word Processor is a different program from Word. This opens in Word Processor."
FIL: "So which one do I have?"
Me: "You have Word Processor on the old computer."
FIL: "So how do I get Word Processor on the new computer?"
Me: "You don't. It is defunct software, it was discontinued ten years ago. You can try to get a converter online, but there's no guarantee it'll work."
FIL: "Alright, I'll be home in a few minutes. I'll take a look then."
This was at 10pm last night, and I'd been out all day since 7:30am. He still didn't believe me that the book was written in Word Processor until I showed him the different startup screen for Word Processor, where it says "Word Processor" plain as day.
I fed the pigeon. And it looks like there's more of this to come.3
Then I got to PHP during the years from some online tutorial about making dynamic websites. My website was more static than stone, but yeah, I did page loading with PHP! Awful experience anyway, because I had to install Xampp, get it work and other stuff. 11 years old or so. (and I used Xampp only as a fileserver between laptop and desktop later, because.. PHP4... just no.)
As 12 years old or so I experienced my first World of Warcraft (vanilla) on a custom server in an internet cafe and I thought it's a singleplayer game. When I found out that no, I googled how to make my own server (hated multiplayer back then and loved good games with huge storylines). Failed miserably with ManGOS, got something to work with ArcEMU. There I learned some C++ basic stuff, which I hoped would helped me to fix some bugs. When I opened the code I was like: "Suuure." and left it like that. I learned what a MySQL database is, broke it like four times when I forgot WHERE and still rather played with websites i.e. html, css, js and optionally php when I wanted to repair a webpage for the server. With a friend we managed to get the server work via Hamachi, was fun, the server died too soon. Then I got ManGOS to work, but there wasn't really any interest to make a server anymore, just singleplayer for the lore. (big warcraft fan, don't kick me :D )
I think it was when I was 13y.o. I went to Delphi/Pascal course, which I liked a lot from the beginning, even managed to use my code on old Knoppix via Lazarus(Pascal). At this age I really liked thoae Flash games which were still common to see everywhere. So I downloaded .swfs, opened and tried to understand it. Managed to pull some stuff from it and rewrite in Pascal. Nope, never again that crap.
About the same time I got to Flash files I discovered Java. It was kind of popular back then, so I thought let's give it a try. I liked Flash more. Seriously. I've never seen so much repetitiveness and stupid styling of a code. I had either IDE for compiling C++ or Pascal or notepad! You think I wanted my code kicked all over the place in multiple folders and files? No.
So back to Pascal. I made some apps for my old hobby, was quite satisfied with the result (quiz like app), but it still wasn't the thing. And I really thought I'd like to study CS.
I started to love PHP because of phpBB forums I worked on as 15 y.o. I guess. At the same time I think there was an optional subject at school, again with Pascal. I hated the subject, teacher spoke some kind of gibberish I didn't really understand back then at all and now I find it only as a really stupid explanation of loops and strings.
So I started to hate Pascal subject, but not really the lang itself. Still I wanted something simpler and more portable. Then I got to Python as hm, 17y.o. I think and at the same time to C++ with DevC++. That was time when I was still deciding which lang to choose as my main one (still playing with website, database and js).
Then I decided that learning language from some teacher in a class seriously pisses me off and I don't want to experience it again. I choose Python, but still made some little scripts in C++, which is funny, because Python was considered only as a scripting lang back then.
I haven't really find a cross-platform framework for C++, which would: a) be easy to install b) not require VisualStudio PayForMe 20xy c) have nice license if I managed to make something nice and distribute it. I found Unity3D though, so I played with Blender for models, Audacity for music and C# for code. Only beautiful memories with Unity. I still haven't thought I'm a programmer back then.
For Python however I found Kivy and I was playing with it on a phone for about a year. Still I haven't really know what to do back then, so I thought... I like math, numbers, coding, but I want to avoid studying physics. Economics here I go!
Now I'm in my third year at Uni, should be writing thesis, study hard and what I do? Code like never before, contribute, work on a 3D tutorial and play with Blender. Still I don't really think about myself as a programmer, rather hobby-coder.
So, to answer the question: how did I learn to program? Bashing to shit until it behaved like I desired i.e. try-fail learning. I wouldn't choose a different path.2
FFS! Can I get a remote job as soft-dev?? I know a little bit of java, I mean I have a GitHub repo for a project if anyone wants to see what I'm doing.
If anyone knows or feel that can help me, please lend me a hand, I need to start working (to get real experience) and earn a little (prevent from starving in this fucking shithole country).
I'm not asking for money, I'm asking for a freaking job, a task, anything.
Little brief of my situation... I'm from Venezuela... Done!
Now for real, I'm a freelancer IT technician for almost 8 yrs, now I'm studying software engineering (8th Semester), I'm 31 years old, have a family (7 yrs old daughter, newborn baby boy), work is not flowing since the hourly price got high due to the economic crisis and clients are hiring people instead of outsourcing.
I'm not expecting to earn the minimum wage of UUSS, 150$/month can do the job! This due to the black market price of the USD (10X.000BsF so far), where 1$ represents the 1/8 part of the minimum wage here, to put it in perspective, toothpaste cost 200.000Bsf, 1/4 of the minimum wage.
Perhaps you will be asking yourself "Damn! so how do you do to survive!?" well, at least once a week a client calls and that saves the entire week, this isn't life my people, this is surviving... And if you don't believe me, I can show a receipt from the supermarket, and show you the average salary or my incomings.
Anyway enough drama and whining for today, I'm not doing this again in my life, I'm a person who achieves goals and earns what deserve (even this situation, I know that I deserve it for not thinking properly in the past, but we can't be victims of our past or do we?)
Here I leave my repo link, see the develop branch https://github.com/ajfmo/Sislic
I have touched HTML, CSS, JS, nodeJS, yarn, bower, Ubuntu both desktop and server, but what I really like is Java.
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime." - ancient Chinese proverb.6
When I was 7, I got my hands on an Amstrad CPC-464. This was my first exposure to code, copying examples out of the handbook. Shortly after that my school got their first IT suite, with thirty machines running Windows 98. I remember lunchtimes spent playing ZipZaps, a game that shamelessly capitalised on the first Fast and Furious films. I learned how to create macros in Office, and after getting a machine at home with Windows 3.1 I also learned some basic DOS. When I was 12 we got our first XP machine, which I spent hours on with MSN messenger and mucking around with scripts. That machine eventually succumbed to my brother repeatedly powering it on/off, something I still kind of hold against my mother to this day.
After going into care, I bought an old XP laptop from a friend, a machine that I used extensively. I mined my first bitcoin on that machine, bitcoin that could have made me a rich man today if I had only taken backups seriously.
My next machine came with Vista, which was upgraded to 7 shortly afterwards. This is when I got a bit more seriously into code, contributing to a game written in C++ (Armagetron Advanced, if you're interested). I also learned a great deal about automation using this machine, and when I got my second desktop machine at 18 (which at the time was still extremely out of date), I built my first working web server with IIS. I've been through four desktops since then, one of which just about survived a house fire.
Now I run a company of my own, doing development work at a lower cost for social enterprises, and developing a SaaS platform that will eventually make me a living all on its own. This year I hope to finally stop having to worry about debt, income, where I'm getting my next meal from and when I can finally be self sufficient, almost seven years since the care system spit me out after conveniently forgetting to tell me I could have stayed there until after Uni.
I am proud, though, of coming so far with no college or university degree. I'm by no means an expert, but I'd call myself proficient enough in a couple of languages to be capable of making a career of it.