Looking Back on the Early Days
Every once in awhile I’ll do some searching for things I posted online when I was younger. It’s fun to look back to my nascent technical days. I’ve never chronicled any of this but thought I would do just that, here on my blog.
I got my first computer when I was in 7th grade and eventually got internet access through AOL and then a regular ISP. A friend of my mine got me interested in Linux and programming in Turbo Pascal. Also, he introduced me to Usenet, which I was thrilled about because it opened a door to talking to others about things I was interested in.
Here’s a screenshot of my early posts:
My first post on there was in
comp.lang.pascal.borland, dated 08/26/1996.
From: Brady Holt To: comp.lang.pascal.borland Date: Aug 26, 1996, 3:46 PM Is there any easy way to explain TSRs? I just want to write a TSR that will delay characters when you type, THrow a message on the screen when you hut a certain number of keys, and also,,,, Start One of My Screen Savers when you hit a combination of Keys.. Can Anyone HElp? Thanks, Brady Holt
A “TSR” was a “Terminate-Stay-Resident” Turbo Pascal program that could run in the backgorund. I was sixteen years old and eager to learn.
Some other ones I found:
- Defending SuSE Linix - https://groups.google.com/g/alt.os.linux/c/QYGqCnWMFkA/m/I9aawwRCnLEJ
- Installing Red Hat Linux 6.0 for first time and having trouble with modem - https://groups.google.com/g/comp.os.linux.setup/c/z0ylYXEetsI/m/kcsDQJ-OH_kJ
- Trying to work with graphics in Turbo Pascal - https://groups.google.com/g/comp.lang.pascal.borland/c/SAiF0V0dyUg/m/1QqrwZeIHLUJ
- Getting a little snooty about programming - https://groups.google.com/g/comp.lang.pascal.borland/c/52Ic3wY7ILw/m/xelD2lBc4isJ
The Wayback Machine is a wonderful web archive that contains snapshots of webpages from various dates. Not long after I was playing around with Turbo Pacal and posted on Usenet, I started building websites.
I have been unable to find my original website in the wayback machine, which is a shame because it would be really fun to see it again.
I found the first website I wrote that I actually got paid for. It was for a debt credit counseling company owned by a friend of my Dad’s. I think the owner paid me $100. The url was www.debtfree-newhope.org.
Another thing I found was my Netscape Navigator bookmarks from 2001, when I was a Junior in college: https://web.archive.org/web/20010614074315/http://web2.airmail.net/jwholt/bookmarks.htm. Wow, looking at those bookmarks is a blast from the past because it gives good glimpse into my school work and interests at the time.
Although technically not “posted” online at the time, I kept Turbo Pascal source code from my very early days of learning to programming. I sure am glad I did because it’s a blast to look back on it. This is stuff I wrote when I was in 7th or 8th grade. I have posted it on GitHub for ease of access.
The first program I ever got paid for was a screen saver for my boss’ computer at Sparkle Car Wash. Here’s the source: https://github.com/bradymholt/pascal-scratch/blob/master/SPARKLE.PAS. It would print the contents of
TEXT.TXT (“Sparkle Car Wash!” was in there) to the screen in varying colors, changing positions on the screen every 2.5 seconds. I remember clearly he paid me $20 and was thrilled about it.
Some other notable ones in the repository:
- My obligatory Tic-Tac-Toe program: https://github.com/bradymholt/pascal-scratch/blob/master/TICTAC.PAS.
- “The Magic 8 Ball” - https://github.com/bradymholt/pascal-scratch/blob/master/MAGIC8.PAS. I remember this was the most significant program I had written at the time and was super proud of it. I would show it to any family or friends who would lend their attention.
- My first TSR (background app) - https://github.com/bradymholt/pascal-scratch/blob/master/DELAYTSR.PAS
It’s always fun looking back on things I was learning and making in those days.