Tidbits on software development, technology, and other geeky stuff.

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.

Usenet

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:

Usenet History

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:

Wayback Machine

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.

New Hope Finanical Fitness Centers Webpage from 2000

Another fun one I found was a a webpage I put up in 1999 for the church youth group I was in. I also found the PointPoint presentation I put together announcing the website here.

Lake Ridge Bible Church Youth Group Webpage from 1999

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.

Code

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:

It’s always fun looking back on things I was learning and making in those days.

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