Programming Ideas

It is difficult to know what to do when you start programming, especially if you are self-taught. I remember looking for ideas. The advice I found was to write programs for my interests. I struggled with that advice.

Dec 9, 2015

Code Alternatives

Programs can be written many different ways. Even if the programs look identical when run, the code can look very different. And the more complex the program is, the more ways it can be written.

There are many reasons for this. Different programming languages can be used. Different internal interfaces and design patterns can selected. And some languages even let you write the exact same code with different syntax.

Dec 4, 2015


While looking for an alternative to Typer Shark for my wife, Krista, I found TypeRacer. It is a lot of fun. It runs in the web browser and it is free. Instead of single words swimming onto the screen or timed drills, typists race to complete a passage from a book, movie, or song. And each competitor has a little car that scoots across the screen to the finish line at the speed of their typing.

Nov 24, 2015

Version Control

Platinum edition DVDs, 25th anniversary edition books, backup hard copies of your taxes, today’s copy of the newspaper, Microsoft Office 2000, and the iPad Air 2 are all versions of something. Digital and physical “stuff” changes and new versions are released.

Version control is the process of managing those changes. And we all do it, planned or not. We copy files and papers so that we can have the old copy for later. We come up with nicknames for the various states of projects, so we can discuss changes.

Oct 20, 2015

My studies

I study constantly. My studies are moderately varied. But the majority are computer and programming related.

Programming has been my primary hobby for years. But over the last couple years, I realized that I have been more than a hobbyist for more than ten years. I had become an amateur by consciously deciding to invest considerable time and effort into teaching myself to be a better programmer.

Sep 25, 2015

Simpler archives

Archive files are everywhere. They are very useful. They let us share multiple files as a single file. And they can compress files to take up less space.

From .ace to .zip, there are dozens of types of archive files. And each archive file has its own set of tools and commands, few of which work with other archive files. And to make things worse, the syntax varies between commands.

Sep 23, 2015

A program the customers love

I wrote a program that my customers love.

Sadly, the program is not pretty. It doesn’t have great visual appeal. Even the code, though correct, is ugly.

Sep 21, 2015

The best command I ever learned

I am a huge fan of the command-line interface.

The command-line interface (CLI) is a way to type commands into a computer. The alternative is the graphical user interface (GUI), which is the windows and icons. I get to the command-line interface on my computer using a program called a terminal emulator.

Sep 19, 2015

Practice practicing your practice

Ah, the challenge of programming.

We need to create a new product or update the old one. So we do. And now the product matches the specifications.