A Programmer Reborn

The first time I was involved with programming was with an IBM 8000 mainframe computer, as part of the completion of a course. The language we used was Fortran. A punched card reader was used to input the program into the mainframe computer. Each line of code requires 1 piece of card. Just imagine how much effort you need to debug a program. It requires re-punching a new card and reloading the whole set of cards again, hoping that the program will run as it is expected to be. The complete process sometimes takes weeks as there are other students who are in the same predicament as I am. The printout or output of the program was printed on a 14-7/8″W x 11″L continous form computer paper.

When the university bought a new TRS-80 computer, the programming style changed. We are now using BASIC language and typing it directly into the computer. By then, the students can see right away if their program works or not.

When I got a job in Texas Instruments, Philippines, I was involved in product testing. It was where I came to learn Assembly language and debug programs at the operational code level as well.

Then Desktop PC was born. With this I tried learning some other languages but I love Visual Basic most as it was very user friendly. When VBA was integrated into the office productivity softwares, I did a lot of it too. Until, I finally decided that enough is enough. I said to myself, the world wide web is the future so I learn HTML, Javascript, ASP and PHP. It was PHP that I like most because it is open-source. I was so involved with PHP programming that I won an innovation award for my AutoKeyword program. From then on, I just focused myself on web application programming and never looked back to desktop application programming.

Web applications have some limitations, despite the advent of cloud applications, it will only be accessible when there is an internet connection available. This made me re-think to create some desktop applications again to distribute some of the tutorials I created on my blog, particularly MVA method of calculation.

I was planning to use Visual Basic but it is not open-source. Worse, it does not create a stand-alone application. It requires some libraries to be redistributed as well with the package. Another draw back is, I am using Linux on my home computer, there is no way I will be able to run Visual Basic at all. Other options was C++ and Delphi. Until I found FreePascal and Lazarus. It was just like the Biblical story of rising from the dead. I believe, with these tools I will be able to do desktop application programming again. One feature I like best with FreePascalwas its code portablility. I could use my Linux computer to create an application then just recompite it in Windows for distribution.

Some ideas I have in mind are MVA Method, Symmetrical Components, Cable Sizing and earthing. As I will be creating these appplications while learning FreePascal, it may take me sometime before I could even release an application.

Anyway, all I know is, my urge to program was reborn.