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Posted Friday, February 22, 2013 6:13 AM
Forum Newbie

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Best program that changed my career or motivated me to work more closely with the data and less with the programs was the TOAD product I used to manage databases for SQL Server and Oracle. This product saved me lots of time and money.
Post #1423015
Posted Friday, February 22, 2013 6:21 AM


SSCrazy

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Great question and responses.

For my early computing experiences, it was my friends' programs on the Apple IIe.

For me personally, it was Microsoft Access 2.0, when I was working in book publishing and my boss bought it to track editorial work. That's when I caught the database bug - or rather started wrestling with database bugs - and changed careers. :-p

- webrunner


-------------------
"Operator! Give me the number for 911!" - Homer Simpson

"A SQL query walks into a bar and sees two tables. He walks up to them and says 'Can I join you?'"
Ref.: http://tkyte.blogspot.com/2009/02/sql-joke.html
Post #1423019
Posted Friday, February 22, 2013 6:43 AM
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In high school, my algrebra and physics teacher had 2 TRS-80 computers (I believe they were Model I's). He would let us play on them after we did our homework or after tests. I remember typing in programs from a book of Basic and playing ASCII games and hoping, praying, that the cassette recorder would work right so we didn't have to retype it. Horrible code -- we had to debug and try to find the errors in almost every program.

Later in high school, we got a grant for 10 brand new IBM PC's. Same guy, Mr. Judd, taught a class on these that consisted of a list of problems that we had to solve on the computer. There was no book because this was in the early 80's. There was no "right" answer so it allowed us to be innovative in our approach. I probably owe my career to that hard-working, under-paid teacher for not just showing us, but allowing us to explore.

Regards,
Joe
Post #1423027
Posted Friday, February 22, 2013 6:46 AM
Right there with Babe

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back around 1985 I got a Tandy 100. It was not the first computer I worked with, but it was the first one that I really used on day to day business.

Had a text editor, built in modem, BASIC (I eventually wrote an assembler for it) and ran for 20 hours on 4 AA batteries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRS-80_Model_100


...

-- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --
Post #1423028
Posted Friday, February 22, 2013 6:50 AM
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Two things.
1. I got sick of people thinking I was stupid just because I was an admin clerk in the USAF.

2. One day as I sat keypunching I suddenly saw our remote mainframe printer start shooting paper across the room.

Two thoughts shot through my mind: "I can do better than this, and I can do better than that."

I still remember the satisfaction I felt a year or so later when I told the Lieutenant Colonel in charge of my section that I was going to be a programmer. He laughed and said "Your not smart enough to be a programmer."

I slapped my orders for Programmer Tech School at Keesler AFB on his desk and said "Well, I passed the entrance test and the Air Force thinks differently. You've got three weeks to find my replacement."

Nothing beats the look of a stunned ex-fighter pilot desk jockey.

Post #1423032
Posted Friday, February 22, 2013 6:53 AM


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My start in computers had nothing to do with software, but a book. The "Tom Swift" novels by Asimov. I thought working with computers would be the neatest thing and had to wait several years before I had a chance to work with one. Fortunately, my high school offered programming (early 80's) and from my sophomore to senior year I learned Basic, RPG II and Cobol. My first "PC" was a TI-99/4A and your code was stored on cassette tape. I had the speech synthesizer and one of the first programs I wrote was a "Speak and Spell" type program to help my brother learn to spell better.

Up until my first computer class, I wanted to be a doctor, but once I got a taste of programming, my medical career went away and I've been working with computers ever since.


Ad maiorem Dei gloriam
Post #1423035
Posted Friday, February 22, 2013 6:54 AM


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Core6430 (2/22/2013)
Commadore 64: I thought it was fun to make it scroll "[brother's name] is stinky!" over and over. I was 7, that stuff was funny at that age. ;)


It would still make me chuckle...being older and wiser I am now more free to laugh if my brother did the same to me


Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1423036
Posted Friday, February 22, 2013 6:56 AM


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P Jones (2/22/2013)
I'd already decided I wanted to work with computers because older cousins did and I liked what they described, but the first software I remember was on a three day school course at the then North Staffs polytechnic in the early seventies and we wrote basic using a teletype onto a mainframe which really convinced me that I enjoyed this and found it easy. I could beat it at noughts and crosses too!
I missed most of the Commodore Pet/BBC B/Apple/Sinclair era, considering them as toys as I was already a computing graduate working with DEC PDP11 all day. I did work on one business system on an Apple 2 where the works power kept tripping out every 10 minutes and I learned to save work very frequently!


Wow. Alumni!!! (not that I really go into that sort of thing )


Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1423040
Posted Friday, February 22, 2013 7:22 AM
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I got a TI-99/4A computer in 1982 when I was a sophomore in high school. I was taking classical Greek as my foreign language class at that time, so I learned TI's BASIC and how to reprogram the graphics to show Greek characters instead of the Roman alphabet. Then I wrote an application that did flash card and quizzes for the vocabulary I was learning.

The application worked quite well and I learned software development (not just programming) and (of course) Greek in the process.

All that with a tape recorder as my backing store and 16KB memory (though I later upgraded to 48KB with the "peripheral expansion system")

Post #1423052
Posted Friday, February 22, 2013 7:23 AM


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My first computer was a Commodore 64, basically the same as a VIC 20, except it has a whopping 64 KB of RAM instead of the VIC's 5 KB. Like Steve, I also took a stab at writing my own D&D game. At some point I started running out of RAM and found that seperating my text and dictionary on an external disk file was a better solution than coding it inside the program file. Without having access to any books or classes on programming, I learned the benefits of seperating data from code experientially through trial and error.


"Winter Is Coming" - April 6, 2014
Post #1423054
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