“I hated high school. It was the worst time of my life. [Then] college … was just awful. When you’re in high school, everyone tells you, ‘There’s a lot of repetitive bullshit and standardized tests; it’ll all be better once you’re in college.’ And then you get to your first year of college and they’re like, ‘Oh, no– it gets better when you’re in grad school.’ … I couldn’t take it. So I dropped out. And I’m glad I did.” – Jamie Zawinski (jwz), one of the world’s best programmers.
I’m inspired by Mark Zuckerberg. Is that a bad thing?
[Zuckerberg] began messing around with computers early on, teaching himself how to program. As a high school senior, at Phillips Exeter Academy, he and D’Angelo built a plug-in for the MP3 player Winamp that would learn your music listening habits, then create a playlist to meet your taste. They posted it as a free download and major companies, including AOL and Microsoft, came calling. “It was basically, like, ‘You can come work for us, and, oh, we’ll also take this thing that you made,’” Zuckerberg recalls.
He sounds just like me. I also began messing around with computers early on, and taught myself how to program. That was a long time ago now, but I still remember those days very well. As soon as I came home from school, I’d plug in my Cybiko and head to the Cybiko Forums to see what other developers were doing. I’d try coding some of the many, many ideas I had and quickly get stuck. So I IMed Greg Smith, the creator of the “B2C” or “Basic-2-Cybiko C” compiler. He would help me figure out what I wanted to do logically, put it into code, and actually write some real programs that did interesting things. I was hooked: finally I could create applications on my own– and very useful ones, too. I loved the fact that as soon as I announced a new version of my latest application, 10-20 people would be clamoring to download it. I’d get daily feedback from users of my programs, and I worked from their input to improve. That was a very early stage of programming for me, and I admit that my programming skills back then were severely lacking. Still, that’s how I learned the logic and syntax of BASIC and C, and lots of things about the practical aspects of how converters and compilers work. I learned how to work with variables of different types and to draw graphics on the screen. It was mind-blowing, and I loved it.
Talk about putting lots of things into one post. First I went to Evergreen with Michael Stalcup and Theo. It was a very interesting sermon. Personal examples really help to communicate the message. Then I went to SIT (Sophomores-In-Training, I think we’re calling it) at Larissa’s. It’s the very last Spring Training session. Next we’ll be going to the Summer Conference. I’m actually looking forward to it. I’ll need to make sure the date is cleared, and invite friends to come. Nick came to USC for the Admitted Students Reception, and it sounds like he thought it was pretty cool. Hopefully he decides to come.
I spent my Saturday mostly playing Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix. Just about the best GameCube game I’ve ever played. It has been discontinued, so we had to pay almost $100 for it. But it was still well worth it, in my opinion. It’s an excellent game. It’s a true DDR experience for the GameCube, and it features classic Mario tunes. That includes Dr. Mario, and even some Donkey Kong. Awesome stuff, and great exercise too. Unfortunately, that means I didn’t get any homework done. I again brought all my stuff home, only to not touch it until Sunday. At least I got my clothes washed, and I got my iPod Socks. They’re awesome, and well worth the almost-$30. It comes to nearly $5 per sock, but considering the quality, style, and color, it’s worth it. I use it for my cell phone now. I wonder if a sock would fit my cell phone. Maybe the guitar tuner too. Speaking of which, I’m going to need to get a 9V battery for it soon.
and a lot has happened in just the past 10 years or so. It has now been about 10 years since I first got started in web development. Why the sudden focus on time? I logged into my Amazon.com account and looked at my wishlist. This was listed in my profile: “Suzanne Middle School.” I’m in college now. And I’ve been using Amazon.com since before high school. Think about that.