After the holidays

Armed with a new computer, I have resumed one of the projects I was working on a few years back.

I want to go back in time to some of the earlier programming languages and learn some basic techniques.  Once upon a time, I had begun learning FORTRAN programming. This was back in prehistory when programming was done on punched cards, and all processing was done in batches.

I had actually begun learning BASIC, on a teletype machine using the high school’s system. One of my first independent projects was attempting to do geometry with cooordinates. It didn’t work, because the computer did hidden conversions between integer data and floating point data, and I didn’t realize that testing for equality with floating-point decimals is trickier than it is with integers.   I skipped COBOL, and taught myself a smattering of Pascal and C, and later studied Java and C++ formally, but I never had quite the time or resources, or energy to dig into things the way I wanted to.

There are things I want to do that are slightly different from the conventional methods.

I want to do make better provisions for backup before I do something that’s a little past my current know-how, like properly setting up for multiple programming environments, but for now, I am using the Open Library to check out a text on BASIC programming and going through it and the exercises in it.  I found that the Windows store has a BASIC interpreter, which should suit my needs and let me write and execute elementary programs.

I haven’t given up on the Knowledge Base. There was a slowdown when I misplaced the install disc for Old software on New Computer, because Old Pro software worked better than New Free Software for what I do with it, but I’m back up to working at speed. I’ve been using the divisions of prehistory, antiquity, and classical and medieval history to prompt rewrites and revisions of how history and peoples of the world are applied to various divisions of history. The results are cleaner looking and slightly more informative, and promise to be even more so once I move on to the next stages of my plan.



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