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Fortran Dragon

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Nov 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/13/98
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From the Void comes Thompson's bearing this piece of Light...
> Seeing as how many dragons are programmers, I was just wondering, what would
> be a good language to start out with?
> Keep in mind that this person has had no prior experience with programming
> (except making a math program on a TI-83).

I'd suggest picking up the Visual Basic Learner's Edition and
trying that out. QBasic is also on the Windows 95/98 CDs if you want to
play around with some simple programs and pick up the basic (no pun
intended) concepts of branching, looping, variables, subroutines, etc..

From there I would follow the others' recommendations and look at
C, C++, and/or Java.

--

Fortran Dragon -==(UDIC)==- | "There isn't enough darkness in the world
-=[MT]=- | to quench the light of one small candle."
Hidalgo Trading Company: <http://home.earthlink.net/~fortran/index.html>
rgcud FAQ: <http://home.earthlink.net/~fortran/faq/rgcudfaq.html>

Samurai

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Nov 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/14/98
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Quoth "Thompson's" <tho...@ez-net.com>:

>Seeing as how many dragons are programmers, I was just wondering,
>what would be a good language to start out with?
>Keep in mind that this person has had no prior experience with
>programming (except making a math program on a TI-83).

Forth! *VBEG*
--
___________________________________________________________
\^\^//
,^ ( ..) Samurai Dragon ~~ UDIC Code ~~
| \ \ -==(UDIC)==- d++e N T--Om+U146MA7'L8u-uC++
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ksj ^--^ ___________________________________________________________

Fortran Dragon

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Nov 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/16/98
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From the Void comes Mike Kozlowski bearing this piece of Light...
[Snip]
> I'm tempted to recommend Perl as a first language, but I can't do so in
> good conscience; once you learned Perl, you'd realize how obviously
> inferior all other languages are.

Amazing. You just called Perl the PL/I or Ada of the '90s. :)

Fortran Dragon

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Nov 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/16/98
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Note: I'm not trying to be nasty here, I just had fun questioning
some of your assumptions. That's some of the fun of computers -- things
can look much different at each level of abstraction.


From the Void comes Lorenz Liu bearing this piece of Light...
[Snip]
> You computer only understands machine codes.

Actually, the computer only understands voltage fluctuations. :)

> Different CPU instruction sets mean different machine codes. ( actually it
> means different CPU manufacturers )

Not necessarily -- CPU families :)

> Assembly is a mnemonic format of machine codes.

Yes, but not completely.

> Their relation is one to one correspondence.

Not always. :) Macro assemblers.

> They are executed sequentially.

Except when the instructions are executed in parallel. Pipelines
anyone?

> The order is relevant.

Maybe -- parallel code execution.

> Assembly is the lowest level of language for human to communicate with
> computer. ( human is the keyword )

I see you've never written a program in hex. :)

> Other languages are thus called high level ones comparing with assembly.

Yep.

> All high level languages must be translated into machine codes before
> execution.

The same is true with assembler, also. :)

> Since assembly is one-to-one unto machine code, it is acceptable to replace
> one for the other for illustration purpose.

As per above, this statement is not always true.

> Thus all high level languages must be translated into assembly before
> execution.

High level _compiled_ languages. :) High level _interpreted_
languages aren't.

> In this point view, all languages make no difference.

This is not the only view, though. (And some of your assumptions
aren't so hard and fast as you have stated.)

> What programming languages do make difference to tell one from others must
> be something else.

Like the fact that a high-level compiler can optimize code much,
much better than all but the handful of supreme level assembly
programmers?

> Here are several:
> 1. syntax
> 2. grammar
> 3. tokens
> 4. interpreter or compiler
> 5. how much? ( I know it doesn't sound like a scholar way of discussion but
> I am no scholar anyway. )
> 6. etc.
>
> Well, that is enough about environment issue. Go ahead to choose your
> favorite tool. ( I use favorite instead of good here; don't mis-read it this
> time. )

More than that, use the appropriate tool for the job (ie,
assembler in memory-limited situations (Z80 CPU, real time embedded), and
a high-level language for OS stuff under Windows). Your favorite tool
may not be the best tool for the job.

Anyway, this is an interesting discussion.

Well-Dressed

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Nov 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/16/98
to

Fortran Dragon heeft geschreven in bericht ...

>
> Note: I'm not trying to be nasty here, I just had fun questioning
>some of your assumptions. That's some of the fun of computers -- things
>can look much different at each level of abstraction.


You didn't leave much room to pick nits ;)

>From the Void comes Lorenz Liu bearing this piece of Light...
>[Snip]
>> You computer only understands machine codes.
>
> Actually, the computer only understands voltage fluctuations. :)


Actually, the computer doesn't understand. It just does, as in 'do' :)

>> Different CPU instruction sets mean different machine codes. ( actually
it
>> means different CPU manufacturers )
>
> Not necessarily -- CPU families :)


Not necessarily -- different CPUs. The x86 is one big family, but they have
different machine codes -- if only because every new generation introduces
new ones.

>> Assembly is a mnemonic format of machine codes.
>
> Yes, but not completely.
>
>> Their relation is one to one correspondence.
>
> Not always. :) Macro assemblers.
>
>> They are executed sequentially.
>
> Except when the instructions are executed in parallel. Pipelines
>anyone?
>
>> The order is relevant.
>
> Maybe -- parallel code execution.
>
>> Assembly is the lowest level of language for human to communicate with
>> computer. ( human is the keyword )
>
> I see you've never written a program in hex. :)


Heh. I'm doing that right now, and I'll spend all day tomorrow doing it.
It's more fun when you've had to design your own machine codes and a CPU to
run them on, though. :)

However, he did stress 'human' :P

>> Other languages are thus called high level ones comparing with assembly.
>
> Yep.
>
>> All high level languages must be translated into machine codes before
>> execution.
>
> The same is true with assembler, also. :)
>
>> Since assembly is one-to-one unto machine code, it is acceptable to
replace
>> one for the other for illustration purpose.
>
> As per above, this statement is not always true.
>
>> Thus all high level languages must be translated into assembly before
>> execution.
>
> High level _compiled_ languages. :) High level _interpreted_
>languages aren't.


Depends on your view. Each interpreted line must be translated to machine
code separately, but it's still before execution of that line.

>> In this point view, all languages make no difference.
>
> This is not the only view, though. (And some of your assumptions
>aren't so hard and fast as you have stated.)


Agreed.

>> What programming languages do make difference to tell one from others
must
>> be something else.
>
> Like the fact that a high-level compiler can optimize code much,
>much better than all but the handful of supreme level assembly
>programmers?


That's not really true. Given a complex enough piece of code (so that there
is room for optimization), anyone with enough knowledge of the particular
high-level language and assembly and with enough patience and understanding
to look at the code as a whole will be able to speed up compiled code. The
best optimizer is still our goo.

For a test at school, we had to optimize a gcc-compiled C program. I ended
up with the most cryptic piece of SGI assembly you've probably ever laid
your eyes on, but I got a near ten times speed improvement (969%!). And I
overlooked two important optimizations, which I estimate would've made the
code 12 or 13 times as fast (one of them was simply loop unrolling, the
other had to do with relations between the contents of certain arrays -
filling them could've been done _much_ faster). Too bad I only noticed in
the train on my way home, but I still had the greatest speed increase on
that test of comp. sci. students this year :)

>> Here are several:
>> 1. syntax
>> 2. grammar
>> 3. tokens
>> 4. interpreter or compiler
>> 5. how much? ( I know it doesn't sound like a scholar way of discussion
but
>> I am no scholar anyway. )
>> 6. etc.
>>
>> Well, that is enough about environment issue. Go ahead to choose your
>> favorite tool. ( I use favorite instead of good here; don't mis-read it
this
>> time. )
>
> More than that, use the appropriate tool for the job (ie,
>assembler in memory-limited situations (Z80 CPU, real time embedded), and
>a high-level language for OS stuff under Windows). Your favorite tool
>may not be the best tool for the job.


Have you ever paid attention to the PC Demo scene? They have these 'size'
contests where people are meant to stuff as much 'demo' as possible within a
certain size limit. There have been really cool demos that were only 1K in
size. Not to mention grep programs that are only 21 bytes. Assembly is just
so cool :)

And have you read Michael Abrash's Graphics Programming Black Book? There
are some assembly optimizations in there that really delight the hell out of
me, such as the various arithmetic functions you can use LEA for (which I
had completely forgotten about after I switched to asm32). That man is
simply an optimization god.

> Anyway, this is an interesting discussion.


Indeed :)


WD

Fortran Dragon

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Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
From the Void comes Lorenz Liu bearing this piece of Light...
> Hmmm, an old face and a new one, interesting!
>
> 1. Thanks for the comments.
> 2. Going to the details loses the abstraction.
>
> For example
>
> 1 apple + 1 banana = ?

2 fruits. :)

Fortran Dragon

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Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
From the Void comes Well-Dressed bearing this piece of Light...
[Snip]

> You didn't leave much room to pick nits ;)

Whew! <wipes brow> I haven't had to deal with low-level
programming for over a decade. I'm glad to see that I didn't make too
many mistakes.

[Snip]


> Actually, the computer doesn't understand. It just does, as in 'do' :)

True.

[Snip]

> Not necessarily -- different CPUs. The x86 is one big family, but they have
> different machine codes -- if only because every new generation introduces
> new ones.

Yes, but a machine code program written for an 8088 will run on a
Pentium II. I was thinking of upward compatibility.

[Snip]

> Heh. I'm doing that right now, and I'll spend all day tomorrow doing it.
> It's more fun when you've had to design your own machine codes and a CPU to
> run them on, though. :)
>
> However, he did stress 'human' :P

Yes, but humans can use hex to communicate. It is just another
code.

[Snip]


> Depends on your view. Each interpreted line must be translated to machine
> code separately, but it's still before execution of that line.

My point was that in some cases the source could wasn't always
converted into _assembler_, which is different from _machine code_.

There are also interpreters that tokenizes the source code and
optimizes what it can. Where that fits in, I don't know.

[Snip]


> That's not really true. Given a complex enough piece of code (so that there
> is room for optimization), anyone with enough knowledge of the particular
> high-level language and assembly and with enough patience and understanding
> to look at the code as a whole will be able to speed up compiled code. The
> best optimizer is still our goo.

The compiler can also 'try out' more optimizations than a person
can in a given period of time. A quality compiler should turn out
assembly or machine code equal to anyone but the absolute best low level
coders.

Compiler optimization isn't black art or deep magic these days,
'just' heavy wizardry. :)



> For a test at school, we had to optimize a gcc-compiled C program. I ended
> up with the most cryptic piece of SGI assembly you've probably ever laid
> your eyes on, but I got a near ten times speed improvement (969%!). And I
> overlooked two important optimizations, which I estimate would've made the
> code 12 or 13 times as fast (one of them was simply loop unrolling, the
> other had to do with relations between the contents of certain arrays -
> filling them could've been done _much_ faster). Too bad I only noticed in
> the train on my way home, but I still had the greatest speed increase on
> that test of comp. sci. students this year :)

Ah! A bit of classic hacking and code bumming.

Point taken. Not all compilers optimize worth a crap.

[Snip]


> Have you ever paid attention to the PC Demo scene? They have these 'size'
> contests where people are meant to stuff as much 'demo' as possible within a
> certain size limit. There have been really cool demos that were only 1K in
> size. Not to mention grep programs that are only 21 bytes. Assembly is just
> so cool :)

I haven't paid much attention to the PC Demo scene. The field is
simply too big be familiar with it all these days. <sigh>



> And have you read Michael Abrash's Graphics Programming Black Book? There
> are some assembly optimizations in there that really delight the hell out of
> me, such as the various arithmetic functions you can use LEA for (which I
> had completely forgotten about after I switched to asm32). That man is
> simply an optimization god.

Abrash's books in on my list of Things I Need To Read. I want to
work my way through Knuth first, though. And the Halloween memo has
gotten me interested in Open Source software again. And on and on and
on. <grin>

Well-Dressed

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Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to

Fortran Dragon heeft geschreven in bericht ...
>From the Void comes Well-Dressed bearing this piece of Light...
>[Snip]

>> You didn't leave much room to pick nits ;)
>
> Whew! <wipes brow> I haven't had to deal with low-level
>programming for over a decade. I'm glad to see that I didn't make too
>many mistakes.


Heh. A decade ago I knew what assembly looked like, but was too frightened
to learn it. Took it up two years later :)

>> Heh. I'm doing that right now, and I'll spend all day tomorrow doing it.
>> It's more fun when you've had to design your own machine codes and a CPU
to
>> run them on, though. :)
>>
>> However, he did stress 'human' :P
>

> Yes, but humans can use hex to communicate. It is just another
>code.


I was only kidding, really. :)

>> For a test at school, we had to optimize a gcc-compiled C program. I
ended
>> up with the most cryptic piece of SGI assembly you've probably ever laid
>> your eyes on, but I got a near ten times speed improvement (969%!). And I
>> overlooked two important optimizations, which I estimate would've made
the
>> code 12 or 13 times as fast (one of them was simply loop unrolling, the
>> other had to do with relations between the contents of certain arrays -
>> filling them could've been done _much_ faster). Too bad I only noticed in
>> the train on my way home, but I still had the greatest speed increase on
>> that test of comp. sci. students this year :)
>

> Ah! A bit of classic hacking and code bumming.


And one of the best feelings in the world :)

>> Have you ever paid attention to the PC Demo scene? They have these 'size'
>> contests where people are meant to stuff as much 'demo' as possible
within a
>> certain size limit. There have been really cool demos that were only 1K
in
>> size. Not to mention grep programs that are only 21 bytes. Assembly is
just
>> so cool :)
>

> I haven't paid much attention to the PC Demo scene. The field is
>simply too big be familiar with it all these days. <sigh>


Well, I was a graphician for a demo group when I was 12. I've always
followed the scene a bit, even though I haven't done anything demo-related
on the PC.

There really are some brilliant people involved. If you have time, check out
www.hornet.org , although when I visited the last time there were some
rumours of it closing down. I certainly hope not. Finland Assembly '98 has
probably just happened; it's a great time to browse for cool demos, graphics
and music.

>> And have you read Michael Abrash's Graphics Programming Black Book? There
>> are some assembly optimizations in there that really delight the hell out
of
>> me, such as the various arithmetic functions you can use LEA for (which I
>> had completely forgotten about after I switched to asm32). That man is
>> simply an optimization god.
>

> Abrash's books in on my list of Things I Need To Read. I want to
>work my way through Knuth first, though. And the Halloween memo has
>gotten me interested in Open Source software again. And on and on and
>on. <grin>


The opened books on my desk:

Sedgewick (Algorithms in C++)
Petzold (Win32)
Swan (assembly)
Strang (Linear Algebra)
Bargen & Donnelly (Inside DirectX)
Hennesy & Patterson (Computer Architecture)
Michael Abrash (GPBB)

I multi-task :)


Slightly off-topic, but I decided today that I'll send resumes to some
UK-based games developers (there aren't many on the mainland) and say 'see
ya' to applications programming and comp.sci. Things aren't moving fast
enough, I'm not having fun, and neither is the reason I started out
programming in the first place. A lot of games companies are seeking
programmers who are 'fluent in assembly, C and C++'. I have 8 years, 5 years
and 3 years experience, resp., so I'm pretty confident one will employ me.
And that's going to mean I'll be moving to the UK... at least this time it's
not a transcontinental move, and I won't need to sell all my stuff again.

One of the toughest things I've ever had to choose; between being certain of
a job but not doing something you like, or taking a chance and hopefully end
up where you've always wanted to be. But even if it doesn't work out, I
merely have to snap my fingers and someone is ready to take me as an apps
programmer again; gotta love the demand for us. And I could always start a
company of my very own :)

Still, it'd be a lie to say that I'm not worried in the slightest. It's a
big step. <sigh>


WD

Samurai

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Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
Quoth Aquamarine Dragon <jdre...@julian.uwo.canada>:
[munch]
>Or, if you intend to be working with Lithtth, the language Lithp
>may prove useful.
>
>Quoting today's fortune for me:
>" THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #12: LITHP
>
>This otherwise unremarkable language is distinguished by the absence
>of an "S" in its character set; users must substitute "TH". LITHP
> is said to be useful in protheththing lithtth." <G>

*LOL!*

Destrius

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Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
...and it was written on the heavens that on Mon, 16 Nov 1998 09:36:58 -0600,
the entity named Fortran Dragon (for...@earthlink.net)
inscribed the following words in rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons:

-clip-


> I see you've never written a program in hex. :)

-clip-

-clip-


> Like the fact that a high-level compiler can optimize code much,
>much better than all but the handful of supreme level assembly
>programmers?

-clip-

This is too much for me. I _have_ to post the Story of Mel.

Sorry if it's a bit long, and you read it before, but everytime I read it,
a shiver climbs up my spine. And it's well worth the bandwidth.


A recent article devoted to the *macho* side of programming
made the bald and unvarnished statement:

Real Programmers write in FORTRAN.

Maybe they do now,
in this decadent era of
Lite beer, hand calculators, and "user-friendly" software
but back in the Good Old Days,
when the term "software" sounded funny
and Real Computers were made out of drums and vacuum tubes,
Real Programmers wrote in machine code.
Not FORTRAN. Not RATFOR. Not, even, assembly language.
Machine Code.
Raw, unadorned, inscrutable hexadecimal numbers.
Directly.

Lest a whole new generation of programmers
grow up in ignorance of this glorious past,
I feel duty-bound to describe,
as best I can through the generation gap,
how a Real Programmer wrote code.
I'll call him Mel,
because that was his name.

I first met Mel when I went to work for Royal McBee Computer Corp.,
a now-defunct subsidiary of the typewriter company.
The firm manufactured the LGP-30,
a small, cheap (by the standards of the day)
drum-memory computer,
and had just started to manufacture
the RPC-4000, a much-improved,
bigger, better, faster -- drum-memory computer.
Cores cost too much,
and weren't here to stay, anyway.
(That's why you haven't heard of the company,
or the computer.)

I had been hired to write a FORTRAN compiler
for this new marvel and Mel was my guide to its wonders.
Mel didn't approve of compilers.

"If a program can't rewrite its own code",
he asked, "what good is it?"

Mel had written,
in hexadecimal,
the most popular computer program the company owned.
It ran on the LGP-30
and played blackjack with potential customers
at computer shows.
Its effect was always dramatic.
The LGP-30 booth was packed at every show,
and the IBM salesmen stood around
talking to each other.
Whether or not this actually sold computers
was a question we never discussed.

Mel's job was to re-write
the blackjack program for the RPC-4000.
(Port? What does that mean?)
The new computer had a one-plus-one
addressing scheme,
in which each machine instruction,
in addition to the operation code
and the address of the needed operand,
had a second address that indicated where, on the revolving drum,
the next instruction was located.

In modern parlance,
every single instruction was followed by a GO TO!
Put *that* in Pascal's pipe and smoke it.

Mel loved the RPC-4000
because he could optimize his code:
that is, locate instructions on the drum
so that just as one finished its job,
the next would be just arriving at the "read head"
and available for immediate execution.
There was a program to do that job,
an "optimizing assembler",
but Mel refused to use it.

"You never know where it's going to put things",
he explained, "so you'd have to use separate constants".

It was a long time before I understood that remark.
Since Mel knew the numerical value
of every operation code,
and assigned his own drum addresses,
every instruction he wrote could also be considered
a numerical constant.
He could pick up an earlier "add" instruction, say,
and multiply by it,
if it had the right numeric value.
His code was not easy for someone else to modify.

I compared Mel's hand-optimized programs
with the same code massaged by the optimizing assembler program,
and Mel's always ran faster.
That was because the "top-down" method of program design
hadn't been invented yet,
and Mel wouldn't have used it anyway.
He wrote the innermost parts of his program loops first,
so they would get first choice
of the optimum address locations on the drum.
The optimizing assembler wasn't smart enough to do it that way.

Mel never wrote time-delay loops, either,
even when the balky Flexowriter
required a delay between output characters to work right.
He just located instructions on the drum
so each successive one was just *past* the read head
when it was needed;
the drum had to execute another complete revolution
to find the next instruction.
He coined an unforgettable term for this procedure.
Although "optimum" is an absolute term,
like "unique", it became common verbal practice
to make it relative:
"not quite optimum" or "less optimum"
or "not very optimum".
Mel called the maximum time-delay locations
the "most pessimum".

After he finished the blackjack program
and got it to run
("Even the initializer is optimized",
he said proudly),
he got a Change Request from the sales department.
The program used an elegant (optimized)
random number generator
to shuffle the "cards" and deal from the "deck",
and some of the salesmen felt it was too fair,
since sometimes the customers lost.
They wanted Mel to modify the program
so, at the setting of a sense switch on the console,
they could change the odds and let the customer win.

Mel balked.
He felt this was patently dishonest,
which it was,
and that it impinged on his personal integrity as a programmer,
which it did,
so he refused to do it.
The Head Salesman talked to Mel,
as did the Big Boss and, at the boss's urging,
a few Fellow Programmers.
Mel finally gave in and wrote the code,
but he got the test backwards,
and, when the sense switch was turned on,
the program would cheat, winning every time.
Mel was delighted with this,
claiming his subconscious was uncontrollably ethical,
and adamantly refused to fix it.

After Mel had left the company for greener pa$ture$,
the Big Boss asked me to look at the code
and see if I could find the test and reverse it.
Somewhat reluctantly, I agreed to look.
Tracking Mel's code was a real adventure.

I have often felt that programming is an art form,
whose real value can only be appreciated
by another versed in the same arcane art;
there are lovely gems and brilliant coups
hidden from human view and admiration, sometimes forever,
by the very nature of the process.
You can learn a lot about an individual
just by reading through his code,
even in hexadecimal.
Mel was, I think, an unsung genius.

Perhaps my greatest shock came
when I found an innocent loop that had no test in it.
No test. *None*.
Common sense said it had to be a closed loop,
where the program would circle, forever, endlessly.
Program control passed right through it, however,
and safely out the other side.
It took me two weeks to figure it out.

The RPC-4000 computer had a really modern facility
called an index register.
It allowed the programmer to write a program loop
that used an indexed instruction inside;
each time through,
the number in the index register
was added to the address of that instruction,
so it would refer
to the next datum in a series.
He had only to increment the index register
each time through.
Mel never used it.

Instead, he would pull the instruction into a machine register,
add one to its address,
and store it back.
He would then execute the modified instruction
right from the register.
The loop was written so this additional execution time
was taken into account ---
just as this instruction finished,
the next one was right under the drum's read head,
ready to go.
But the loop had no test in it.

The vital clue came when I noticed
the index register bit,
the bit that lay between the address
and the operation code in the instruction word,
was turned on ---
yet Mel never used the index register,
leaving it zero all the time.
When the light went on it nearly blinded me.

He had located the data he was working on
near the top of memory ---
the largest locations the instructions could address ---
so, after the last datum was handled,
incrementing the instruction address
would make it overflow.
The carry would add one to the
operation code, changing it to the next one in the instruction set:
a jump instruction.
Sure enough, the next program instruction was
in address location zero,
and the program went happily on its way.

I haven't kept in touch with Mel,
so I don't know if he ever gave in to the flood of
change that has washed over programming techniques
since those long-gone days.
I like to think he didn't.
In any event,
I was impressed enough that I quit looking for the
offending test,
telling the Big Boss I couldn't find it.
He didn't seem surprised.

When I left the company,
the blackjack program would still cheat
if you turned on the right sense switch,
and I think that's how it should be.
I didn't feel comfortable
hacking up the code of a Real Programmer.


--
+------------------------------------------+-------------------------+
| Destrius Dragon | |
| Official Mad Mage | "Am I dreaming of the |
| -=*[~UDIC~]*=- -=*[UnSPLUT!]*=- | butterfly, or is the |
| http://destrius.simplenet.com/email.html | butterfly dreaming |
| Follow instructions to email me... | of me...?" |
| Website: | |
| http://destrius.simplenet.com | . o O (...) |
+------------------------------------------+-------------------------+
UDIC: d+++ e+ N++ T-- Om+ U1234567!8!AWS'! u++ uC++++ uF-
uG++++ uLB+ uA+++ nC+ nR nH+ nP++ nI++ nPT++++
nS++++ nT-- wM wC+ wS wI+ wN+ o- y a16
---| 庄心宇 |--Bait:--| ro...@127.0.0.1 |--| postm...@127.0.0.1 |--

Destrius

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
...and it was written on the heavens that on Mon, 16 Nov 1998 23:33:55 +0100,
the entity named Well-Dressed (well_d...@leavethisout.hotmail.com)
inscribed the following words in rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons:

-clip-


>Heh. I'm doing that right now, and I'll spend all day tomorrow doing it.
>It's more fun when you've had to design your own machine codes and a CPU to
>run them on, though. :)

-clip-

Sounds fun. How's the project doing now? (Is project the right word?)

-clip-


>However, he did stress 'human' :P

-clip-

That depends on how you define a human. :)

-clip-


>Have you ever paid attention to the PC Demo scene? They have these 'size'
>contests where people are meant to stuff as much 'demo' as possible within a
>certain size limit. There have been really cool demos that were only 1K in
>size. Not to mention grep programs that are only 21 bytes. Assembly is just
>so cool :)

-clip-

There was this contest to see who could make the smallest pong game (or
some other game). IIRC, the current record is something near 2K. Or it may
be much smaller than that, as I have bad memory. :)

Destrius

unread,
Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
to
...and it was written on the heavens that on Tue, 17 Nov 1998 22:11:19 +0100,
the entity named Well-Dressed (well_d...@leavethisout.hotmail.com)
inscribed the following words in rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons:

-clip-


>Slightly off-topic, but I decided today that I'll send resumes to some
>UK-based games developers (there aren't many on the mainland) and say 'see
>ya' to applications programming and comp.sci. Things aren't moving fast
>enough, I'm not having fun, and neither is the reason I started out
>programming in the first place. A lot of games companies are seeking
>programmers who are 'fluent in assembly, C and C++'. I have 8 years, 5 years
>and 3 years experience, resp., so I'm pretty confident one will employ me.
>And that's going to mean I'll be moving to the UK... at least this time it's
>not a transcontinental move, and I won't need to sell all my stuff again.

-clip-

Game programming should be much more fun and satisfying then application
development. That's one area I'd like to get into too. Too bad game
companies are non-existent here.

Actually, I think game programming is one of the only forms of software
development that are justifiable to be non-OpenSource. Although there are
quite a lot of GPL game projects popping up everywhere, having a select
group of programmers, artists, musicians and designers to produce a game
still reaps better results.

Making a game is more like directing a movie. Tight integration is
needed. Also, much more money _has_ to be spent in areas of graphics and
sound, so paying for a game is more worth it than paying for a word
processor, for example.

-clip-


>One of the toughest things I've ever had to choose; between being certain of
>a job but not doing something you like, or taking a chance and hopefully end
>up where you've always wanted to be. But even if it doesn't work out, I
>merely have to snap my fingers and someone is ready to take me as an apps
>programmer again; gotta love the demand for us. And I could always start a
>company of my very own :)

-clip-

Hmmm. If you do, don't forget me. :)

-clip-


>Still, it'd be a lie to say that I'm not worried in the slightest. It's a
>big step. <sigh>

-clip-

Good luck. And if anything goes wrong (touch wood!), do remember that you
have a very large support group just *waiting* to psychoanalyse you!

Fortran Dragon

unread,
Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
to
From the Void comes Well-Dressed bearing this piece of Light...
[Snip]

> There really are some brilliant people involved. If you have time, check out
> www.hornet.org , although when I visited the last time there were some
> rumours of it closing down. I certainly hope not. Finland Assembly '98 has
> probably just happened; it's a great time to browse for cool demos, graphics
> and music.

I visited the site and it is shutting down. The link to
<http://www.oldskool.org> was interesting, though.

[Snip]


> The opened books on my desk:
>
> Sedgewick (Algorithms in C++)

I've got that one in the original Pascal.

> Petzold (Win32)

I'm ambivalent about Petzold. He was great for Windows 3.x, but
not so good on win32 stuff. I try to look for books that mention things
like message-crackers these days (wave of the claws to Vulcan for the
tip).

> Swan (assembly)

Tom Swan of C fame?

> Strang (Linear Algebra)

Ugh. I hated that class.

> Bargen & Donnelly (Inside DirectX)
> Hennesy & Patterson (Computer Architecture)

I haven't heard of these two.

> Michael Abrash (GPBB)
>
> I multi-task :)

<chuckle>

[Snip]


> One of the toughest things I've ever had to choose; between being certain of
> a job but not doing something you like, or taking a chance and hopefully end
> up where you've always wanted to be.

I'd go for the latter. Follow your dreams.

> But even if it doesn't work out, I
> merely have to snap my fingers and someone is ready to take me as an apps
> programmer again; gotta love the demand for us. And I could always start a
> company of my very own :)

Lord Well-Dressed?



> Still, it'd be a lie to say that I'm not worried in the slightest. It's a
> big step. <sigh>

Important test always are.

Well-Dressed

unread,
Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
to
Destrius, if I had a dime for each
Time that I've heard you preach,
Why! I'd have wicked thoughts upon my brain.

>...and it was written on the heavens that on Tue, 17 Nov 1998 22:11:19 +0100,
> the entity named Well-Dressed (well_d...@leavethisout.hotmail.com)
> inscribed the following words in rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons:
>
>-clip-
>>Slightly off-topic, but I decided today that I'll send resumes to some
>>UK-based games developers (there aren't many on the mainland) and say 'see
>>ya' to applications programming and comp.sci. Things aren't moving fast
>>enough, I'm not having fun, and neither is the reason I started out
>>programming in the first place. A lot of games companies are seeking
>>programmers who are 'fluent in assembly, C and C++'. I have 8 years, 5 years
>>and 3 years experience, resp., so I'm pretty confident one will employ me.
>>And that's going to mean I'll be moving to the UK... at least this time it's
>>not a transcontinental move, and I won't need to sell all my stuff again.
>-clip-
>
>Game programming should be much more fun and satisfying then application
>development. That's one area I'd like to get into too. Too bad game
>companies are non-existent here.

You live, erm, eh, 'close' to Japan, though. If there's one country
I'd really like to be a game programmer for a living in, it's Japan.

>Actually, I think game programming is one of the only forms of software
>development that are justifiable to be non-OpenSource. Although there are
>quite a lot of GPL game projects popping up everywhere, having a select
>group of programmers, artists, musicians and designers to produce a game
>still reaps better results.

So, a good application doesn't need a select group of programmers and
designers and is therefore not justifiably non-OpenSource? Well, I'm
sure some would love to disagree with you ;)

>Making a game is more like directing a movie. Tight integration is
>needed. Also, much more money _has_ to be spent in areas of graphics and
>sound, so paying for a game is more worth it than paying for a word
>processor, for example.

And making an application is more like constructing a building;
instead of creativity, you go for structure and reliability. I think
both types are worth paying for.

>>One of the toughest things I've ever had to choose; between being certain of
>>a job but not doing something you like, or taking a chance and hopefully end

>>up where you've always wanted to be. But even if it doesn't work out, I


>>merely have to snap my fingers and someone is ready to take me as an apps
>>programmer again; gotta love the demand for us. And I could always start a
>>company of my very own :)

>-clip-
>
>Hmmm. If you do, don't forget me. :)

Any company could use people as dedicated to learning new things as
you seem to be. I respect that in people. I'm sure you'd be a welcome
addition to the workforce anywhere, and certainly around me.

>>Still, it'd be a lie to say that I'm not worried in the slightest. It's a
>>big step. <sigh>

>-clip-
>
>Good luck. And if anything goes wrong (touch wood!), do remember that you
>have a very large support group just *waiting* to psychoanalyse you!

HAHAHA. Yeah, I know! Considering the wonderful jobs we've done so
far, I'm sure I'd like to be rgcud's next victim ;)


WD

Well-Dressed

unread,
Nov 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/19/98
to
Fortran Dragon, if I had a dime for each

Time that I've heard you preach,
Why! I'd have wicked thoughts upon my brain.

>From the Void comes Well-Dressed bearing this piece of Light...
>[Snip]


>> There really are some brilliant people involved. If you have time, check out
>> www.hornet.org , although when I visited the last time there were some
>> rumours of it closing down. I certainly hope not. Finland Assembly '98 has
>> probably just happened; it's a great time to browse for cool demos, graphics
>> and music.
>
> I visited the site and it is shutting down. The link to
><http://www.oldskool.org> was interesting, though.

Yeah, I thought so too. Gotta love the old days :)

>> The opened books on my desk:
>>
>> Sedgewick (Algorithms in C++)
>
> I've got that one in the original Pascal.
>
>> Petzold (Win32)
>
> I'm ambivalent about Petzold. He was great for Windows 3.x, but
>not so good on win32 stuff. I try to look for books that mention things
>like message-crackers these days (wave of the claws to Vulcan for the
>tip).

Hmm. I like his book, but I've only had VC5 Unleashed and VC5
Developer's Guide (can you say MFC?) to compare it with.

>> Swan (assembly)
>
> Tom Swan of C fame?

I know only Tom Swan of Turbo Assembler fame (not that I -have- Turbo
Assembler :))

>> Strang (Linear Algebra)
>
> Ugh. I hated that class.

Well, it's a different story when you want to know about 3D. :)

>> Bargen & Donnelly (Inside DirectX)
>> Hennesy & Patterson (Computer Architecture)
>
> I haven't heard of these two.

B&D is Microsoft Press.
H&P's "Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach" is kinda like a
literary milestone when it comes to designing ICs and CPUs and
everything. Or so the professor told me :)

>> One of the toughest things I've ever had to choose; between being certain of
>> a job but not doing something you like, or taking a chance and hopefully end
>> up where you've always wanted to be.
>

> I'd go for the latter. Follow your dreams.

Was hoping you'd say that. Not that it would've stopped me if you
hadn't... :)

>> But even if it doesn't work out, I
>> merely have to snap my fingers and someone is ready to take me as an apps
>> programmer again; gotta love the demand for us. And I could always start a
>> company of my very own :)
>

> Lord Well-Dressed?

Yeah. And I'd speak in a totally over-done Dutch accent. Dat iz ah
koot idee. :)



>> Still, it'd be a lie to say that I'm not worried in the slightest. It's a
>> big step. <sigh>
>

> Important test always are.

A lot of game companies seem to be hiring. I'd always thought there
would be more supply than demand, actually. Some requirements are a
bit over the top, though; as if a company that's completely unknown
(to me, at least) is going to draw someone with three years of Lead
Game Programmer experience :)

I'll still bother them, though. Ha!

WD

Fortran Dragon

unread,
Nov 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/19/98
to
From the Void comes Well-Dressed bearing this piece of Light...
[Snip]

> Hmm. I like his book, but I've only had VC5 Unleashed and VC5
> Developer's Guide (can you say MFC?) to compare it with.

I try to avoid MFC....

[Snip]


> Well, it's a different story when you want to know about 3D. :)

<chuckle> Yep. That's why I'm not in graphics.

[Snip]


> H&P's "Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach" is kinda like a
> literary milestone when it comes to designing ICs and CPUs and
> everything. Or so the professor told me :)

I don't know. I haven't looked at architecture books in a long
time.

[Snip]


> Was hoping you'd say that. Not that it would've stopped me if you
> hadn't... :)

My area is the application development side. I'm pretty good most
days at problem-solving and I really enjoy it. The thing is, though, I
kind of fell into it and discovered I liked it.

Looking back I realize how lucky I was so I urge people to follow
their dreams when they have an idea of what they want to do. Being happy
at what you do is much better than the alternative.

[Snip]


> Yeah. And I'd speak in a totally over-done Dutch accent. Dat iz ah
> koot idee. :)

I may have to ask one of the other Dutch dragons to provide me
with a rude phrase in Dutch to say to you. :p We have to make sure your
ego doesn't suffer from RG disease.

[Snip]


> A lot of game companies seem to be hiring. I'd always thought there
> would be more supply than demand, actually. Some requirements are a
> bit over the top, though; as if a company that's completely unknown
> (to me, at least) is going to draw someone with three years of Lead
> Game Programmer experience :)
>
> I'll still bother them, though. Ha!

A lot of companies troll for resumes and when they do they ask for
everything they could get in an applicant. I always send resumes even if
the job doesn't look like a great fit.

Fortran Dragon

unread,
Nov 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/19/98
to
From the Void comes Destrius bearing this piece of Light...
[Snip]

> This is too much for me. I _have_ to post the Story of Mel.

Been reading the Jargon file again? :)

Destrius

unread,
Nov 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/19/98
to
...and it was written on the heavens that on Wed, 18 Nov 1998 23:24:28 GMT,
the entity named Well-Dressed (well_d...@hotmail.com)
inscribed the following words in rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons:

-clip-


>You live, erm, eh, 'close' to Japan, though. If there's one country
>I'd really like to be a game programmer for a living in, it's Japan.

-clip-

I'd rather try for Taiwan. There are quite a few simply beautiful RPGs that
have come from there, and at least they're in a language I understand. :)

-clip-


>So, a good application doesn't need a select group of programmers and
>designers and is therefore not justifiably non-OpenSource? Well, I'm
>sure some would love to disagree with you ;)

-clip-

What I mean is that in Open Source projects, the major development is in
functionality and stability, which is mainly what applicational software is
all about.

With game programming, however, you would need more creative development,
which is hard for a group of virtual strangers to work on together. An Open
Source game may have a fantastic 3D renderer, a flexible macro system, and
all sorts of cool stuff, but it may lack good graphics, sound, and a plot,
because these things are better done by people working together as a team.

An app can do without a select group of programmers only because the whole
programming community can work on it without needing to be familiar with
everything and everyone on the project.

-clip-


>And making an application is more like constructing a building;
>instead of creativity, you go for structure and reliability. I think
>both types are worth paying for.

-clip-

But when you pay for a game, you're paying the artists and musicians, as
well as the game designer, something akin to royalty. When you pay for
software per se, you're giving somebody money for a piece of their
knowledge. Not use of the knowledge, but possesion of the knowledge.

-clip-


>Any company could use people as dedicated to learning new things as
>you seem to be. I respect that in people. I'm sure you'd be a welcome
>addition to the workforce anywhere, and certainly around me.

-clip-

*blush* Awww, that's so sweet of you to say... *G*

-clip-
>>Good luck. And if anything goes wrong (touch wood!), do remember that you
>>have a very large support group just *waiting* to psychoanalyse you!
>
>HAHAHA. Yeah, I know! Considering the wonderful jobs we've done so
>far, I'm sure I'd like to be rgcud's next victim ;)

-clip-

So far? Let's see, we've covered depression, personal relationships,
teenage angst, and marriage. Yup. Work-related stress is next on the
list. :)

Fortran Dragon

unread,
Nov 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/19/98
to
From the Void comes Destrius bearing this piece of Light...
[Snip]

> What I mean is that in Open Source projects, the major development is in
> functionality and stability, which is mainly what applicational software is
> all about.
>
> With game programming, however, you would need more creative development,
> which is hard for a group of virtual strangers to work on together. An Open
> Source game may have a fantastic 3D renderer, a flexible macro system, and
> all sorts of cool stuff, but it may lack good graphics, sound, and a plot,
> because these things are better done by people working together as a team.
>
> An app can do without a select group of programmers only because the whole
> programming community can work on it without needing to be familiar with
> everything and everyone on the project.

So, how does NetHack and the various rogue-likes fit into your
equation? :)

Fortran Dragon

unread,
Nov 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/20/98
to
From the Void comes Destrius bearing this piece of Light...
[Snip]
> I feel like printing out the whole thing so I can read it in the toilet. :)

I used to print it out at work on the laser printer when it was
going through so many revisions.

> Of course, there is a printed version. I'll see if I can get that.

I like the Crunchly cartoons (I have all three editions :)).

Fortran Dragon

unread,
Nov 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/20/98
to
From the Void comes Destrius bearing this piece of Light...
[Snip]
> How do the rogue-likes rank in the storyline scale?

Pretty low (though I haven't tried out Angband -- ask Cat about
that one). They are basically dungeon crawls/hack-n-slashers.

Incoherent Dragon

unread,
Nov 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/20/98
to
Is this wretched demi-bee; Half asleep upon my knee; Some freak from a
menagerie? No! It's for...@earthlink.net (Fortran Dragon):

>From the Void comes Destrius bearing this piece of Light...
>[Snip]


>> How do the rogue-likes rank in the storyline scale?
>
> Pretty low (though I haven't tried out Angband -- ask Cat about
>that one). They are basically dungeon crawls/hack-n-slashers.

Them's fightin' words. :)

Yes, most roguelikes are not plot-heavy (with the notable exception of
ADoM - and even my own roguelike probably won't have *too* much plot) but
I have to dispute your second statement. The 'hack-n-slash' description
doesn't do justice to modern roguelikes. There's more strategy and depth
in a game of ADoM than in most commercial games.

Incoh
--
+-- Chris Chapman, Computer Science Dept, University of Nottingham, UK --+
Incoherent Dragon of the -=[UDIC]=- Remove 'hermes' for a reply
http://i.am/the.avatar/ \/ Finger psyqclc@nott for my UDIC code
+---- "Galileo was wrong." "I don't think we were in a vacuum, Max." ----+

Infinitron Dragon

unread,
Nov 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/20/98
to
On Fri, 20 Nov 1998 10:55:21 -0600, for...@earthlink.net (Fortran
Dragon) wrote:

>From the Void comes Destrius bearing this piece of Light...
>[Snip]


>> How do the rogue-likes rank in the storyline scale?
>
> Pretty low (though I haven't tried out Angband -- ask Cat about
>that one). They are basically dungeon crawls/hack-n-slashers.
>

>--
>
>Fortran Dragon -==(UDIC)==- | "There isn't enough darkness in the world
>-=[MT]=- | to quench the light of one small candle."
>Hidalgo Trading Company: <http://home.earthlink.net/~fortran/index.html>
>rgcud FAQ: <http://home.earthlink.net/~fortran/faq/rgcudfaq.html>

Yes, but they have style and complexity. :)

Infinitron Dragon
-==(UDIC)==-
--------------
d++ e+ N+ T+ Om++ U1!24!56!7'!S'!8!KALW!M
u+ uC++ uF++ uG+++ uLB+ uA+ nC+ nR- nH nP+ nI++
nPT nS+++ nT-- wM++ wC+++ wS+ wI-- wN o oA y+ 16
--------------
"Zug!"

Blake Hyde

unread,
Nov 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/20/98
to
On Fri, 20 Nov 1998 20:22:36 GMT, meln...@hotmail.com (Infinitron Dragon) dared to utter:

>On Fri, 20 Nov 1998 10:55:21 -0600, for...@earthlink.net (Fortran
>Dragon) wrote:
>
>>From the Void comes Destrius bearing this piece of Light...
>>[Snip]

>>> How do the rogue-likes rank in the storyline scale?
Never saw this post. (??)

Ah well. It all depends on the roguelike. Some, ADOM for instance, are
very much story-line oriented. Omega is another one in which the plot is
a major part of the game.

Others are less plot-centric. Angband, for instance, has no plot other
than "crawl down kill bad guy win."

HTH

--
Blake Hyde (ROT13: ou...@pbaarpgh.arg)
-==(UDIC)==-
Novan Dragon
--------------
d+ e- N+ T--- Om-- U1347'!S'8!K u uC++ uF uG++ uLB+ uA nC+ nR nH- nP nI--
nPT nS+ nT wM wC+ wS- wI++ wN- o oA++ y a666
--------------

Christopher A Tew

unread,
Nov 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/20/98
to
for...@earthlink.net (Fortran Dragon) came back to Earth with this
great rock n' roll band:
>From the Void comes Destrius bearing this piece of Light...
>[Snip]

>> How do the rogue-likes rank in the storyline scale?
>
> Pretty low (though I haven't tried out Angband -- ask Cat about
>that one). They are basically dungeon crawls/hack-n-slashers.

Angband? Story? BWAHAHAHAHAAHAAAAAAA! Fuck no. The version history
tells more of a story than the game does.


-Cat, whose dog just blew a hole in the ozone with her last bit of
flatulence.

--
Woof justice rules OK!
---tikicat at lvdi.net---

Christopher A Tew

unread,
Nov 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/20/98
to
meln...@hotmail.com (Infinitron Dragon) came back to Earth with this

great rock n' roll band:

>Yes, but they have style and complexity. :)

Well, Angband does, to an extent, if you play a Mage or a Cleric.
However, if you play a fighter jock, like I almost always do, it's
"KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL HEAL KILL KILL KILL HEAL KILL KILL KILL
RECALL SELL SELL SELL BUYHEALINGSHIT RECALL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL."
No real complexity.

Zangband, OTOH, has complexity streaming out of the rear end, mainly
due to the absolutely Satanic RNG piled on top of a wacky yet fun
class system. Wanna play a Vampire Wizard? Sure!

-Cat

Sned The Bold

unread,
Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
to
Destrius wrote:
>
> ...and it was written on the heavens that on Thu, 19 Nov 1998 10:34:30 -0600,

> the entity named Fortran Dragon (for...@earthlink.net)
> inscribed the following words in rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons:
>
> -clip-
> > Been reading the Jargon file again? :)
> -clip-

>
> I feel like printing out the whole thing so I can read it in the toilet. :)
>
> Of course, there is a printed version. I'll see if I can get that.
>

I got the printed one at my local library, they're not too hard to
find. I'm sure you could order it through amazon or something.

Well-Dressed

unread,
Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
to
Fortran Dragon, you'll always be a star.

>From the Void comes Well-Dressed bearing this piece of Light...
>[Snip]


>> Hmm. I like his book, but I've only had VC5 Unleashed and VC5
>> Developer's Guide (can you say MFC?) to compare it with.
>
> I try to avoid MFC....

Me too. Can't believe it was actually meant to make programming easier
;)

And just initializing MFC requires megabytes of data to be loaded.
That's just silly, IMHO.

> My area is the application development side. I'm pretty good most
>days at problem-solving and I really enjoy it. The thing is, though, I
>kind of fell into it and discovered I liked it.

Well, I like to do apps programming, but I'd love to do games
programming. And I can get started on apps programming almost anywhere
- it's nice to have something to fall back on :)

> Looking back I realize how lucky I was so I urge people to follow
>their dreams when they have an idea of what they want to do. Being happy
>at what you do is much better than the alternative.

I'm following. It's just such a shame that most game programmer
positions are in the US - not that I'd mind moving to the US, but it's
something of a hassle for a foreign employee AND his employer to get a
job in the US. Though a programmer might not have it as bad.

Maybe I'll stop by at the American embassy and ask around for a green
card next week. I'd probably have to wait a year, maybe two, though.
It'd be a nice chance to visit Amsterdam again - love that city.

>> Yeah. And I'd speak in a totally over-done Dutch accent. Dat iz ah
>> koot idee. :)
>
> I may have to ask one of the other Dutch dragons to provide me
>with a rude phrase in Dutch to say to you. :p We have to make sure your
>ego doesn't suffer from RG disease.

Heh. I'm sure I already have an ego problem sometimes. Hard not to
when you're just so damn perfect. ;)



>[Snip]
>> A lot of game companies seem to be hiring. I'd always thought there
>> would be more supply than demand, actually. Some requirements are a
>> bit over the top, though; as if a company that's completely unknown
>> (to me, at least) is going to draw someone with three years of Lead
>> Game Programmer experience :)
>>
>> I'll still bother them, though. Ha!
>
> A lot of companies troll for resumes and when they do they ask for
>everything they could get in an applicant. I always send resumes even if
>the job doesn't look like a great fit.

Thanks for the advice. I already suspected something like that - I've
been able to get into positions I wasn't qualified for before.


Well-Dressed Dragon -==UDIC==-
* Holder of one (1) Money Dragon Flame Point *
"La vida total es un porqueria."
- The Pixies

Fortran Dragon

unread,
Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
to
From the Void comes Well-Dressed bearing this piece of Light...
[Snip]

> Me too. Can't believe it was actually meant to make programming easier
> ;)

Second system effect out the ass, I guess.

[Snip]


> I'm following. It's just such a shame that most game programmer
> positions are in the US - not that I'd mind moving to the US, but it's
> something of a hassle for a foreign employee AND his employer to get a
> job in the US. Though a programmer might not have it as bad.
>
> Maybe I'll stop by at the American embassy and ask around for a green
> card next week. I'd probably have to wait a year, maybe two, though.
> It'd be a nice chance to visit Amsterdam again - love that city.

The latest budget bill should help you. I believe the high-tech
companies will be able to bring in more technical people.

[Snip]


> Heh. I'm sure I already have an ego problem sometimes. Hard not to
> when you're just so damn perfect. ;)

Have you been studying F-15? ;)

[Snip]


> Thanks for the advice. I already suspected something like that - I've
> been able to get into positions I wasn't qualified for before.

In my experience it is always a crapshoot (getting a job), unless
you know someone in the company *and* they are pulling for you.

Destrius

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Nov 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/25/98
to
...and it was written on the heavens that on Tue, 24 Nov 1998 13:01:32 GMT,
the entity named Well-Dressed (well_d...@hotmail.com)
inscribed the following words in rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons:

-clip-


>> I try to avoid MFC....
>

>Me too. Can't believe it was actually meant to make programming easier
>;)

-clip-

Who the heck said MFC was supposed to make programming easier?!

Well-Dressed

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Nov 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/27/98
to

Fortran Dragon wrote in message ...

>From the Void comes Well-Dressed bearing this piece of Light...

>> I'm following. It's just such a shame that most game programmer
>> positions are in the US - not that I'd mind moving to the US, but it's
>> something of a hassle for a foreign employee AND his employer to get a
>> job in the US. Though a programmer might not have it as bad.
>>
>> Maybe I'll stop by at the American embassy and ask around for a green
>> card next week. I'd probably have to wait a year, maybe two, though.
>> It'd be a nice chance to visit Amsterdam again - love that city.
>
> The latest budget bill should help you. I believe the high-tech
>companies will be able to bring in more technical people.


Could you tell me a bit more?

>[Snip]
>> Heh. I'm sure I already have an ego problem sometimes. Hard not to
>> when you're just so damn perfect. ;)
>
> Have you been studying F-15? ;)

To ask a question that can be found in any FAQ on the subject shows both
your ignorance and complete incompetence, Fortran.

;)

>> Thanks for the advice. I already suspected something like that - I've
>> been able to get into positions I wasn't qualified for before.
>
> In my experience it is always a crapshoot (getting a job), unless
>you know someone in the company *and* they are pulling for you.

It's a matter of being able to sell yourself as well. Better lose an eighth
of Humility at job interviews. :)


WD

MdmeDis

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Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
to
In article <73m6qr$isp$2...@thor.wirehub.nl>,
well_d...@leavethisout.hotmail.com says...

Oooh. I love interviews. The opportunity to talk endlessly about
yourself to a captive audience ('course, you have to gloss over some
bits) My particular favourites were the Civil Service ones - you had
four people there. My record was a little over 3 hours - it was for a
job with the Diplomatic thingy, and they asked (a)about Northern Ireland
and (b)Israel and the PLO (this was in the early days of the PLO) The
whole thing turned into a huge debate about terrorism vs freedom
fighters....

--
Disoriented Dragon
-==(UDIC)==-

D'ya ever have those days when you think
maybe its you, and not the rest of the world
that's fucked up?

Fortran Dragon

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Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
to
From the Void comes Well-Dressed bearing this piece of Light...
[Snip]

> Could you tell me a bit more?

I wish I could, but I mostly heard about it on the television
news. I believe it profiled on some of the news websites.

[Snip]


> To ask a question that can be found in any FAQ on the subject shows both
> your ignorance and complete incompetence, Fortran.
>
> ;)

Ah, but I know when to apply a FAQ's instructions and when I can
ignore them. Guidelines are a nice tool, but should not become your
master.

[Snip]


> It's a matter of being able to sell yourself as well. Better lose an eighth
> of Humility at job interviews. :)

That too, but I tend to under sell myself and over deliver on the
job.

Well-Dressed

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
to
Fortran Dragon, you'll always be a star.

>From the Void comes Well-Dressed bearing this piece of Light...


>[Snip]
>> Could you tell me a bit more?
>
> I wish I could, but I mostly heard about it on the television
>news. I believe it profiled on some of the news websites.

Oh, okay :)

I think it would be the wise thing to do to make more of a name for
myself (and generate a nice resume) before I try to take on the US's
unnecessarily strict foreign employment policies.

I am considering setting up a small software company with a friend,
which I would work for next to my regular job. If it reaches the point
where I can support myself without the job, I'll go invest my time
into the company full-time. I have nothing to lose, except time maybe.
Which will be spent on learning things whether the idea is a success
or not. I'm still young enough to take some chances in life.

>> To ask a question that can be found in any FAQ on the subject shows both
>> your ignorance and complete incompetence, Fortran.
>>
>> ;)
>
> Ah, but I know when to apply a FAQ's instructions and when I can
>ignore them. Guidelines are a nice tool, but should not become your
>master.

I don't think F-15 is a Dragon of the advice-taking kind ;)

>[Snip]
>> It's a matter of being able to sell yourself as well. Better lose an eighth
>> of Humility at job interviews. :)
>
> That too, but I tend to under sell myself and over deliver on the
>job.

Which is a great way to climb the coorporate ladder, but not of
getting into the company of your choice. Knowing what to say and how
to say it is a powerful tool. I know enough highly intelligent, highly
capable people who will not reach their full potential because they
just can't present themselves.

Well-Dressed

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
to
MdmeDis, you'll always be a star.

>Oooh. I love interviews. The opportunity to talk endlessly about
>yourself to a captive audience ('course, you have to gloss over some
>bits) My particular favourites were the Civil Service ones - you had
>four people there. My record was a little over 3 hours - it was for a
>job with the Diplomatic thingy, and they asked (a)about Northern Ireland
>and (b)Israel and the PLO (this was in the early days of the PLO) The
>whole thing turned into a huge debate about terrorism vs freedom
>fighters....

Heh. My interviews have never been that lively, although I do fondly
recall a certain conclusion to an interview where the company would
gladly take me... but I had decided I did not want to work for them.
They were too 'American' -- focused on the cold, hard data instead of
the person behind it. You should've seen the look of surprise :)

Fortran Dragon

unread,
Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
to
From the Void comes Well-Dressed bearing this piece of Light...
[Snip]
> Oh, okay :)
>
> I think it would be the wise thing to do to make more of a name for
> myself (and generate a nice resume) before I try to take on the US's
> unnecessarily strict foreign employment policies.

They come and go. It is a byproduct of passing the gate test.



> I am considering setting up a small software company with a friend,
> which I would work for next to my regular job. If it reaches the point
> where I can support myself without the job, I'll go invest my time
> into the company full-time. I have nothing to lose, except time maybe.
> Which will be spent on learning things whether the idea is a success
> or not. I'm still young enough to take some chances in life.

Sounds like a you have a good idea of what you want to do. I just
hope you have enough hours in the day. :)

[Snip]


> I don't think F-15 is a Dragon of the advice-taking kind ;)

No, more of the advice-dispensing-whether-anyone-needs-it-or-not
kind. Not to be confused with the days where he is in the advice-
dispensing-whether-or-not-he-understands-it mood (as are we all, at
times).

[Snip]


> Which is a great way to climb the coorporate ladder, but not of
> getting into the company of your choice. Knowing what to say and how
> to say it is a powerful tool. I know enough highly intelligent, highly
> capable people who will not reach their full potential because they
> just can't present themselves.

I tend to do well because I'm friendly and I show a willingness to
take on whatever tasks the company needs.

Well-Dressed

unread,
Dec 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/2/98
to
Fortran Dragon, you'll always be a star.

>From the Void comes Well-Dressed bearing this piece of Light...
>[Snip]
>> Oh, okay :)
>>
>> I think it would be the wise thing to do to make more of a name for
>> myself (and generate a nice resume) before I try to take on the US's
>> unnecessarily strict foreign employment policies.
>
> They come and go. It is a byproduct of passing the gate test.

Well, I know from experience that the US would gladly take me to pick
apples in the WA orchards, but that's not a very wise career decision
to make :)

Really, there are a lot of opportunities in Holland and the rest of
Europe. But being on one continent for 20 years does get boring ;)

I do have an opportunity to do Win32 API programming somewhere in
Silicon Valley - but since the company in question has only existed
for a couple of months, I feel reluctant to sell all my stuff and go
transcontinental (again). Maybe if it manages to do well for a longer
period of time... SV is Mekka for 'puter guys and gals.

>> I am considering setting up a small software company with a friend,
>> which I would work for next to my regular job. If it reaches the point
>> where I can support myself without the job, I'll go invest my time
>> into the company full-time. I have nothing to lose, except time maybe.
>> Which will be spent on learning things whether the idea is a success
>> or not. I'm still young enough to take some chances in life.
>
> Sounds like a you have a good idea of what you want to do. I just
>hope you have enough hours in the day. :)

Hee. I don't think I've ever run out of ideas of what to do. Time has
always been my bottle-neck. I literally can't understand how people
can be bored - life is a game, and you might as well play for the
high-score.

>[Snip]
>> I don't think F-15 is a Dragon of the advice-taking kind ;)
>
> No, more of the advice-dispensing-whether-anyone-needs-it-or-not
>kind. Not to be confused with the days where he is in the advice-
>dispensing-whether-or-not-he-understands-it mood (as are we all, at
>times).

Heh. I try to keep advice a two-way street, but I frequently lean
towards F-15-ism. I am stubborn.

>> Which is a great way to climb the coorporate ladder, but not of
>> getting into the company of your choice. Knowing what to say and how
>> to say it is a powerful tool. I know enough highly intelligent, highly
>> capable people who will not reach their full potential because they
>> just can't present themselves.
>
> I tend to do well because I'm friendly and I show a willingness to
>take on whatever tasks the company needs.

But what if you have no one to be friendly to, no company to satisfy
the needs of? Getting into a company is a necessary precursor to
getting up within a company. You can have all the determination and
ability in the world, but if you can't confidently present yourself
'tis all for naught.

MdmeDis

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Dec 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/2/98
to
In article <3663f0fe...@news.publishnet.nl>,
well_d...@hotmail.com says...

> MdmeDis, you'll always be a star.
>
> >Oooh. I love interviews. The opportunity to talk endlessly about
> >yourself to a captive audience ('course, you have to gloss over some
> >bits) My particular favourites were the Civil Service ones - you had
> >four people there. My record was a little over 3 hours - it was for a
> >job with the Diplomatic thingy, and they asked (a)about Northern Ireland
> >and (b)Israel and the PLO (this was in the early days of the PLO) The
> >whole thing turned into a huge debate about terrorism vs freedom
> >fighters....
>
> Heh. My interviews have never been that lively, although I do fondly
> recall a certain conclusion to an interview where the company would
> gladly take me... but I had decided I did not want to work for them.
> They were too 'American' -- focused on the cold, hard data instead of
> the person behind it. You should've seen the look of surprise :)

I can imagine - but I don't find the American corporate mentality so
different to the British - and I don't find it so different to that of
25 years ago. Seems the new batch play the same power games as the old,
make the same mistakes etc. - the main one being that of rewarding a
successful technician,scientist, engineere etc with a management job.

When I came here, owing to Green Card mishaps, I couldn't work for a
year or so - when I could, I chose to do a menial accounting type job
essentially for mad money - no more career. I interviewed with the
Comptroller of a small company and of course couldn't keep my mouth
shut. During the interview I managed to persuade him his company needed
someone to review and reorganise it - so off he went to persuade his
board, and off I went to start sorting out his company. It took both of
us about 24 hours to realize what we had done and were frantically
trying to get hold of each other to call it off. And of course, he
wouldn't consider me for the job I had gone after.

Fortran Dragon

unread,
Dec 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/4/98
to
From the Void comes Well-Dressed bearing this piece of Light...
> I do have an opportunity to do Win32 API programming somewhere in
> Silicon Valley - but since the company in question has only existed
> for a couple of months, I feel reluctant to sell all my stuff and go
> transcontinental (again). Maybe if it manages to do well for a longer
> period of time... SV is Mekka for 'puter guys and gals.

The 'net is making SV more and more irrelevant. Also, the cost of
living there is ghastly.

[Snip]


> But what if you have no one to be friendly to, no company to satisfy
> the needs of?

Considering how many companies need programmers and technical
people, I have a hard time imagining not finding a company with needs.

> Getting into a company is a necessary precursor to
> getting up within a company. You can have all the determination and
> ability in the world, but if you can't confidently present yourself
> 'tis all for naught.

It depends on the situation: is this your first job -- a few goofs
are understandable then, are you indispensable -- say a certified Oracle
DBA, does the interviewer understand programmers, etc..

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