Sweaty Spice, the other Spice Girl

Every couple of years, I get a bug up my butt, and decide that I need to learn to write programs again.

Note: I said "write programs" and not code. That was intentional. I view coders to be people who write programs for a living, and are far superior to anything that I will ever be able to accomplish.

This is a ritual. I get a hankering. I fire up Python, and navigate to Project Euler and revisit at least one of my solutions, before diving into another few.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

But this time, it is different. I want to learn something new. And I have determined that to be C++. I originally learned C back in the 1990's back when I was in grad school. It was something to help with my maths and I found it interesting, and quite challenging. In university, I learned Basic, Fortran, and Assembly language, all on mainframes. By the time I went back for grad school, everything had shifted to PC's and everyone had their own workstation, or even their own PC (as in, not in a computer lab).

I am unsure why I picked C++ this time around. I think I just wanted to challenge myself. Or was it that I have found the source code from a couple of games and wanted to better understand the underpinnings?

A little of column A and a little of column B.

Also, it was a way to get me to work more with my new Windows PC. My Mac's all were easy to write software on. Python is installed by default, and Xcode is trivial (albeit YUUUUUUGE) to install, bringing all the standard gcc bits needed.

On Win10, it takes a little more effort, but not too much. I was going to install the MinGW gcc packages, but then I just bit the bullet and grabbed the community version of Visual Studi0. Like Xcode, it is free, and while it was non-trivial to figure out how to do generic, simple projects, like those a kindergartner would use to learn, it wasn't terrible.

So, I am working through some exercises and tutorials, and it is working quite well. I will go hit my Safari Online subscription (thanks work!) and find a good beginners' book to work though.

It's a living...


The header picture is a still from one of my favorite Monty Python sketches, the "Dead Parrot."

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