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02/18/2004:

THOUGHTS . old school


Time moves fast these days... too fast sometimes.

I remember there was this time when I was handling the SPL (Structure of Programming Languages) subject where I would constantly torture students mentally with machine problems and projects making them learn things the hard way. One of the principles behind it was considering that it is a war out there in the real world, you don't baby students to prepare them for war, for the realities of IT-related jobs, you polish them. You arm them with weapons.

We were taught and trained this way as well.

In that university where I taught and tortured students for breakfast and lunch, I practiced this constantly for four years. Along with some classmates who worked in that school as well, we even introduced 'pressure programming' (which I'll discuss more in the next blogs to come) and I pushed that pressure to another level.

But outside those 'war rooms' known also as computer laboratories, we were friends. Well of course, computer-related questions are still not allowed to be answered until they have researched and spent sleepless nights for seven days.

Seven days is such a short time, seven years as well.

Seven years after I first taught, one of those students is in a way teaching me means of making my programming related problems easier to solve. That student is Beakman.

Beakman introduced me to using Views, which I know exists but didn't care much about until last night. You see I have these 'old-school-ic' principles. If it can't be programmatically coded then forget about it. The hell with wizards and one click menus.

There was even a time when my codes when copied and pasted to a .prg file would run smoothly when compiled with Clipper 5.2. In fact back then, I had Clipper versions of my program that whenever I'm bored I'd make run along with a VisualFoxpro 5.0 module making them pass data as if they're playing football inside the CPU. The VFP module was not even using timers, just old school for loops.

Talking to Avatar this morning resonated that possible need to retire parts of my old-school attitude. In fact talking to both Beakman and Avatar make me feel like I'm prehistoric already.

So armed with these Windows 2000 Server and SQL Server 2000 installers, a couple of 20GB hard disks, my old Compaq 500MHz PC, a screw driver, a cup of coke and U2's music playing on the background, I'm setting sail for a new quest.

But it doesn't mean I'll be completely leaving behind the cape of old school. There's something extremely mind-thirst-quenching when using it.


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