Rough Book

random musings of just another computer nerd

Tag: childhood

Ancient Code

I am a pack rat. I keep anything and everything in the vague hope that I might need it someday. It doesn’t help when something like that does happen, and I DO need something. Then I feel vindicated and it only serves to re-enforce the behaviour. But anyway, I have these computer disks that are more than 11 years old. They are from 1994. They contain a bunch of GW-BASIC programs that I wrote. The disks are pretty damn old, and almost falling to pieces. I last used one (the one with all my code) about two years ago and did a directory listing. The only thing that did was screw it up even more. It’s now impossible to access the disk. But anyway, that’s on stupid Windows systems. I knew that I could still access data if I really wanted to – raw data. I put the disk into my FreeBSD machine and ran a dd command, while ignoring errors. It took a long time, but finally it dumped all my data out to a file. I then ran a strings command on it to get text. It was like a time-capsule. I saw all this code that I had writted more than a decade ago. I had been programming for at least two or three years then, but 1994 was when I wrote the most code, I think. I went out of my way to make the output messages from my program sound professional. But well, actually it all sounded kinda funny. However, if I hadn’t done any of that, I wouldn’t be where I am right now and I wouldn’t be doing what I do now. This was where it all started… where I became a programmer. Anyway, here are some snippets, along with my comments:
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In Oman

I’m in Oman right now. I feel a strange mix of emotions. I felt like this the last time I was here. “Bittersweet” would be the right word. It feels really nice to be back here – being with my parents and all. Although I wish my sister was here as well. It would be nice for the whole family to be together again in Oman. I feel really empty sometimes though. All my friends aren’t here. Actually, only one of them is here.

I went over some old ICQ conversations today. It made me feel happy, and very depressed at the same time. I used to talk to so many of my friends through ICQ on this very computer.

It was an amazing time; my last two years in high-school. All of us had so much fun. Reading those old ICQ transcripts brought back some old memories… old hopes… old loves… Towards the end, the transcripts got especially poignant. It was the part where we all said good-bye to each other – when we parted ways. I didn’t feel it as much then, as I do now.

Those transcripts are a time-capsule. I was looking at a younger “me”. Five years younger, to be exact. I don’t think I have changed much fundamentally. Perhaps wiser… a lot less naive… and a little cynical… even a little darker perhaps. Five years ago, I was a young lad setting out on the grand adventure known as “college”. Now I am a young man setting out on the grand adventure known as “The Real World”. Five years ago, my friends and I were just kids. Now most of us are employed. Some of us own houses… and some of us are married.

I wonder where I’ll be five years from now… More so, I wonder who I’ll be five years from now…

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