(not Monty) Python

I’ve been looking for a programming environment to ensure that my already rusty technical skills don’t atrophy completely.  I’ve tried Java, but it is so ‘object’ focused that I find it difficult to relate this to my old non-object programming languages, (COBOL, DecBASIC, EAL, Delta).

I downloaded Visual Basic Express, as I know this is the language of teaching of Choice for the Open University.  But as I was telling my friend about this, he reminded me of Python.  The good news was that it was already on my Mac, but have taken some good advice and created a separate development environment (forcing me to use sudo on my mac for the first time, a scary proposition).  Windows installations are much easier, and now have the same IDE (called IDLE) on both Mac and PC.

Which is nice.

It brings about much of the immediacy which I used to enjoy with my own home computing, there can’t be that many people that can still type from memory a simple Sinclair ZX-81 programm.

10 LET A=INT(16*RND)

20 IF A>=8 THEN LET A =A+120

30 PRINT CHR$(A);

40 GOTO 10

Which used to great a screen of blocky characters – ah, the fun we used to have before the Internet.

I’ve bought myself a ‘cheap’ Python book on Simon’s recommendation, Core PYTHON Programming which should arrive tomorrow (though I’ve got a downer on Amazon’s delivery at the moment, guess the pre-christmas problems have started early this year).  There are lots of online tutorials, but of course you’re always tempted to ‘cut and paste’ the coding examples rather than type them in yourself, which is the way that I’ve learned so much of my coding.

Pyhton seems to be a ‘proper’ language… whilst I’m not even dabbling my toes at the moment, I’m looking forward to seeing what it can do.  I also think Simon had an ulterior motive, being one of the Organisers  of PYCON UK 2007.  For obvious reasons he wasn’t around much for 2008, but as the conference takes place in Birmingham, I would be daft not to at least look at going in 2009.

Today’s been frustrating, with problems sending/receiving text messages, clearly my local cell is overloaded, I’m getting fragments of texts in the wrong sequence.  I’m sure it’ll get cleared, in the meantime I’ve had to resort to ringing people up – shudder.

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2 comments so far

  1. John Colby on

    Syntax error in line 20 🙂

  2. Andy Hollyhead on

    Fixed 🙂


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