Last weekend I visited my home town to see my parents. During my visit, I went searching our old storehouse for some old books of mine and I found the manual of my first PC.
My first computer was an Amstrad CPC 6128 – a Color Personal Computer with 128 kilobytes of RAM and an 3” floppy disc drive – my father bought for me as a Christmas present in the early 90’s. It was able to compile BASIC 1.1 and run a version of the educational language LOGO.
With this computer I played my first electronic games (I loved playing Bomb Jack) and wrote the very first lines of code. Although at the time, I didn’t really understand what I was doing. I used to copy the code directly from the manual into the computer; typing run and waiting to see the results.
What I haven’t realized before I found this manual was that it was written in Italian language. Not that it mattered at all. At that time I wasn’t able to understand even simple English. Flipping the manual pages, I remembered how I was trying to interpret the commands after I started learning English in high school.
I remember requesting from my father to buy me a couple of empty disks every time he went for a trip, to save the programs I wrote back then.
My first big software project 🙂 was a standings “database” of the NBA season in ’95 (or ’96 can’t really remember). You were able to request the standings table of the year and to find the match scores of each game in both divisions. Of course it wasn’t a real database. The data was coded inside the main program and every single view it was a different GOTO command.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find my disk case where I kept all my disks. Next time I visit my parents, I’ll try finding the disc case and powering up the machine to take some screenshot (I mean pictures).
This is a video I watched last week. It is about solar roadways. A very interesting idea presented in a hilarious way. I believe that everyone, and not only the sci-fi nerds, would like to live in a world where our roadways are like that. Enjoy
In the past, I have used Wordle which is an excellent tool that allows you to create beautiful word cloud visualizations by pasting a bunch of text or a URL.
However, it looks like the Wordle applet is not working any more. I was looking around the web to find a tool to create some visualizations for this blog. Searching the web for a similar online tool didn’t resulted to an application as good as Wordle was.
However, I did found WordCram which is based on Processing and allows you to manage a wide range of parameters to create decent word cloud visualizations. You can define any set of colors to draw the words and you can use any font installed on your machine.
In case someone is interested in create word clouds,here you can download the tool I used to create this blog’s visualizations which is based on WordCram and Processing . It is a jar file… That means that you need to have Java installed on your machine in order to run it.
If you need the source code, you can download it from here.