In 1990, my aunt - a veteran of FORTRAN at the local Computer Center - bought me a locally-branded version of a Sinclair ZX-Spectrum, called CIP 01
alculator de I
ersonală - translates as Personal Training Computer
). Had a Z80 CPU, 64kB of memory, of which 16k were protected, for use with the BASIC operating system which had to be loaded from tape (!!!) prior to any usage. They probably thought the "thing" could be fed with some other OS besides BASIC, but never saw anything else - except for PASCAL interpretors that ran under BASIC. The newer version CIP 03
had BASIC built-in, but never got my hands on such thing until few years later.
On that computer I played games and nothing more. Later on, I sold it and bought a HC90
(another locally-branded version of a Z80-Spectrum) which had BASIC built-in. On that one I learned first BASIC then machine-code (ASM), because those darn Dizzy games really got me dizzy with that 3 lives limit (only one life in Dizzy 1, if I recall correctly) so I decided it was time to break the limit. And I did, after many, many wasted nights and a lot of copybooks and ball-point pens consumed. I guess that makes me a cracker, huh? :roll: After that, I merely managed to bring together all the good stuff from the copying programs into one super-copier and my concubine left me, taking the computer on her way out.
It was time to get to serious business, so I decided to build myself a real computer. Having been given a couple 286 boards from a friend, I went hunting for a second-hand case, however I got one that still had the motherboard inside; it was an IBM PS/ValuePoint, a 486 SX @ 25MHz that I still have and still works. After buying and mounting all the necessary stuff on it, that computer got MS-DOS 6.22, then Windows 3.1 and later on Windows 95 OSR2.1 on it. And also a CPU upgrade, after I replaced the 50MHz quartz crystal with a 66MHz one, which allowed me to mount the new 486 DX @ 66MHz that I had lately bought for it.
I tried to learn 386+ ASM at that point, but it felt like too much of a difference, compared to Z80 and there also was no real documentation available, so I gave up. In the mean time, I upgraded to a 200MHz Pentium MMX machine with Windows98SE, which fit like a glove to my needs. Later on, while being part of the helper community at Miranda IM, I started tinkering with C/C++, since the code was open-source and there were a few things I really didn't like. At that time I already had a 200MHz Pentium I which worked like a charm, later on being given a SiS-based Pentium III board with all the requirements.
After about four years and a half, I quit the Miranda IM community and found AHK. Straight away, the old logo with the keyboard drew me in. The fact that I could build a GUI with only a few lines of code nailed me to the AHK community and I started delving into the AHK language. While there and since AHK does have its lacks, I had to go back digging C/C++ code to use in AHK scripts, mostly direct function calls through DllCall(), which - amazingly - I found very easy to understand at first sight. Still running the extremely light and responsive 98SE on a 667MHz Pentium III computer as I'm typing this, I'm building scripts that do run on other OS versions, however for my main machine and for my own personal taste (you try a Win98SE after installing Tihiy's Revolutions Pack 9.7.2 and tell me how it looks like!
) I cannot install and run any AHK version that is not 9x-compatible.
Thank you everybody for sharing your previous experience; it's nice to know where everybody is coming from.