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#getting-started
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# getting-started
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Ernest N. Wilcox Jr.

01/13/2022, 3:16 PM
Hello everyone. My full name is Ernest N. Wilcox Jr. but I answer to Ernie. This is my first message, and I hope I'm not misusing it by introducing myself. Moderators, if this is too much, feel free to remove it - and please let me know. I will not be offended. I am a senior citizen, and I am attempting to learn the Kotlin programming language thanks to the generosity of the JetBrains Academy and HyperSkill-dot-org. I started using computers with the Commodore Vic 20, the Commodore64, then finally an IBM-clone PC powered by an Intel-8088 CPU, 64KB RAM, and a 100 MB MFM Hard Drive in the early 1990s. Around that time I made a hobby of learning a bit about Assembly language so I could build small .com utilities to add commands that did not exist in MS-DOS 3.1. I liked Assembly because the commands were direct and simple, not mysterious and unintelligible. I also attempted to learn a bit about GW-Basic, but most commands were too complicated. For example, there were hundreds of switches that could be used with the print command. It was used to print to the console, a file, or the printer (even if there was not one present - then the output simply got lost in the ether :)). Later, when I moved to Windows 95, I I attempted to learn Q-Basic. That language may have been better than GW-Basic, but documentation/language-specifications were nearly nonexistent. The only sources of information available to learners were hard-copy books that could be purchased from local book stores, and the good quality/most useful manuscripts were very expensive, so I lost interest. Now that I have retired (after raising my family), I once again have returned to attempting to learn a bit about computer programming. I have studied C, C++, C#, F#, Java, and now Kotlin. I also took a stab at Pascale for a while, but I could not find any online courses that I could afford. The reason I have finally settled on trying to learn Kotlin is I want to be able to build apps that can run on the Windows or Linux desktops as well as on my Android phone. I don't know what projects I want to build yet, but I am sure I will come up with a few by the time I learn enough. Back when that IBM-compatible PC suffered a head-crash, I was not able to find another HD - the MFM drives were no longer being built or sold. The technology was obsolete by then, so I embarked on learning to build my own PC. I purchased a copy of "Upgrading and Repairing PCs", and off I went. I discovered that it was not all that hard to do. Since that first 'home-brew' PC, I have built all the desktop PCs I have ever owned. I have purchased laptops because I have not been able to find any laptop cases usable for home-brew construction that are cost-effective enough to make such a project worth-while. My current desktop is a budget-gaming PC, although I am not a gamer. I just wanted to get better performance. The machine has an AMD Ryzen-5 Picasso CPU, 32 GB RAM (the mainboard supports up to 64 GB), an MSi X470 Gaming Plus MAX motherboard, a Gigabyte NVIDIA Ge-Force GT 1030 graphics adapter with 2 GB video RAM, a Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB M.2 drive, and a Seagate 2TB hard drive. I got a new case with 4 RGB fans and a tempered-glass left-side door. The case is designed for good air-flow and has filtered input/output air vents, so the system maintains a CPU temperature range between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius most of the time. I dual-boot Windows 10 with KDE Neon GNU/Linux. I tried Windows 11 for a while, but mouse support is a bit flakey, so I clean installed Windows 10 again and I'll wait until Microsoft releases the next significant Windows 11 upgrade - probably this coming fall/winter (2022). I may find myself switching over to GNU/Linux entirely at some point, but for now I am happy dual-booting. Politically, I'm pretty much a liberal because I believe in the old adage "What's good for the Goose is good for the Gander." - in other words, if I have a right, everyone else should have that right too, and vice-versa. I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I also believe that opinions should be stated as such, and NOT be confused with facts. If you state something as a fact, cite the source of your supporting information. If you state an opinion, make it clear that you are doing so by prefacing it with a phase similar in meaning to "I believe . . . ". That's it. This is pretty much me. I look forward to future conversations although I'll try to be a bit less talkative. Ernie
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Eirik Vale Aase

01/13/2022, 8:23 PM
Hi Ernie! Very interesting read about your foray into computers, I love computer history, so I’ll chew down everything I find! 🙂 Welcome! P.S: We have almost the same home-built budget gaming PC 😅
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Ernest N. Wilcox Jr.

01/14/2022, 8:40 AM
Nice! I built mine based on getting the best hardware I can afford. I'm a retiree, and I live on a fixed income - enough to get by, but I'm not independently rich 🙂, I find that decent quality hardware pays for itself over time, and yields good performance along with dependability, so I may not ever have the latest and greatest, but I usually have equipment that performs well, and lasts. I hope that your experience is as good as mine has been thus far.
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Eirik Vale Aase

01/14/2022, 10:24 AM
I mostly got one to have a proper Windows computer since I’m all into Apple 🙂 I do the occasional PC gaming, but mostly old stuff like reliving my Sims obsession I had in my early days!
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