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Thread: Question for the programmers!

  1. #1 Question for the programmers! 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Hello fellow technology geeks! I'm currently an electronics student studying to become an electronics technician. I really like the subject a lot. Lately we've started getting away from things like transistors and capacitors and started getting into microprocessors and microcontrollers, and with it has come talk of programming such devices. My program will have a total of three programming classes that I'll need to work through.

    All this talk of programming and writing code to get a machine to do something sounds really interesting and I'd like to start tinkering with this on my own time. The problem is that while I've always been really good at fixing things, I havent the slightest clue how you get from a few pages of typed code to the screen showing cool buttons that do stuff.

    My question is are there are any really good downloadable tutorials/programs that can teach me the basics of programming.

    I'll be honest- I've always wanted to make a harmless virus that I can load onto a flash drive that makes it so that if the flash drive is plugged in, the mouse cursor is "magnetically" repulsed by buttons and icons. Just plug it into a friends computer and watch the fun. Of course It'd deactivate as soon as the flash drive is pulled.

    No idea is untouchable. If an idea is infallible, then everyody on earth can test it and learn its truth- it can stand on its own merit. If an idea must be defended and is not allowed to be questioned, then the idea should never be accepted, for it is zealotry.
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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Hello. I don't know when you made this post (it shows you posted on 04/07/2011, the date I registered), so sorry if this is a necro. In any case, since you are an electronics student, learning assembly + C can help a lot.

    some link:
    A really sweet and fast assembler that creates very small binaries:

    A good site for reference:

    A free IDE that uses the gnu compiler, package comes with the compiler (get the 9 MB one):

    Microsoft's visual C++ 2008 express edition, free.

    I think learning assembly will allow you to make connections between computer programming and electronics better then a higher level language. Basically though (as far as cool buttons are concerned) the OS encapsulates the hardware software interaction in a nice (if you are lucky) API (application programming interface). For Windows, we have the Win32 interface, that allows us to create graphical user interfaces. Good luck with your experiments. I recommend you actually try to construct something meaningful and useful, as opposed to creating programs centered around theory all day.

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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    (The post was only from April 1.) The virus you describe would be extremely complicated, so you might want to put that off.

    For a person learning programming from scratch on their own, I've heard good things about Python. Once you understand the basics, it shouldn't be too hard to move on to C/C++. Assembly is very close to the hardware, but can be difficult to understand. (Of course, it could be that an electrical engineer would have the right mindset for assembly.)

    When learning programming, the important thing is to get the right mindset and learn to think like the computer. Most of the mistakes I see from early CS students are at least partially due to thinking the computer understands things somewhat like a human would.

    Also, computerex is right about finding something you want to program. If you have something you want to do, it'll keep you motivated to figure out how to do it. Besides things that are fun, think of things that are boring and repetitive that you could get the computer to do for you.

    Anyway, I don't have much in the way of links since I mostly deal with people already in a programming class, but I found this: It looks interesting. It teaches in Javascript but the syntax is similar to Java and C/C++ and the basic ideas should be applicable to other languages. (Also, hands on stuff has been shown to work a lot better.)
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