Getting started


So, you think it would be cool to write computer programs. Like, maybe a even a nifty game or two.

From the perspective of doing this for a bit over 30 years, I think programming computers is plenty cool. People pay me to play with neat toys and they come up with puzzles I can solve using those toys.

If you like solving puzzles or playing games, you'll enjoy programming a computer to play them with you.

Here's the first hurdle. In order to learn to program a computer, you've got to write and run programs. It's like riding a bike (or anything else), if you can't actually do it, you don't really know how it's done.

That means we'll need to install some special programs on the computer you use. These programs are a special editor (that makes it easier to write computer programs) and the computer language program.

If you're not using your own computer, make sure you've got permission to install new programs. This might mean asking a teacher, parent or someone to help.

If you're in school, the teacher may have already installed the programs you need. If so, you can ignore the lesson 4, about installing the programs we'll need.

The goal of these pages is to teach you to write arcade-style computer games that you can play against the computer. These will be real games like PacMan or Pinball with sound effects, blinkenlights and everything.

Surprisingly enough, some of the hardest computer programs to write are games. Luckily, some of the easiest programs are also games. We'll start with the easy games.

One thing about computers (and maybe life in general) is that they are made up of small parts that are stupidly simple. But the parts work together to be cleverly complex.

To start things out, let's see what the simple parts make up a computer. The next page will show you a view of an exploded computer.



Copyright 2007 Clif Flynt