My those Page 6 days seem a very long time ago.
When I first started playing with an Atari I was a mechanical
engineer officer in the submarine branch of the Royal Navy. I always
liked puzzles and the text adventures were very addictive.
When I tried a bit of programming I found that was also addictive.
There had to be a solution to what you wanted to do, but piecing the
logic together was sometimes quite difficult. Anyhow Les was looking for
more material for the magazine, so I jumped in and tried my hand at
writing short tutorial articles.
Some years later, having retired from the RN, I was working for a
training simulator company (Link-Miles) and was made redundant as a
result of a take-over. My earlier experience with Atari Basic then bore
fruit when a friend asked me if I would be interested in becoming a
trainer of Microsoft Visual Basic. That small beginning gave me the
confidence to say "Yes" and I am now a Microsoft Certified Trainer
delivering courses in Visual Basic .NET and SQL Server development.
The programmers toolkit these days is quite amazing and hugely
powerful, but it requires enormous resources. The computer I am writing
this on has a Gigabyte of memory and a 250 Gigabyte HHD; my first Atari
had 8k RAM, 8k basic interpreter cartridge and a cassette tape for
storage. My installation of Visual Studio occupies over 840 Megabytes of
disc space. Where will it all end??
Ian Finlayson, June 2006