noobish operating system

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by txrex, Dec 30, 2010.

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  1. txrex Registered Member

    So I want to start manipulating my computer and writing codes for things that already exist, basicly I wanna get my toes wet with the whole programming thing but I don't have any clue as to where or how to start shy of signing up for classes. I want to kind of "self-teach" myself. So I guess I should ask which os should I use? I have readthat windows is a bitch to work with. Please toss your ideas/critisizm at me, but nothing about spell check. Thanks
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    I'd say that you should go to school to learn for you'll be much better taught from someone who you can talk with about any problems that might arise. I', sure there are on line courses as well but if your near a school that teaches , that is better.
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  5. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member


    I studied programming at university. It is a bit more complicated than it appears from the outside. Check out your local community college and see if they have anything to offer for starters.

    The code for Linux - like Ubuntu - is free and available. Google Ubuntu and follow the links. That will get you started or at least give you some idea what you are asking about.

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  7. Dr Mabuse Percipient Thaumaturgist Registered Senior Member

    Start reading books on the language you want to learn. O'Reilly books are a great start.

    Steep yourself in reading about it in quality books, and start writing code. This is the best way.
  8. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    Like others had said, if you want to learn how to program as a part of a larger programming group, then you are going to require college or university depending on how far you go.

    This is necessary because creating a program might have been a simple task back when a few lines of code was capable of doing what was required, nowadays you are talking thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of lines of code, and that code is usually spread throughout a team to generate who will have studied how to document correctly so they are capable of working together on a project.

    However don't let this put you off attempting to self-tutor at home, after all most programmers back during the early years that made computer games were actually self-taught through just a few books or resources. It's also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the languages that you intend to use in the future.

    The main languages are of course various forms of BASIC (Which is the novice level language that can aid in understanding how to format programming), the various forms of C (C+/C++/C# with some of the earlier forms depreciated), Java is obviously more important than it was (since the hardware is now capable of running it, I remember when a Pentium 133mhz would struggle to run Java applets). VBasic/C++/Java will allow for the programming of executables and their libraries.

    There are then various interpreter languages (That can also compile to Executables) like Perl and Python that although are native to Linux/BSD/Unix systems are capable of being used on windows systems with the Third-party interpreter software.

    There is then interpreter languages like PHP (which is based on Perl) and ASP, but they are really meant for Serverside operations on websites as well as internal commandline tasks.

    There are then various other areas to be knowledgeable about, for instance with Microsoft and their products you'll find that .NET is important to understand, if you intend to use databases then the you at least need to have a small amount of knowledge in regards to SQL (As it's the base to the many variants of Structured Query Language Databases)

    As mentioned Books are important for studying:

    O'Reilly does some good book, as well as Sams Publishing. There are also various third party books that might be of interest too, especially ones by Andre Lamothe.

    As for: Which operating system?

    Some variants of Linux can be awkward to Build or Update, you'll also find that if you were involved in programming various .NET software meant for windows networking that Linux systems can have difficulty connecting without either third-party installs or hacks done.

    Once a linux build is up and running however, you will likely have a sturdy platform which can be used for various process intensive tasks (since it's not such a resource hog), however you'll will find that if you have the money and patiences you'll find that the Microsoft Developer support is extensive.

    (Personally I'd run both, but thats me for you. Either Dual Boot or run two separate machines)
  9. txrex Registered Member

    @stryder thanks for the suggestions of books. I'm gonna visit the bookstore or the library. After I take a deep long look at it if I don't feel like I'm pickng it up ill go take some classes. And as for linux before I do all my research later tonight, is there a developer that has made a version for a netbook or will it just be something I have to work out?
  10. przyk squishy Valued Senior Member

    As far as I know, running a desktop distribution of Linux on a netbook shouldn't be more problematic than any other computer - just watch out for the odd application that was expecting a larger screen. Until recently I was running Fedora on a 10.1 inch Acer One without any problems. It's a good, up to date distribution that isn't difficult to install, provided you know or are willing to learn a little about disk partitioning (introduction here) beforehand if you want it to share a hard disk with Windows. I've since switched to using Gentoo on the same machine without any problems so far (though I wouldn't recommend it as anyone's first Linux distribution). The most popular Linux distribution - Ubuntu - has a reputation for ease of use and installation (I think it'll even insulate you from having to know anything about partitioning) and is available in a version specifically tailored for netbooks, though I haven't used it much personally.

    You can get a quick overview of how the various Linux distributions and BSDs rank in popularity on Distrowatch.
  11. PsychoTropicPuppy Bittersweet life? Valued Senior Member

    there's also an ubuntu, and many other linux distros that were specifically made for netbooks. But generally it's just cosmetics as far as I noticed. Most linux distros should work on a netbook, but it could be that some things need to be installed additionally.
    Gentoo is all about compiling, lol, okay, seriously, it's not what I'd pick.
    linux mint is based on ubuntu, and is quite quite user friendly, it's the distro I'd recommend to a linux newbie. what I'd never do is have only linux installed on my pc, that's something you shouldn't do, dual boot is the way to go, particularly if you're somewhat dependent of some software that only runs in a windows environment (sorry, but wine doesn't do it all the time), but when you're completely independent from windows software, not a gamer and such...then yay, you can have your whole system linuxised

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    but hey, you don't have to install it, most of them have a live CD, so you can test the distro out without installing it onto your pc which is good to get a general hardware comp look, etc.
  12. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    Agreed on the duel boot thing. I do a lot of gaming and use a bunch of proprietary art programs etc that run on Windows. I have had some bad experiences with Ubuntu freezes and crashes.
  13. darksidZz Valued Senior Member

    No point to learn programming, just what do you think you can do? I have an idea learn Perl as it works on Windows and Linux, it's better =/ you might even be able to make programs for in QT check this out

    You can make programs using Perl that run in Linux and Windows and maybe OS X idk =/
  14. firdroirich A friend of The Friends Registered Senior Member

    I wouldn't target a specific OS as a beginner. I'd go for a specific language instead. When you know more you will then be in a better position to choose an OS. For now, just be happy to play on any field.
    But, if you want to learn C or python then go linux, although python will run on Windows, but I find more use for it in linux. Python is a good first language, check it out.

    If it's Windows you want then go with C#, though you could use Java too - I'd recommend the latter because of the wealth of info and resources out there.
    I began self-taught on BASIC, then self-taught pascal, then it is possible to learn on your own - the important thing is to choose 1, then forget the myriad choices for a while.
    Just get 1 language up to the point you can write simple programs. I've seen some people begin with an earnest interest, then get drowned in all the choice...focus on 1 thing at a time.
  15. txrex Registered Member

    So many ideas... haha you guys are great. I'm gonna hwad to the bookstore and check out python and pearl. Decide which to get when I see them. Thanks for the info, if anybody has anything else to add ill be checking in. Thanks again everybody, I'm jumping in
  16. firdroirich A friend of The Friends Registered Senior Member


    I saw this years ago, I think you should see this before trying Perl
    as a first language....
    It's a scene from _The Empire Strikes Back_ reinterpreted to serve
    a valuable moral lesson for aspiring programmers.


    With Yoda strapped to his back, Luke climbs up one of
    the many thick vines that grow in the swamp until he
    reaches the Dagobah statistics lab. Panting heavily, he
    continues his exercises -- grepping, installing new
    packages, logging in as root, and writing replacements for
    two-year-old shell scripts in Python.

    YODA: Code! Yes. A programmer's strength flows from code
    maintainability. But beware of Perl. Terse syntax... more
    than one way to do it... default variables. The dark side
    of code maintainability are they. Easily they flow, quick
    to join you when code you write. If once you start down the
    dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume
    you it will.

    LUKE: Is Perl better than Python?

    YODA: No... no... no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.

    LUKE: But how will I know why Python is better than Perl?

    YODA: You will know. When your code you try to read six months
    from now.

    A pic is worth a thousand words..

    But having said all that, make up your own mind - it'll help when things are difficult and you wish you could blame someone. Programmers love flame wars (just check out the Emacs vs vim drama

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    ), you will hear any number of 'good' or 'bad' points about any language - just grab 1 'n run.
  17. Spectrum Registered Senior Member

    Well I'm writing that self-teaching is the way to go. Why should you use somebody elses work? Do your own work.

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