Coding

I first began coding on a TI-84 graphing calculator in 8th grade. The language has no name but is commonly called TI-Basic. I found example programs in the manual and modified them into my own games. Eventually I began to understand how to use the syntax guide to use other commands and I looked online for programming tips. By the end of high school I had enough practice to make fairly complex games such as Snake and Connect 4.
Click here to learn more about TI-Basic.

Eventually I moved onto programming on an actual computer. The more I learned the more I realized how limited TI-Basic is. The calculator has 5.8k pixels, 2 colors and less than 0.5mb of ram. There are also some missing concepts such as user defined functions and objects. The first computer language I learned was AutoHotkey. The language is very easy to learn compared to some others but the downside is that the source code is interpretted by a C# program that executes each command and tracks the variables and checks for errors. This makes it a somewhat slow language for things that require lots of processing, but fine for small or simple programs.

Aspects from coding on the TI-84 still affect how I code today. For example, since the TI's memory is so limited, short source code is very important to making fast programs. This leads me to combine as many lines as possible rather than simplifying things by writing one step at a time. In addition the processor isn't very fast so you try to avoid certain things, such as graphics. Programs where you intend to have more than 5-10 pixels moving at a time won't render instantly. Read: less than one frame per second. One last impact is that I now tend to use do..while loops more than regular while loops..simply because nearly every program worked better using a "Repeat" loop on TI, which is the equivalent of do..while.

Back to index

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional