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Hello from the Netherlands

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Hi there,

My name is Wouter Spekkink. I stumbled into this project a few days ago. Sorry for a somewhat longish background story: My father used to have a Commodore 64 that fascinated me as a child, but of which I had no clue how to use it. Fast-forward to 2012: I started picking up learning how to write code, which was another fascination I had done little with. I learned some of the basics of writing code in C++, moved on to writing simple plugins for an open source project (Gephi; which is Java-based) and then to writing software for the implementation of a social-scientific methodology I have been working on over the years (not published yet, but if you're interested, see some posts on it on my blog www.wouterspekkink.org). Writing software and more generally mucking about with my computers has grown into something that resembles a hobby. I had a lot of fun making a switch to ArcoLinux recently and configuring everything just the way I like it.

Now I was looking for something more substantial to tinker with, and I was reminded of my dad's Commodore 64. I asked him about it, and unfortunately it seems to be 'no longer with us'. I then came across the C64 maxi (which I then bought) and very quickly became obsessed with getting to know the Commodore 64 better and learning how to hack it. That's also how I (very recently) found the channels of 'the 8-bit guy', '8-bit show and tell', 'Retro Recipes', and others, and it feels like having found a goldmine. 

Just as a quick aside: I think the main reason why I became obsessed with the C64 so quickly is the way that its limitations (compared with modern machines) necessite a deeper exploration of how it works and how to make best use of it. I've never had that sensation with my modern machines, which are honestly highly overpowered for what I generally do with them. 

And then I came across this project. It took me about 3 cpu cycles to decide I am going to buy this machine when it becomes available. It is such a great idea! 

And then on a more personal note: I was born in the 80s so for me this is not so much about nostalgia as feeling that I have missed out on a awesome era of computing. My impression is that 80s-era computers stimulate exploration and learning in a way that modern machines don't and often even steer you away from. I'm at the very beginning of various learning curves, such as learning to write software in assembly language and how to actually take into account the limitations of your hardware when you're writing software. I have almost no experience in BASIC either, but my impression is that my experience with other languages makes BASIC very easy to learn for me. I have sort of 'skipped forward' to machine language because that just looked much less familiar (and therefore interesting) to me. 

I'm a lecturer and researcher in Public Administration in my everyday life.


Edited by wahsp
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Hi Wouter,

I appreciate your view on retro machines. Mine slightly differs: I like both retro and modern machines.

- retro machines for the total control you get over them, the direct to the metal programming and the limitations that breeds creativity

- modern machines for the near limitless power they have: you can freely explore math and algorithms. The One Lone Coder channel illustrates this well.

Like you I'm learning 65c02 assembly and it is clearly an unusual and interesting approach to programming.

Have fun!


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Hi DrType! 

Thanks for pointing me to that channel!

Just to clarify: I do like the power of modern machines. I did invest in my overpowered one for a reason. 🙂 Maybe my comment about modern machines not stimulating learning is not completely fair. They abstract a lot out for you, but that of course enables you to focus on other stuff that is more important to the task at hand.

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2 minutes ago, evlthecat said:

Glad you are here to have some fun!  I am pretty new here too, so I don't have much to offer in the way of advice.  Your story parallels my own experience and motivation

for being here. Just wanted to say hello and welcome.

If you haven't already found it, may I suggest: Matt Heffernan's Youtube channel on Assembly programming.

Have a wonderful day!

Thanks! Yes, I found that channel last night! I also found some great resources on this page's wiki.

You have a wonderful day too!

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Hi Wouter, welcome!

Your intro makes me curious: What other languages have you programmed in?



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