Learning C.

2004-09-16 00:15

Wow. This brings back memories. I just found an article describing how I learned C.

It’s long. Some of it won’t make much sense if you aren’t a programmer.

But… Just as many Christians have their testimony, the story of how they became Christian, I think a lot of geeks have, somewhere in them, the story of how they became a computer person. That story is a large part of mine. I’m still active with C today, having been a member of the C standards committee for the last few years.

…Although I may be about to lose my voting rights on the C standards committee due to lack of funding; Microsoft’s hosting the current meeting, and whenever Microsoft hosts a meeting, it’s in a hotel where the special discount rate is $147/night, plus fees, plus taxes, and the only food around is expensive food, unless you rented a car so you could drive to the only sort of expensive supermarket and make your own. So… For a 5-day meeting, I’d be spending about $800 on the hotel, plus a fair amount on airfare… This is a bit much for a freelance writer to pay to pursue one of his hobbies, even if it is a fun hobby. But if I don’t make enough meetings, I lose my voting privileges until I can make it to two out of three consecutive meetings, which could be a while given how expensive it is.

Ironically, it costs $800 a year to be a member of a committee. This money goes to pay for a bunch of bureaucrats who do absolutely nothing but inconvenience us; to the best of my knowledge, the C committee recieves no services at all from the parent organization. We pay our own way to meetings, the hosts of meetings pay the expenses for the meeting, we do our own document distribution… But we have to pay $800/year/member for whatever it is that they do, which appears to be absolutely nothing.

Who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky and there will be a meeting somewhere cheaper next year that I can actually go to. The meetings themselves are a blast. Well, they’re a blast to C programmers. There’s a certain joy in being in a room full of people who all laugh when you say “maybe we should use static for that”.

Anyway, that’s a post from 8 years ago, long before I got to my current state of comfort with computers and programming languages.

But… Yes, I’m still learning. Programming is a big field.

Peter Seebach

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