|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
ichimunkiby ichimunki (Priest)
|on Dec 07, 2000 at 03:54 UTC||Need Help??|
when I was a kid...I downloaded the BASIC source to a game called "Oregon Trail" and changed the code so I survived the journey. Contrary to popular thought, the game was originally played by schoolkids in Minnesota via teletype/TTY computer (reference to that system here: http://www.atarimagazines.com/creative/v10n11/170_Reflections_on_educationa.php), not an Apple ][.
Later I wrote an entire adventure game on my Commodore 64. Complete dungeon. You walked your party of characters through the maze, killing monsters and collecting pieces of some relic. No real graphics to speak of, but this was an age when we thought Zork was pretty cool.
Around this same time I also wrote my first font. Well, if you count hand-computing every bit for a complete set of characters and programming them into the printer a "font". I was the only kid I knew whose dot matrix printer could do Gothic letters.
In high school I got a job as a technical writing assistant at MECC (Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium). I ended up helping helping write manuals on how to use software like Microsoft Works for Macintosh and doing a really cool HyperCard intro... as a HyperCard stack, no less.
In 1997, I made the font "VirginLove" (aka "Ham Lake") and a few other fonts. They're out there. People use them... why I don't know. I think my favorite sighting so far was the banner ad for a pr0n site that used VirginLove.
These days I am not very active as a Perl programmer. When I can I use Ruby. Sometimes I find myself thinking, "Geez, if only this Ruby library had half the functionality of some Perl library". But more often I find myself loving things like irb, the interactive Ruby interpreter which allows you to type and run your script at the same time. Plus, the syntax is a heckuvalot "cleaner". Perl is very clever, but very much in the sense that a pun or a limerick is clever. Ruby is also clever, but more like how a haiku is clever. I think this is owing to the backgrounds of the progenitors (which oddly, have more in common than you might think).
But I still like to check PM once in a while, because I do use Perl to get work done at the office.