Reference Manual 
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 Reference Manual

(This is a reply to an old message.)

You say "I don't know anyone who learned" ..... "from a book".

When I was in High School there were no computers anywhere in the school,
not even for administrative purposes. I took a programming class on
Saturdays and learned fortran II in the class. For the next year I took a
class to learn COBOL and I forget what I used to learn it but I did know it
before I got to class. I also tried to read the IBM 360 Principles of
Operation, and that is how I learned IBM Mainframe assembler. I ended up
going into the Army and when I got to the Army computer programmer course, I
taught the instructors COBOL. When I finished four years of the Army I had
enough experience to get employment as a COBOL programmer, until the
mainframe market dried up.

I have since learned Basic and Visual Basic from the documentation provided
with them. I have read a couple of books about C but most of what I know
about C, C++, MFC and Visual C++ I have learned from the Microsoft
documentation. Everything I know about assembler for Intel processors has
certainly been learned from books and manuals.

I first learned about Windows and Windows programming when someone needed a
Windows printer device driver written for a proprietary interface from an
IBM PC to a HP LaserJet printer. The driver was a printer device driver that
sent a page-size bitmap to the printer using a SCSI interface. My driver
handled all the low-level interfacing; it had to twiddle bits on the host
adapter to interface with it. I used the host adapter's manual to figure out
how to do it. I got the software working but the funds did not exist to
market the product; the owner lost his house. There is much more to that
story, but the important tning is that I was able to develop a Windows
printer device driver using just the Microsoft documentation. I learned
Windows programming from just the Microsoft documentation.

I can learn from documentation if adequate documentation exists. In a class
I often get bored and have difficulty concentrating on what is being said.
Many instructors dump information without explaining how it relates to other
things, and that is often very frustrating for me. In a book or manual I can
(usually) move around to find related material.

I think it is quite strange that employers value people much more when they
have been educated in classes and value much less people that have learned
from books and such.

Quote:
----- Original Message -----


Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 6:10 PM
Subject: Re: [LogoForum] Reference Manual

> [snipped]

> Which brings me back to my basic point...I don't know anyone who learned
> chess, Logo, programming, or to driver a race car from a book. Do you :>)

> Regards...Jim

> [snipped]

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Tue, 17 Feb 2004 20:26:43 GMT  
 
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