Finding a Minimum Set of Languages to Learn All Programming Paradigms (2017 Update!)

Mar 8, 2017

Finding a Minimum Set of Languages to Learn All Programming Paradigms (2017 Update!)

A few years ago, I was wondering how easy it would be to learn, or at least *experience*, every type of programming language style. So I ran a quick experiment, and the results formed the basis of a fairly popular article on this site. So recently, when I came to republishing it, I wondering how things have changed in the 3-4 years since.

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Learning Languages through Text Adventure Programming

Feb 9, 2016

Learning Languages through Text Adventure Programming

I love a good text adventure. Some of the first games I played were early 8-bit texties. Like radio vs. television, the pictures were a lot better, even when they consisted of early vector-built forests as well as whatever my imagination could conjure up. When I started programming, the first thing I wrote was a text adventure, and to this day, I think that the best way to get to grips with a new computer language is to do exactly that.

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Riker, As a Service

Jan 9, 2016

Riker, As a Service

Just like every other sane person on the face of the Earth, I'm a big fan of Commander Riker, from Star Trek. Since the release of the utterly brilliant "Riker Ipsum", I've been using it for Ipsum text generation on a fairly regular basis. But I needed more. I needed a service which would give me a RESTful Riker on demand, to generate regular sample dialogue excerpts as required. Well, here it is.

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Getting 'Yellow River Kingdom' Working on RISC OS Pico

Jan 2, 2016

Getting 'Yellow River Kingdom' Working on RISC OS Pico

I recently got my copy of RISC OS Pico, and the very first thing that I wanted to try was running some software from the BBC Welcome Disc. Now, my favourite item on there was a game called Yellow River Kingdom. Here's how to get it running on RiscOS Pico.

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Finding the Minimum Set of Languages to Learn All Programming Paradigms

Mar 1, 2014

Finding the Minimum Set of Languages to Learn All Programming Paradigms

Earlier this evening, I was wondering how easy it would be to learn (or experience) *every* programming paradigm out there. I've tried functional programming, object orientation and so on, but what about Array Programming, or Reflective Languages? The first one fills me with terror (thanks to APL), and I don't even know what the latter is. Well, I figured out a way to find a small set of languages which comprise all programming paradigms. It may not be the *best* list, I banged it together in a hurry, but I certainly found it very interesting, especially given the results.

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Latest News on the COLLIER-1

Oct 3, 2013

Latest News on the COLLIER-1

Well, I've had a frustrating weekend! The EEPROM programmer which I bought from China turned out to be a load of rubbish, so I've sent it back and I'm building my own EEPROM programmer with an Arduino Uno. I'm also taking the opportunity of the time it'll take to get that working to get some new kit in. I'm still sticking with the Z80 for the time being, I don't want the additional trouble of wiring in the 6809 for the moment. Read more for component list and the first program written for the COLLIER-1!

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Sleuth (DOS Game from the 80s) reinterpreted in Javascript!

Aug 1, 2013

Sleuth (DOS Game from the 80s) reinterpreted in Javascript!

I'm sure lots of you out there remember the excellent DOS game Sleuth, which was written by Eric N. Miller in the 1980s. I absolutely loved it, and still play it at Christmas with the family. Unfortunately, it requires an emulator to run nowadays, which can be a bit fiddly. I recently had a little bit of free time, so I coded up a clone of Sleuth that works in Javascript, so anyone with a vaguely decent browser can play it.

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Well, I predicted the loser!

May 18, 2013

Well, I predicted the loser!

Well, I just enjoyed the Eurovision Song Contest. Here are my predictions for the lowest ten. Norway (my choice for winners) came fourth, which I think was pretty good!

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Predicting Eurovision with Country-Level Regression

May 16, 2013

Predicting Eurovision with Country-Level Regression

There seem to be a few people out there attempting to predict the Eurovision this year using this technique or that, from the Guardian's tongue-in-cheek averaging out of past results, to Cold Hard Facts using a Bayesian predictive model. I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring, with yet another equally fuzzy model. I don't expect to do as well as CHF, as I banged mine together in 5 minutes.

I'm backing Norway this year.

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Clock circuit and free run - the COLLIER-1 comes alive!

Feb 9, 2013

Clock circuit and free run - the COLLIER-1 comes alive!

So! This morning, I built a clock circuit, and wired it across to the Z80. The breadboard on the left hand side is the clock circuit. All those black leads on the left of the Z80 are the data bus, which I've wired to the ground to set up a NOP, instruction 0. By constantly providing NOPs each time the processor requests an instruction, the system ought to start at address zero, go all the way to address 65535, and cycle around again. The LEDs are wired to the address bus, to give us an idea of the behaviour of the CPU as it cycles through the address range.

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Preparing the Breadboard for a Test Run - Also a Dream

Feb 2, 2013

Preparing the Breadboard for a Test Run - Also a Dream

Okay, so, small steps first. To begin with, I'll use a battery power source. This is the breadboard set up for everything else to go in. The 5V regulator seems to work fine. You'll also notice that the supply of chocolate biscuits is also still in good order (v. important). So, the plan today had been to set a Z80 up for a free run. Alas, it was not to be.

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COLLIER-1 Memory Map

Feb 1, 2013

COLLIER-1 Memory Map

I'll have 64Kb of address space to play with on the COLLIER-1, and this is how I plan on playing with it, from bottom to top.

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Planning the COLLIER-1

Jan 31, 2013

Planning the COLLIER-1

Hi all, I've had a long-standing (and by this I mean "since around the age of eleven") desire to build a computer from scratch. I've finally planned some computer-weekends, and have started collecting the raw materials for a computer. The first decision that I had to make was about the processor to use.

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