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Forum Index : Microcontroller and PC projects : age

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stanleyella

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Joined: 25/06/2022
Location: United Kingdom
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Posted: 08:09pm 22 Jan 2023
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How old is the average mmbasic user?
I always think of basic used by young students but basic seems to be for old people, like gcbasic is run by pensioners.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHjOuS-rABU
 
Mixtel90

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Joined: 05/10/2019
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3327
Posted: 08:56pm 22 Jan 2023
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Physically or mentally?  :)

Ageing is compulsory, growing up is optional.

Most BASIC users now are those who remember it from home computers in the 1980's. If you say 1985 and that they were 13 at the time then that would give a lower age point of around 50 now. However, BASIC hsas been around for a lot longer and was being used by those in universities so I'd guess that 70-80 now wouldn't be unusual. Of course, there are those who have taken to BASIC much later so the lower end is very flexible (but many, if not most of the younger end, are programming in C++/Arduino or Python).

I wouldn't like to guess at MMBasic users as an isolated figure as we are still a pretty niche group.
Mick

Zilog Inside! nascom.info for Nascom & Gemini
Preliminary MMBasic docs & my PCB designs
 
Nimue

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Joined: 06/08/2020
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 319
Posted: 09:08pm 22 Jan 2023
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51

My journey....

Basic (Speccy Version) >> BBC Basic (Electron) >> Fortran 77 (University) >> QuickBASIC (industrial measurement) >> VisualBASIC >> VBA (Excel) >> Python (Data Analytics / day job) >> MMBasic (Pico/CMM2 - day job and pleasure).

(Scratch when I have to - day job)

Currently learning JavaScript for "creative coding" / Arty stuff.


Nim
Entropy is not what it used to be
 
CaptainBoing

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Joined: 07/09/2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1892
Posted: 09:47pm 22 Jan 2023
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Sixty in september. I think most are grey beards because they are continuing their journey when they were young and computers were new. The next generations moved on to the next generations of programming languages even to the point that it appears JAVA and C (and its variants) have plateaued in favour of stuff like Python and Go which are very popular and still seem to be ascendant.

There are some younger BASIC users but not many teenz 'n' twenties, and certainly nothing like the ubiquitous nature of the 80s - which if you take as very rough 20(user age)+40(intervening years), gives you a grey beard.

That's my take from my observations anyway - I am right in the cross-hairs here, first exposure to personal computers (ignoring the punched cards of school, sent away to local university to run it) was Triton L5.1 running TinyBASIC in 1980 (when I was 16), then my own kit built ZX81+homebrew 12K RAM extension, lots of Z80 assembler on Amstrad CPCs then Amigas (love 68K) then PCs+QB then flipping tons of VB up to the point I stopped programming in anger about 20 years ago and went down the architecture route to design Data Centres, then Clouds to where I am today working on the same stuff in the air transport service industry, almost 40 years later - oddly in the same building where I was a first year apprentice all those years ago. I also have a small side gig of uController based projects, fun and interesting with spurts of fairly generous income but wouldn't pay the bills.

But Z80 assembler - my first love...    
Edited 2023-01-23 07:53 by CaptainBoing
 
matherp
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Joined: 11/12/2012
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 6828
Posted: 10:35pm 22 Jan 2023
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70 this year  

Fortran, PET Basic and 6502 assembler then CORAL66 + PDP11 assembler and various other assemblers, particularly 6809, then Pascal. Then many years of IT management. Post retirement C and dabbling in C++ (2015 onwards)
 
gadgetjack
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Joined: 15/07/2016
Location: United States
Posts: 98
Posted: 10:57pm 22 Jan 2023
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68 this year. Basic was my first computer language. Always go back to what we learned on.
 
lizby
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Joined: 17/05/2016
Location: United States
Posts: 2382
Posted: 10:58pm 22 Jan 2023
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76. SPSS, Fortran, COBOL, IBM Assembly, 8080/Z80 assembler, 68000 assembler, C (Small C from Dr. Dobbs, 1980, Turbo C), 80286 assembler, Visual Basic (1995ish), PHP, javascript, PICAXE BASIC, HTML, Lua, MMBasic, Annex Basic.

~
Edited 2023-01-23 08:58 by lizby
PicoMite on fruitoftheshed
 
thwill

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Joined: 16/09/2019
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2930
Posted: 11:14pm 22 Jan 2023
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Recently turned 49, but feeling much older.

In order, but with much overlap, especially since leaving university:

Sinclair Basic (ZX Spectrum), BBC Basic, AMOS (Enhanced Basic on the Amiga 500), Quick Basic, Visual Basic (4-6), VBA, C/C++ (Borland Turbo originally), Java, PHP, Python and MMBasic.

Dabbled in Fortran, Modula-3, Delphi, ML, Forth and Z80 Assembler.

Currently transitioning to JavaScript, may God have mercy on my soul.

Best wishes,

Tom
Edited 2023-01-23 09:15 by thwill
CMM2 Welcome Tape, Creaky old text adventures
 
palcal

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Joined: 12/10/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 1603
Posted: 11:42pm 22 Jan 2023
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79 and feeling great, started with basic about 1980 did a bit of assembler but found it difficult, gave it all up when Win 95 arrived then back into it when I saw the Maximite about 2010. To keep my mind working and keep busy this is the best thing that ever happened.
"It is better to be ignorant and ask a stupid question than to be plain Stupid and not ask at all"
 
TimD
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Joined: 23/02/2021
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 18
Posted: 12:06am 23 Jan 2023
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54 at the moment, but that number could go up.

Sinclair Basic (ZX80, ZX81), Memotech MTX512, Z80 assembler, Pascal, VB 4, Python, MMBasic.  And not really the same sort of thing, but I really enjoy T-SQL as part of my professional life.

I have fond memories of using an electromechanical terminal at school that was connected to goodness-knows-what mainframe at the other end of the 'acoustic coupler' - I remember cylindrical keys with a travel of about an inch (probably an exaggeration), the smell of hot oil, tiny bits of punched tape everywhere, and so much noise!

I think the thing I miss the most (and have a lot of nostalgia for) was the sense of being on the edge of a revolution - there was so much innovation and resourcefulness around, and everything seemed so new and exciting.  Of course there's still plenty of that happening today (for example, I love my CMM2), but it's probably me just growing older...

Kind regards,
Tim.
 
Nimue

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Joined: 06/08/2020
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 319
Posted: 12:12am 23 Jan 2023
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  TimD said  
I think the thing I miss the most (and have a lot of nostalgia for) was the sense of being on the edge of a revolution - there was so much innovation and resourcefulness around, and everything seemed so new and exciting.
Tim.



What's interesting as a teacher is that when I consider the 1980's - I came to school and was able to access technology that I could only dream of at home -- we had ZX81's in primary school, moving to BBCs and RM 480Z in high school.  I had to save hard to buy my first Spectrum 16k.

Now our kids come to school and literally LOL when I force them to use a Chromebook or semi knackered laptop.

I think that loss of shock and awe is something that is missed in the system --- who / what is inspiring the next generation of "outside of the box thinkers?"

Sorry - its late (past midnight here) and I've turned into a pumpkin.

N
Entropy is not what it used to be
 
palcal

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Joined: 12/10/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 1603
Posted: 01:02am 23 Jan 2023
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One thing I have always wondered about is why there are no ladies doing this.
"It is better to be ignorant and ask a stupid question than to be plain Stupid and not ask at all"
 
Geoffg

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Joined: 06/06/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 2987
Posted: 01:26am 23 Jan 2023
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I'm currently 74

  palcal said  One thing I have always wondered about is why there are no ladies doing this.

My guess is that most of us were geeky kids when the "boot to BASIC" computers came out and we still remember discovering them and the fun that they provided.   Girls were interested in other things at that time and the later generation of kids regarded them as too primitive.

Geoff
Geoff Graham - http://geoffg.net
 
lizby
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Joined: 17/05/2016
Location: United States
Posts: 2382
Posted: 02:27am 23 Jan 2023
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  palcal said  One thing I have always wondered about is why there are no ladies doing this.

I hope I'm not doxxing anyone to say that I think one just turned into a pumpkin. Also hope I'm not misremembering and/or have not wrongly come to a conclusion.
PicoMite on fruitoftheshed
 
Bill.b

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Joined: 25/06/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 206
Posted: 05:25am 23 Jan 2023
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75 in March   I started with a  microbee 128k running ms basic and microworld basic in 85 before that it was machine code for Z80s and 6802s

Bill
Edited 2023-01-23 15:27 by Bill.b
In the interests of the environment, this post has been constructed entirely from recycled electrons.
 
Goksteroo
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Joined: 15/03/2021
Location: Australia
Posts: 97
Posted: 05:47am 23 Jan 2023
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Just turned 71.

First computer was a Dick Smith Super 80 kit computer. Learned a very early version of basic on that along with Z80 machine code. Graduated to Amstrads and Atari STs where my basic and M/Coding continued. Stopped coding when I started playing games on a PC and kids came into my life, but recently found the bug again with Z80 M/C on an Amstrad emulator and no with the fantastic MM Basic.

Geoff
Edited 2023-01-23 16:10 by Goksteroo
 
Cyber

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Joined: 13/01/2019
Location: Ukraine
Posts: 161
Posted: 06:47am 23 Jan 2023
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I'm currently 49.

I'm from Ukraine, and being a Soviet country, we were late for personal computer revolution party. So in early 90's all I had for programming was GW-BASIC running on a slow IBM PC clone.

My friend had ZX Spectrum clone running its own BASIC. And some had a rare Famicom clone with keyboard that had a cartridge with its own strange BASIC. And believe it or not all this was a thing in early 90's over here.

Edit:
In late 90's we gained access to original IBM PCs and compatibles, but I remember we actively used Quick Basic, QBasic and Turbo Basic.
Edited 2023-01-23 16:52 by Cyber
 
Volhout
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Joined: 05/03/2018
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2027
Posted: 07:36am 23 Jan 2023
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  stanleyella said  How old is the average mmbasic user?
I always think of basic used by young students but basic seems to be for old people, like gcbasic is run by pensioners.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHjOuS-rABU


Basic was the first language to learn in the 80's. Most of this forum will know it from that time. Because it typically was an interpreter langueage with non-standardadized graphics and sound commands) it was slow, and not the capable of competing with the compiled languages. Also the "GOTO" keeps haunting it.

Becuase the lack of a standard on anything beyond microsoft basic (still praised with the words "GW basic compatible), the likes of JAVA became popular (mobile phones).
The internet boom placed focus on languages that where more IT centric, like HTML and the such.

It could have been revived as a generic language for the masses, but the Raspberry Pi foudation chose python for "the next interpreter language".

So here we are... people with good memories of the 80's and similar age. The young are in the python camp (except Fabienne (a female intern, 23 year of age) that I pulled into the MMBasic camp. Her words "this is much easier than python". Running temperature tests on airplane electronics using a self written sequencer in MMBasic, the pico PLC I showed 1 year ago.

BTW, I am 62

Volhout
Edited 2023-01-23 17:37 by Volhout
If nothing goes right ... turn left
 
Pluto
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Joined: 09/06/2017
Location: Finland
Posts: 181
Posted: 08:54am 23 Jan 2023
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My first programming experience was with a programmable calculator Commodore PR100 in mid 70's. A bit like PIO programming?

In early 80's I upgraded to a SHARP PC-1211 Pocket Computer with a small docking station with printer (ink ribbon + normal paper). This one is programmed with Basic. With the docking station it was possible to store programs on a connected "normal" tape recorder. I used a small Philips c-casette recorder, which I adapted so it was possible to chain programs. I made e.g. iterative heat-pump simulations which required several re-windings of the tape for each calculation. The Sharp is still in good condition, but difficult to find 1.35V batteries.

If I remember correctly, Fortran was used for chemical reaction simulations (never became a friend of fortran).

Late 80's: HP's basic for control of HP dataloggers.
In the 90's: Excel Visual Basic for interpretation of gaschromatographic data.

For hobby purpose I bought a licence for FlowCode (10 years ago?). This was my introduction to microcontrollers (PIC16xxxx). When it was time to upgrade FlowCode, I found MMBasic. No upgrading needed! Now only MMBasic.

Pluto, sixty-four.
 
CaptainBoing

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Joined: 07/09/2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1892
Posted: 09:05am 23 Jan 2023
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  palcal said  One thing I have always wondered about is why there are no ladies doing this.


the eternal question - "why don't girls follow into STEM fields" - and they do, but never traditionally in the same numbers as boys. It is an explosive rabbit hole but there is pressure on girls to do STEM and obstacles put in the way of boys (so as to favour girls), intake quotas  etc...

and that is as far as I am going into THAT one, except to say it is my opinion that, biologically, girls seem more drawn to the nurture side of things whereas boys have been taking things to bits since they could hold a screwdriver. Not a very popular one these days.
Edited 2023-01-23 19:22 by CaptainBoing
 
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