In his own words
I am a pretty good programmer. I program well in C, C++, Java, perl, shells, and PHP. I'm not really a guru in any (well, maybe C, but there are people whose skills at algorithms utterly blow me out of the water). My real skill is seeing the potential in other people's work and jumping on the bandwagon early so I can maximally profit from the cleverness of others. This is a socially valuable skill since it prevents me and others like me from having to become actual thieves. I love technology mainly because I fear it. I *must* know how things work, otherwise I don't have the upper hand, the things do. I think most of the people who program are like me, Salieris to a handful of Mozarts. And that's okay. Sherlock Holmes didn't write the stories, it was his bright but less intelligent friend, Dr. Watson.
My father was an electrical engineer who worked at Control Data for many years. He and I started homebrewing a S-100 bus Z80A based computer in the late 1970's. I had to start by writing I/O functions for the BIOS. I learned polling and interrupts here. The first time code of mine made the big single-sided single-density 8-inch BR-803 floppy drives step out to track zero and load the head, I was totally hooked to computers. The POWER! All that technology and engineering waiting for ME to tell it what to do! Heady stuff for a 12-year-old. Now that I think about, I suspect anyone who has wanted to be a programmer from an early age probably has psychological issues that require therapy.
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