|GILES PARK, author of Easibase, talks about himself and his programming |
."I'm 18 and I attend Park Lane Co.lliege (no, it's not named after me!) in Leeds where I'm studying for an OND in computer studies. My interest in computers began when I got a colour 464 for Christmas about four years ago. Since then I've obtained lots of extra hardware such as a printer, AMX mouse, light pen and speech synthesiser. Until a year ago I was mainly interested in games and light programming. All that changed, though, when I bought a disk drive and assembler.
"When I started college I began programming in earnest (no, it's not a computer language!): but simple games and utilities turned out disasters, due to lack of organisation in planning. Writing Pascal programs, with full documentation, flowcharts and pseudo-code made me much more effective. After that it was fairly simple to convert Pascal programs into Basic versions.
"Easibase originated from a smaller database I wrote in Pascal as a college assignment. Originally it only had a few options, such as delete, amend and add records. As I learnt new Pascal routines I would convert them to Basic and add them to my database. The hardest was the sort routine.
"The reason I converted the Pascal database into Basic was so my father could use the home computer as well. He's secretary of a model railway association and has to keep lists of members, addresses and so on. When I bought my disk drive I also bought a database for him to use. After a while it became clear it was totally unsuitable for his needs and was also very unfriendly (no, I'm not telling you which one it was!). So I concentrated on those aspects of my own database.
"I'm now in my second year at college, and we now program in Cobol. Chances are that later this year we'll have to write a Cobol database as an assignment -so there could be Basic, Pascal and Cobol versions of Easibase! We also work in dBase il at college and I can also program in assemble, making five languages in all (not counting French).
"My main interest now is programming in assemble. I've written demos in it and would like eventually to write an assemble game, though I've already discovered what a hard field of programming this is.
"I'd definitely say to anyone who was interested in programming that they should try to do it as a college course. It's the best way to learn, and you get a wider range of experience than you would just working on your own."