Silly Programming Projects

Computers, like television, are terrific time-wasting devices. And at the pinnacle of time-consuming pastimes the computer offers is the black art of Programming, known far and wide to be MUCH more stimulating for the creative mind than web-browsing, playing solitare, or choosing a lurid new color scheme for your desktop (or webpage). Programming, people say, why that’s smart stuff, people make lots of money doing it, must be something to it. Well, bollocks. For me, at least, programming is a pretty mindless form of goofing off. An example of me “programming” would be for me to spend hours writing some trivial perl script to extract some words out of a text file instead of picking them out by hand. If the task is not only trivial but also provides an excuse to learn obscure new languages and their features, that’s even more fun. Just as long as it doesn’t get to be too much like work… These pages demonstrate some of my tinkering:


A web page that helps you do RSS Syndication with Javascript includes.


Here’s a completely pointless Java Applet. This is as far as my knowledge of Java goes. Interestingly enough, it works fine with IE3 (It was made with Visual J++ 1.0, which used IE as its debugger), and gives different errors in various versions of Netscape.

I learned a smattering of C, C++ and Visual Basic in an IBM course supposed to retrain “academic graduates” as “software engineers”. It was more or less a waste of time, except for the C/C++ stuff, which was sort of fun. I had just taught myself Javascript, so I had a head start with the syntax at least. The exercises are the best part of any language course, I guess, and here’s a DOS based Drawing program written as that course’s final project. My girlfriend demonstrated her skill with this by drawing the portrait on my main page.

Incidently, the above linked page was once an excellent demonstration of the problems in Altavista’s search engine, in that it received a high ranking for no real good reason. In the Google era, this is trivial piece of uninteresting history, but there you are.

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