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  • Question

  • truthfully i get laughed at a lot i'm 35 and struggle to learn things..... 8 year ago i had a brain op which has resulted in me having a learning difficulty but that aside i'd like some info

    i downloaded the pdf for the small basic program i understand what its saying but it goes from section like hello world to the next too fast for me to take it all in at once.

    some using the pdf may take a week or so to learn and remember all the commands but for me 1 week of learning to the "normal" person is like 5 weeks of learning for me.

    i really want to learn programming mainly to make small games that my kids could play simular to the ones on pogo i know thats a long way away. but would like feedback on anything that people think could help, typing the hello world program 6 or 7 times so i get the commands needed to do it in my memory is really frustrating.

    thanks in advance for any replies and sorry if this is posted in the wrong forum
    Wednesday, April 29, 2009 9:37 PM

Answers

  • I think you picked the right forum. I have found this forum to be friendly and the users helpful. There must be very few people who don't get frustrated at learning a difficult topic at whatever their level. I hope I can offer some practical advice.

    Make use of the Intellisense wheel (the thing that pops up automatically when you start typing). I don't know all the  commands off by heart, but I know that if I wish to output some text it will be under the TextWindow commands.

    Press any character. The Intellisense wheel will pop up. Now press the up or down arrow repeatedly. The wheel will move to show you the available commands. Help for each one will appear in the Intellisense window and on the right of the screen.

    Pick an entry that looks like it may do what you want and press enter. The text will change to that from the wheel. Now press . (full stop, dot, period or whatever you like to call it). The Intellisense wheel will pop up again and offer you the list of commands available in this "group". Select one and press enter.

    Your choice may be an "Operation". This title appears in the help on the right-hand side together with a picture of a gear wheel. Take a look at the text in red in the help. This will show you what you need to enter. Note you don't have to use the same names (eg. x, y, width, height) these are just placeholders for what you want to enter. At a minimum you will need to enter the brackets () eg. GraphicsWindow.Clear(), these are not entered automatically.

    Instead of an Operation, the selection from the Intellisense wheel may be a "Property". These are things that you set a value to or read a value from. They are shown in the help with the title "Property" and a picture of an artist's palette. These items don't need brackets, but do need an = symbol. You use the form Property = something to set a value and variable = Property to read its value. Copy and run the three line program below to see what I mean.

    TextWindow.CursorTop = 4  'Sets the text cursor to row 4
    a = TextWindow.CursorTop  ' reads the text cursor row position
    TextWindow.WriteLine(a)   ' Outputs the value read for the text cursor row

    Where words are required you may need to put them in quotes " ". If for example you wanted to set the GraphicsWindow background colour to red, you would need to write,
    GraphicsWindow.BackgroundColor = "red"
    Quotes are also needed for array names. If you are unsure and you get an error, try using quotes.

    Try out as many of the commands as you like. If you don't understand one, leave it and move on. You may never need it or you may understand it by the time you have tried other stuff and come back to it.

    I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with too much information. Just play with short programs. Modify them (try changing "red" to "green" in the program above). If you're stuck for ideas, try modifying other peoples code; there is plenty available on this forum. The act of doing helps to fix things in the memory.
    Friday, May 1, 2009 11:46 AM

All replies

  • I think you picked the right forum. I have found this forum to be friendly and the users helpful. There must be very few people who don't get frustrated at learning a difficult topic at whatever their level. I hope I can offer some practical advice.

    Make use of the Intellisense wheel (the thing that pops up automatically when you start typing). I don't know all the  commands off by heart, but I know that if I wish to output some text it will be under the TextWindow commands.

    Press any character. The Intellisense wheel will pop up. Now press the up or down arrow repeatedly. The wheel will move to show you the available commands. Help for each one will appear in the Intellisense window and on the right of the screen.

    Pick an entry that looks like it may do what you want and press enter. The text will change to that from the wheel. Now press . (full stop, dot, period or whatever you like to call it). The Intellisense wheel will pop up again and offer you the list of commands available in this "group". Select one and press enter.

    Your choice may be an "Operation". This title appears in the help on the right-hand side together with a picture of a gear wheel. Take a look at the text in red in the help. This will show you what you need to enter. Note you don't have to use the same names (eg. x, y, width, height) these are just placeholders for what you want to enter. At a minimum you will need to enter the brackets () eg. GraphicsWindow.Clear(), these are not entered automatically.

    Instead of an Operation, the selection from the Intellisense wheel may be a "Property". These are things that you set a value to or read a value from. They are shown in the help with the title "Property" and a picture of an artist's palette. These items don't need brackets, but do need an = symbol. You use the form Property = something to set a value and variable = Property to read its value. Copy and run the three line program below to see what I mean.

    TextWindow.CursorTop = 4  'Sets the text cursor to row 4
    a = TextWindow.CursorTop  ' reads the text cursor row position
    TextWindow.WriteLine(a)   ' Outputs the value read for the text cursor row

    Where words are required you may need to put them in quotes " ". If for example you wanted to set the GraphicsWindow background colour to red, you would need to write,
    GraphicsWindow.BackgroundColor = "red"
    Quotes are also needed for array names. If you are unsure and you get an error, try using quotes.

    Try out as many of the commands as you like. If you don't understand one, leave it and move on. You may never need it or you may understand it by the time you have tried other stuff and come back to it.

    I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with too much information. Just play with short programs. Modify them (try changing "red" to "green" in the program above). If you're stuck for ideas, try modifying other peoples code; there is plenty available on this forum. The act of doing helps to fix things in the memory.
    Friday, May 1, 2009 11:46 AM
  • I'm not the sharpeest tool in the shed but I learned to program, in very small incremental steps. When I first programmed in BASIC, about 27 years ago, when I learned the first 'fact', for example PRINT "<string>" prints strings, then I'd just play with different variations of that one command until I knew I understood it. Then when I learned you could loop with Goto, I'd try different things in PRINT strings and loops for a while, just to see how I could make it look. I mean, with each individual piece of knowledge, get as creative as possible. This also helps programming MEAN something to you. The opposite, trying to flash through tutorials can lead to very little in the way of ideas of where to go with it and lots of forgotten information after small absences. Just take it a little bit at a time and don't think about how long it might take... just try to make every little step as productive as possible. Be heartened by the fact that being a slow learner does not mean you can't be a million times better than a quick learner once you 'get' it. It took me a long time, but about eight years after I started I was considered world class and was headhunted to code professionally for substantial European releases, because although my recall is slow to train, my technical ability with what I know is superb. My moral is just because I'm a bit thick it doesn't mean I'm not a creative genius! : )
    Saturday, May 2, 2009 2:30 AM