Kapanalig Sa Wala - Literally, one who also have faith in nothing, is a play on words and wasn't really intended to mean something. It was made in jest to call the atheist camp when I was still actively debating god in one of the demised public forums out there. I think walang pananalig (faithless) would have proven to be more precise but I think the intended humor will be lost.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I Love My Pointers!

As I mentioned in the earlier post, I am very reluctant to switch to Java as my main programming language at work. Why? I guess one reason is that I have this fetish of feeling the wires of the machine in my own programs. I don't want to stay away from the 0s and 1s. As much as possible, I like to have the illusion of control on my pointers, memory, and registers. I tried looking for assembly language work but they were scarce then, and scarcer now than before, so I settled for C programming. When I first did C++/C programming, I immediately loved it. My cousin wanted to have a pulldown menu system in his Clipper application and I volunteered to write one for him, in C. I read up on how to interface Clipper with C modules. It was sweet. I like to visualize my functions on how they will look in the stack, how my data structures will populate the heap, what the application footprint will be. Because of this, I was slower than necessary in finishing my programs. I tend to do premature optimization and always conscious of memory footprint and application performance. This is a product of my abnormal passion to do assembly programming. I remember in COBOL class, my teacher Miss Chua noticed that I was having trouble with my workstation so she approached me to ask me what seemed to be the problem with my COBOL program. The assembly language program I was debugging in the COBOL lab was hung and even a Ctrl+Alt+Del wont do to abort it as the BIOS interrupts were messed up already. Yes, that was DOS era and I am talking about BIOS, interrupt handling, and a COM program as opposed to an EXE program. I was debugging a small COM program that's supposed to be for my Operating Systems class under Mr. Didulo, a memory-resident utility I affectionately called Looney Tools. It was made to intercept the BIOS keyboard interrupt and scan the key combination of Ctrl+Alt+T and it will kick in, much like the Borland Sidekick. She asked me if I wanted to do my COBOL machine problem in assembly. I restrained myself so I wouldn't get into trouble any further but deep inside of me, I wanted to scream: YES! Fuck COBOL, give my pointers back!

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