Re: [stella]

Subject: Re: [stella]
From: Erik Mooney <erik@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 00:21:57 -0500
>I took this person off Stellalist.
>I have nothing against him personally.  I don't know if English is his 2nd 
>language or what his problem is, but it seemed like he was just not going to 
>fit in here.  From the context of his messages it appeared as if he had 
>little if any aptitude for programming.  It seemed like he wanted to be 
>coached on the most basic concepts of programming in general, let alone 
>assembly or the VCS hardware.  I wonder what his age was.  He wrote like he 
>was 8 years old or something.

Decision totally supported by me, and here's the Rest of the Story...

On September 22, before he started posting to the list, he messaged me on
AOL IM (must have looked up my name), asking for help in getting started
on the 2600.  He's 18 and his name is Jay.  I'm fairly sure he's a native
English speaker, just lazy like most people that first learned to type by
using online chat.  And he said he's a CS major.

He said he had downloaded How to Draw a Playfield and Distella and didn't
know what to do next.  I told him to get DASM and an emulator, and had to
walk him through basic web browser functionality (Save As; he was trying
to paste the files into Notepad) and the steps of downloading and
unzipping them.

Once we got through that arduous process, he started asking "where to type
in commands, you know all those 10 REM ****** 30 SETCOLOR 2 all that BASIC
stuff".  He had done programming on "BASIC CXL-4002 copywrited 1979".  (I
don't even know what that is... anyone?)  I tried valiantly to impress
upon him how far that was from actually programming the 2600.

Apparently, he managed to interpret that as Runs on 2600 = Assembler,
Atari 8-bit Assembler = Atari 8-bit Basic, and Atari Basic = QBASIC.
Therefore, if he can write something in QBASIC it will run on the 2600,
and if it doesn't the list will fix it for him.  I'm still rereading the
log trying to figure out how I gave him that idea...

I have the full log of my IM conversation with him; if anyone wants it
privately let me know.  After that first session, I mostly ignored his IMs
(he's still messaging me even today), and then he started posting to the
list.  I wouldn't worry about him much; I'm sure he'll get distracted by a
bright shiny object shortly.  :)

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