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Why I am not programming since I was 9

When I was 9 – no, I did not get my first C64. Instead we had a Mac at home. The Mac Plus I had spent my initiation with had been replaced with a PowerMac 7100/66. I dabbled around in Illustrator and made crappy icons.

On the Mac Plus I had done some stuff with Hypercard. I cannot excatly remember what I worked on – but I specifically remember designing forms for some kind of database. And I wrote functions. Whoa.

Hypercard was fun. It made you create stuff. There was no internet around to download new stacks back then. A couple of examples and a reference on how to do stuff and that was it.

All things were objects with their unique ID: each card, each button, each graphic. Things could animate if I remember correctly. There were mouseDown, mouseUp and mouseOver events.

However, my Dad brought home the Macworld each month. While Macworld was not so much an programming publication, there were ads in there for the Metrowerks CodeWarrior:

CodeWarrior was a key factor in the success of Apple's transition of its machine architecture from 68K processors to PowerPC because it provided a complete, solid PowerPC compiler when the competition (Apple's MPW tools and Symantec C++) was mostly incomplete. Metrowerks also made it easy to generate fat binaries which included both 68K and PowerPC code.

I talked a couple of times with my dad about CodeWarrior. And then it came. The day that would set me on the path for the next 20 years:

I asked: "Dad, can I have a CodeWarrior?"
"For what?" he asked.
"Well," I answered, "to program."
"What do you want to program?"
"I don't know yet."
"Well, when you know, ask again and we will see."

And that was the end of my coding career right there.

Don't worry, Dad, though. I do not hold any grudges – I know you always did everything with the best intentions. I love you.

But ever since I got back in monospace land, I cannot help but think about that very moment every couple of months. Just for a minute. And for that minute, the question "what if" is burning.

I mean, if a kid wants pens and paper, you do not ask her/him what he/she is planning to draw, right?

Being a dad myself now, there is only one lesson to learn: whatever your kids want to do in terms of making, creating, learning: say yes first, ask questions later!