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Author Topic: How do I learn to program?  (Read 6403 times)

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Offline FroggyTopic starter

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How do I learn to program?
« on: December 07, 2007, 07:56:36 AM »
I really want to do this robotics stuff, but I'm a real moron about computers--like I can do WORD and download music and that's about it.  And I was never much good at math or algebra.  (You're thinking, OK so get off this website, moron.)  Well, but I really am going to figure this out some way.  The one thing I've got going for me is I can make anything mechanical and have jillions of tools.  I'm reading up about electronics, and I think I'm going to be able to figure out that part of it.  I've got the parts for the $50 Robot and I'll be able to do that OK, but I need to learn how to program a micro processor myself, not just bum code off of you genius types.

My question is what's the best starter book to learn basic programming?  I just ordered 'Robot Builder's Bonanza, Third Edition'  and 'PIC Microcontroller Project Book : For PIC Basic and PIC Basic Pro Compliers' from Amazon.  Are those the very most basic?  I mean, I really need reeeeeel basic.

I'd really appreciate your opinions.

Emily (Yeah OK Im a girl but I like this kind of stuff.)

Offline Rebelgium

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2007, 11:00:27 AM »
I don't know much about books, so I can't tell if you bought good ones or not.
But I have the feeling you are on your way, you've got the motivation, that's the most important thing.

I'd advise you to get someone elses code (the simplest you can find) , and try to understand it.
Try to modify small things in the code, etc.
To relax after some hard work on robotics: A very fun free online text based MMORPG
orgcrime.net

Offline airman00

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2007, 11:49:31 AM »
froggy those are excellent books , however
the robot builders bonanza uses the BASIC stamp microcontroller
and PIC Microcontroller Project Book uses a PIC microcontroller

I prefer using PIC microcontroller with the PICBASIC compiler- however the compiler costs mucho $$$$
I would buy the compiler and follow the PIC microcontroller book for isntructions to build robots. Use the Robot Builders Bonanza for ideas and information on other subjects. If you use the code from the Bonaza book you will have to change it to PICBASIC

also, PICBASIC is a very powerful language and you can use it for almost everything. ( I myself use it for almost all of my projects, but I do use sme assembly language with it)

AVR is also an amazing microcontroller, but it'll take you a while to learn C.

Summary:  Use a PIC microcontroller with PIC BASIC compiler

Also, what is your budget?
cuz you'll need a programmer, compiler , chips ( unless you get them as free samples) breadboards, servos, etc.

I really want to do this robotics stuff, but I'm a real moron about computers--like I can do WORD and download music and that's about it.  And I was never much good at math or algebra.  (You're thinking, OK so get off this website, moron.)

We all started somewhere and you don't really need that much math when making a robot --- ( in the beginning )
when you get more advanced at robotics you'll need a lot of math but you can always find info online about it.


Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

www.Narobo.com

Offline Admin

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2007, 12:41:52 PM »
For a beginner, this is what I always recommend . . .

When building the chassis of a robot, use intuition (but CAD the mo-fo out of it before lifting a screwdriver :P)

When doing electronics, copy what other people have done for about a year. Basically just learn why you need certain circuits for certain things, and learn what benefits/disadvantages each circuit has. After you understand that, you can start tweaking them, and eventually (a year or two later) start making your own from scratch.

When programming, copy what other people already have done. Then tweak, recompile, and run your code to see how the output changes. Trial and error. Oh and read programming tutorials on it to help you understand why code is the way it is.

Quote
We all started somewhere and you don't really need that much math when making a robot --- ( in the beginning )
when you get more advanced at robotics you'll need a lot of math but you can always find info online about it.

Seconded. The only 'advanced' math I'd say is required for your first robot is highschool algebra. Geometry and trig is very useful, but not required.

Quote
Well, but I really am going to figure this out some way.

The spirit of a true robot maker :)

Offline DomoArigato

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2007, 12:59:45 PM »
I think the hard part is getting everything setup so you can start to program.  If you can get your robot built and get it setup so you can download your program onto it, just work with people until you have it fixed up where you can just "fill in the main method".  It's important to get it all working first and get all the kinks out before you start, or you won't have a platform to workwith.  It also helps motivate you when your program actually moves the robot, as opposed to learning it without applying it.  So if you want to learn how to program a robot specifically... I would put together the 50$ robot and get it working first.  Then buy some books to teach you how to tell you robot what to do.

Offline superchiku

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2008, 01:39:48 PM »
well if u are still alive froggy then

1st thing abt robots

motivation

2nd thing

basic knowledge of electronics ,programming and designing

3rd thing

be determined to do it at any costs

and one more thing

NO BOOK NOT EVEN THE BIBLE SAYS THAT GIRLS CANT MAKE ROBOTS OR ARENT FIT TO MAKE ROBOTS

AND GETTING A LITTLE OFF TOPIC:

ARE U SINGLE  ;) ;D ::)
JAYDEEP ...

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"IN THE END IT DOESNT EVEN MATTER"

Offline JesseWelling

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2008, 02:28:55 PM »
honestly superchiku?  :-\

But anyways, he is right, don't let any one ever tell you what you can or can not do.
Use your own judgment and your own values when making your decisions, not other people's.

So if you want to do it, buckle down, work hard, and learn what you have to learn, and do what you want to do.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2008, 02:29:37 PM by JesseWelling »

Offline superchiku

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2008, 03:15:00 PM »
honestly , iam still single at 19  ;D
JAYDEEP ...

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Offline Private Reid

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2008, 06:29:17 PM »

ARE U SINGLE  ;) ;D ::)

Considering Froggy has put in her profile     Age: N/A

I don't believe you should be asking that...4 all we no she might be 12 !!!



Plz no offence if you are 12...
« Last Edit: April 05, 2008, 09:24:37 PM by Private Reid »
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Offline szhang

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2008, 06:58:35 PM »
Strangers asking personal questions... this is why women are rare on the internet...


"bum code off you genius types" might be the best way to learn programming, assume that you spend a little time playing with the code to see why it works.  There is no book that can really replace the experiene of figuring out why someone else's code works.

I am a bit biased against books for learning programming.  They are great for reference but I found the Internet is actually a more useful teaching tool.  Google for "PIC tutorial" and you should be able to get a few very good, hands-on tutorials.

Offline superchiku

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2008, 11:01:42 PM »
i really crack the nuts , how do u know she is 12 , at 12 she can forget abt making robots , she wont even know what a resistir is...

and yes if u want to learn abt PIC's then programming and customizing pic's by predko is  a good book , i have the ebook of this book so if u want email me at [email protected] and avr's u can learn that avrfreaks.net

adruino will be a good option as programming them is a much easier , see adruino.com to find out the procedure
JAYDEEP ...

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"IN THE END IT DOESNT EVEN MATTER"

Offline Private Reid

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2008, 11:27:18 PM »
really? superchiku


at 12 she can forget abt making robots , she wont even know what a resistir is...



Well who wants to guess how old I am...   ;D ::) ;D


(No I am not 12)

The idea of that post was to say that when I was 12 I new more about electronics then half my school (average 1000 kids)

And I most defiantly new what a resistor was. Maybe you should of posted it saying:

It would be challenging to build a robot when you are only 12

Thanks.  ;)


lol

« Last Edit: April 05, 2008, 11:27:58 PM by Private Reid »
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Offline Private Reid

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2008, 11:34:12 PM »
when I was 12 I new more about electronics then half my school (average 1000 kids)



Ok possably an exaggeration but you get what I mean
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Offline goatfish

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2008, 12:09:16 AM »
lol i started electronics when i was in like grade 4,so now in high-school electronics class,im pretty much at the top(i hope lol) ;D ;)

Offline superchiku

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2008, 12:43:33 AM »
u ppl must be expceptions then, iam talking abt normal ppl
JAYDEEP ...

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Offline Private Reid

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2008, 12:52:02 AM »
u ppl must be expceptions then, iam talking abt normal ppl

lol

Y thankyou!


Right now I am learning C from a tutorial of the internet called  "Learn C in 24 hours" although it has taken me more than 24 hours so far...
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Offline superchiku

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2008, 01:05:20 AM »
well to be honest , its best if u learn c by takin some tutorials in private institutions it really clears up ur fundamentals. These sites are good reference for those who already know the basics not for beginners
JAYDEEP ...

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"IN THE END IT DOESNT EVEN MATTER"

Offline Rand alThor

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2008, 04:06:01 PM »
The BEST way to learn how to program is by reading "Beginning Programming for Dummies" (no offense) by Wallace Wang. It teaches you fundamentals of programming, as well as C/C++, BASIC, RealBasic(a visual basic crossplatform clone), and Revolution(It's a funky little language that originally came with apple computers).

It is a MUST HAVE for learning to program. PERIOD.

(I'm a big fan of this book)


Offline emmannuel

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2008, 06:31:24 PM »
Coming from a guy that considers himself a pretty decent programmer I can honestly tell you you don't need any advanced math to program.

Programming is 90% of yes and no questions.  If yes do this, else if no do something else. :D
Sounds like I'm over simplifying it but its true.

Learning robotics has a bit more math but its nothing you can't do.  Basic algebra and geometry will do.

Like Admin said, start small and by copying examples that work.  Understand how they work and modify them to do what you'd like.

Have fun.

Offline izua

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2008, 07:40:06 AM »
pokes emmannuel: go take an openGL course. you'll find huge libraries without a single IF :P
Check out my homepage for in depth tutorials on microcontrollers and electronics.

Offline emmannuel

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2008, 04:23:44 PM »
pokes emmannuel: go take an openGL course. you'll find huge libraries without a single IF :P

Hahaha thats nuts.  Well I know I was exaggerating a bit but I know for graphics/physics programming I've seen Calculus  :'(

I've always wanted to learn openGL the graphics class I'm going to be taking in college has me learn graphics through Java.
It might be using Java -to- openGL bindings though. :D

Offline kf6snj

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2008, 10:10:53 PM »
One of the books I am using is a 1987 copy of Robot Builder's Bonanza. However, it does lack certain fundamentals, like connecting a battery supply to a x86 motherboard. Thanks to the guys here for some advice on how that can be done. However, I do suggest reading a little about programming. Since I am intent on using an x86 processor, I am reading about COBOL, and C++ so I can understand how to maybe program my own motor control, speech, hearing, visual, and AI software. If nothing else, a COBOL based AI might make for a great personal accountant. However, to learn, it is advisable to read books on the subject.

There are numerous books about basic, qbasic, c++, COBOL, FORTRAN, and java that can be found at libraries, book stores, on-line, thrift shops, and amazon. My only advice with amazon is to make absolutely certain that you can't find cheaper elsewhere first (I bought a book on COBOL today for $2.15 after tax that would have costed me about $5.00 if I bought it used for $0.01 from amazon because of shipping).

Also, make certain that your computer has a compiler for the programming language you are learning. Many books have sample code that you can type in and test so that you can see how it works. For example, I am using OpenCobol-0.33pre on Puppy-Linux 3.01.

I wish you luck in your programming endeavours.

Offline izua

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2008, 12:44:23 AM »
offtopic: Java is ok, but I'd be against using it for openGL.
NeHe (google it) has some great tutorials for openGL in C++, if you're up to it.
I'd say the "'cause it works on every gender" joke about java, but I bet you heard it a million times.
Check out my homepage for in depth tutorials on microcontrollers and electronics.

Offline Rand alThor

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2008, 12:10:24 PM »
I don't really know about OpenGL. I have looked at some of the tutorials, and it seems like your working with raw polygons, etc. I suggest just making models and using Irrlicht or DirectX or some othe API for it.

Offline Cotowar

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2008, 10:39:39 PM »
Being relatively new to the computer scene myself (two to three years), I would honestly recommend just going to Borders and looking at the books they offer. Books cannot teach you everything there is to know about a language, but they can get you started. After you learn and master all the basics (loops, iterations, decisions, functions), you can start searching online for what the language is really capable of.

I would recommend starting with something easy to understand, such as VB, COBOL, or HTML(not really for robots but whatever).

After you get the hang of it and are comfortable with ripping your hair out trying to find one typo on a 10k line program, move on to C/C++, or Java.

After you master these, you can start looking at whatever you want, because by then you'll have noticed they are really all the same, just different ways of doing things.

PS...COBOL is a worthless language, but its actual words, so you'll understand the logic behind it easier. Oh, and I found FORTRAN to be incredibly helpful in learning C/C++ even though its only used in aerospace nowadays. (hints on my former major)

PSS... Girls doing goony things with computers are sexy...lol. Good for you to go against the norms, you have my support.  ;D
--Cotowar--

Offline Private Reid

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Re: How do I learn to program?
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2008, 07:25:01 PM »
Quote
PSS... Girls doing goony things with computers are sexy...lol. Good for you to go against the norms, you have my support.

LOL  :D :D :D :D
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