At the age of 15, I had already got my first laptop from my father. He recognized early my love of technology and wanted me to continue developing my skills in this area.
Computer in general
At the time we also had a pc at home, where I had tried again and again with my brother to replace the components. Memory, CPUs and motherboards were regularly upgraded. You can imagine that many things have burnt down while trying to replace. I still remember motherboards that we had bought and that we have damaged during installation. Then my dad went to atelco with us again and bought new ones.
When I asked my dad afterwards why he did it then he only replied
That’s the only way you can learn this. It breaks once, twice. The third time, you’ll have learned it.
If I put myself back at the time, I understand that this was the best way to teach us something. It’s not bad that it breaks, so you know what you can not do better next time.
At first me and my brother started to program with Turbo Pascal and Delphi. I could not do that well. That’s why I was programming with Delphi. My brother was better and had even written functions in Turbo Pascal. However, his enthusiasm subsided quickly and he slipped more towards motoring and automation while i was continuing to train my programming skills.
Visual Basic and Microsoft Word HTML exports were on the agenda 😂. I linked these two elements together and created CDs with pirated software and game copies.
I went swimming in Aachen and had met a boy who had a .de.vu site. He told me that it’s free and I got down to work on getting a domain name. I have used a free hosting at that time. At first, I was hosting at 250free.com. Meanwhile, the site is already down. Later I hosted on funpic.de. I was completely satisfied. This provider had provided free 2.5GB webspace with ftp, database and everything. GOD, my websites looked bad 😀
Good artists copy. Great artists steal. This process was how I used to build websites 😀
There was a website where you could buy ready-made Flash projects and I had found a system to download these swf files and turn them into a Macromedia / Adobe Flash project using Sothink SWF Decompiler. I then revised these and built websites from them.
Later, Macromedia was acquired by Adobe and has been developing all of its products ever since. What Freehand was then is Illustrator today.
I took my first steps in php and MySQL with WoltLab Burning Board. I used that as a kind of content management system, as WordPress is used today. I had created templates and allowed users to write messages to each other. Also there I found a cracked version and also a website where you had tutorials for some kind of extensions. I think the cracked version also helped me to learn more because you had to crack your burning board again after each update. That was only possible if you learn.
At the time, you did not download and install a plugin like today. At that time, it was like going through steps and editing php files. It was very often that you have killed your entire site after that process… But that was still exciting.
I had to work on my programming for many years, until I came to that point where I am today. I have deleted and rewritten my own website tens of times and each time I have learned something new. If I had given up learning early on, I would have to do something else today because the technology is developing too fast.