Ah, the joys of learning something new

So, I’m going through the MS recommended “C++ Beginners Guide”. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s useful to type this stuff out, even though it’s way, way simpler than anything I’ve written in years.

It’s neat coming to a guide like this already understanding OOP pretty well via Ruby; it’s cool seeing what the guide doesn’t address. I often think that reading real beginners guides is good for a programmer’s soul: it lets you remember where you came from, lets you focus on where you are now. I often think that one of the worst things we can do for ourselves is forget where we came from: how do I know what direction I’m headed in if I can’t see where I came from and how I got here?

Of course, there’s also the idea that I need to do something with this knowledge, so I’ve set myself a challenge: I normally install cygwin and use its outstanding ports of a bunch of unix tools to help me remain sane in windows. My challenge to myself is that I can’t install cygwin, and if there’s a program I absolutely must have then I have to write it in C++ myself. That should give me a good solid heaping spoonful of real world experience to continue forwards with my ideas for developing on Windows.

I’m also restricting myself to Visual Studio Express, though there are some libraries it doesn’t provide that’d be nice for me to have.

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