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Before We Begin in Earnest

I haven’t written for awhile, so here are my last series of entries before I retire this blog.

PatientPro Design Diary

Before We Begin In Earnest

As a prepubscent child, I had but a passing interest in computers. They were as enchanting in their use as edutainment devices–I must’ve hogged our classroom computer playing Oregon Trail for hours. I even got a chance to “program” in sixth grade, when we were introduced to Basic. I created a program to display an image of Darkwing Duck on screen by drawing the cartoon character on graph paper and plotting pixels by hand–I felt like I was on the bleeding edge of technology. Still, at home, I didn’t have a computer, and to aggravate matters, I had a Nintendo. So, instead of becoming profiecient with computers at an early age, I learned to excel at video games.

My highschool years offered increased contact with computers at home and at school. My dad purchased a gleaming new Gateway (which still served as the family’s main computer until a couple months ago), a Pentium II 233 with 10 gigabytes of space. At the time, it cost a couple thousand dollars. At school, we had rows of computers, but they were Macs, and I hated Macs.

My interest in computers mushroomed when I took my first real programming class. We used Borland’s Turbo C compiler to do trivial tasks that I excelled at. My senior year, I decided to go to Drexel University to study Computer Science, and I took the Computer Science AP* class at my high school. It was an interesting class that gave me lots of things to talk about when I went to my scholarship interview at Drexel. I was able to talk to Professor Bruce Char about things like linked lists and recursion.

I’ve been blessed with the chance to do pretty much anything I want to do in life–it’s a rare gift that the best of us never receive. So, why did I choose to major in Computer Science?

  1. I love computers!
  2. I am part idealist and part pramatist, and the job outlook for computer science graduates was looking pretty good in 2000.

These past five years, there have been many times when the work seemed impossible to finish, or the rewards too little to drive me forward. Still, I have learned so much, and have had fun doing it. My love of computers has only become deeper, an intimate relationship cultivated over several years.

Now, everything I have learned in college will be tested with one final project. To me, my success or failure with this project will measure the progress I have made these passed five years. That project is PatientPro.

* I received a 1 on the Computer Science AP test, the lowest score one can receive on an AP test.