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This is a glance at my pre-professional programming background. Driven by attachment to video games, I started digging into the programming world at the age of 12 beginning with the Basic programming language on an NEC PC-6001 personal computer. My goal was to program moving objects in the text screen mode. An interpreted language at that time, Basic was not enough for any kind of graphical programming, and the NEC platform did not provide any real alternative, so my only choice was to get into the complicated world of Assembly programming and that was at the age of 14. The Z80 processor from Zilog had a pretty nice registers and instructions set, but having no assembler at that time meant that I had to compile my code by hand before POKEing my machine codes into memory. It was a nightmare from a practical perspective, but it gave me deep understanding of how computers actually work under the hood. The fact that I managed to get some objects moving on the screen was indeed an achievement, given those tools and that age.
Couple of years later I switched to Commodore 64, which wasn't any better in terms of programming tools, but it had a better graphics and audio chipsets. I kept programming using Assembly on the Motorola 6502 CPU used by the Commodore 64 until the age of 17 when I finished my high school with high grades granting me a seat in the computer engineering department at Baghdad University.
As soon as I started my university, I got an IBM compatible PC and started right away with the C programming language, learning it on my own, 2 years ahead of my classmates who later on trusted my advices when it comes to programming more than the lecturers' advices.

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