My name is Mark Tuson, and I am a student of Software Development with Blackpool and the Fylde College. I use Linux on my own computers, and lament having to use Windows at college. But not as much as I did having to use Apples at sixth-form.
First, and most importantly, I am a proud Lancashire lad, and I play the ukulele, as you can see on the ukulele page. I started playing around Christmas 2006, but I got my teeth sunk into playing properly in the followingJune or July, and now I'm glad I started! I also play harmonica and a little bit of guitar, but not as well as I do the ukulele. I have a bedroom full of computers and computer equipment. I have been programming my computers since I was about 4 years old. I would tell you how old I am, but I can't remember right now. It couldn't have been the massive amounts of coffee, could it?As a computer programmer, I have written a short program to illustrate exactly how boring life can be, which can be viewed by clicking here.
I am also a member of the George Formby Society, and I like to play on stage when it's possible. The great thing about singing George Formby songs is, you don't have to be able to sing (which I can't), but if you can, it's a bit of a bonus.
I like hanging around with my friends, when it's possible, and making people laugh (that was the main reason why I set up The Monkey Hole in the first place). To be honest, there isn't really that much that I go get upto... I'll let you know, though, as I become able to think of things to say.
I am also, and have been for a long time, a bit of a (wannabe) computer programmer. I've been around them since about 1991 or so. Let me tell you a little bit about that...
My first computer was a 286 that my mum and dad gave to me when they got the 386. On that I wrote my first programs that I can't find now for some reason (I think that the machine they were on died of old age about 8 years ago). Then I got an old Amstrad PPC-512 portable. I mainly played KROZ on that until it broke down (I've got a new one now, but still want a hard disk drive for it...) After that, I got an old Pentium machine from school (they were throwing it out) that I then played with, and it was the machine that I had working in my bedroom up until August. Couple of years ago, I bought an old... really old [486 w/3 megs of RAM] IBM ThinkPad laptop. Worked fine until the screen died. Then I got another laptop, a Compaq Armada that is sat in little bits around my bedroom. Only used that one for playing Age of Empires (yes, I know it was written by Micro$oft, but it has a half-decent idea behind it). Smashed that one when it wouldn't turn on. Hmmm, didn't solve the problem! Then I got a Dell Optiplex GX1 (PIII w/128 megabytes RAM and 18GB Hard Drive) built for me by someone I was working with during my Work Experience in 2005. Getting near the end, now, don't worry! I got, soon after that, from the same person at work, an old TOSHIBA laptop that has a CMOS password so I can't use it [anyone know how to get past that, please drop me a line!], and then my mum gave me her old MiTAC 486 laptop w/ 8 megs of RAM and a 500 meg hard drive... just fine for BASIC programming.
The first language that I wrote in was 'Delphi', which my dad bought a copy of when it came out. No he didn't actually, I think he got it in PC-PLUS magazine. No he did buy it, and then he got it for me from PC-PLUS. Anyway, I started programming in Delphi, and became pretty good at it. I remember the first real program I ever wrote was a simulator of the login phase of Windows NT. Then, a while after, I got a copy of Borland C++ 2.0 Professional for DOS, which was quite fun to play with. I prefer C to C++ for some reason. Perhaps it is because I have more books on C than I do C++. After then, I bought a book on BASIC. After quickly looking at it quite a few times, I decided to get a BASIC interpreter an have a go at it. So I did. I was running DR-DOS 6.0 and MS-DOS 6.22 at the time, so I just used the QBASIC program that came with MS-DOS. With that, I became very good at it. Not long ago, I was looking at some downloads on a BASIC site, and among them was a copy of Visual Basic 1.0 for DOS, and Visual Basic 1.0 for Windows. So I downloaded them and put them on my Windows 3.0 machine and had a play with them. I thought to myself, 'what a piece of utter bullshit!' Most recently, I started writing programs in x86 Assembly Language and x86 Hexadecimal (The lowest level possible without making paper tapes or punched cards). I think that programming in the instruction set of the machine (the Assembly Language and the Hex.) is the best way of programming, as you manage every single instruction that your computer executes, and that makes it much more efficient. I am trying to write my own Operating System. I will eventually post my progress onto the 'Projects' page.
Some little facts about me, about which you may or may not care: