I have Asperger Syndrome focused on programming. I can write in over 30 programming languages, both low level and high level.
My name is Henry de Jongh.
I am an enthusiastic programmer born in the Netherlands and currently living in Germany. For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with technology and computers.
This page needs some editing.
Estimated Age Span: 6 - 10 Years Old
Location: The Netherlands
My oldest sister Alida had the first computer in our household. It was a square case with a key that said "Turbo" on it, I never dared touch that. The first computer related activity was playing a game called Comet Busters!. It's an arcade game inspired by Asteroids created by Steven E. Hugg for Windows 3.1/95. It was originally released in 1991.
We would together with my slightly older sister Annika, we'd all have part of the keyboard and press keys, but you couldn't press too many because the computer would start beeping and the others couldn't move! I was too young to remember the computer coming into existence, it was already there when I became self-aware.
At the same time we had a Super Nintendo downstairs and we'd always play video games on it. Our parents decided that because we were all so eager to stay indoors and play games we should only be allowed to play after 16:00 (4:00 PM).
My mom came home and would you believe it? A computer for the entire family and they went for the best they could find at the time! Pentium III processor, plenty of hard-drive space, two CD players (one of them could burn CD's) and it had a lot of graphics processing power!
This was the first time I actually interacted with a computer myself. On the desktop was an icon to start a video of 3D dinosaurs, I must have clicked on it 20 times that night. The operating system was Windows ME. Mom learned about computers to provide us with the best experience as well as teach us how to use computers and created user accounts, one for each of us.
I made directories and shortcuts inside those directories to the same directory so you could click forever, I changed settings like the mouse cursor and had the biggest adventure of my life. My oldest sister studied IT in school and eventually installed RPG Maker 2000. It was a program to create your own 2D adventure games and using a really simple event system I technically had my first experience with programming without realizing it. I created large silly games that with funny dialogue.
At the same time games like the first Driver, a 1999 action/driving video game developed by Reflections Interactive and published by GT Interactive Software, were being played as well as old Windows 95/98 games. Then came the Bluescreen Of Death (BSOD) age, Windows ME kept crashing nearly ever hour unless you kept moving the mouse, it was riddled with bugs and Alida eventually installed Windows XP for us.
The Nintendo64 was released. Not only did we play the original Super Smash Bros., released in 1999 by Nintendo a lot, eventually mom came home with "look, it's a game about a cute squirrel!" Conker's Bad Fur Day, an action-platform video game developed by Rare released in 2001, she didn't see the 16+ label, but we didn't care, that was the best game ever created! We were pretty hooked and loved every second of our new console, although the SNES was played frequently still for classics like Donkey Kong Country, a 1994 platforming video game developed by Rare and published by Nintendo 1 and 3. I was too young to understand the RPGs.
Alida eventually showed Annika and me programs she created in Visual Basic 6 like a disco floor (3x3 cubes changing colors) and a small catch the mouse (where your mouse cursor is a cat). I was extremely impressed by what she had done, this was the turning point where I wanted to start programming badly.
Our House in the Netherlands became too small for 5 people so we moved to a very large House in Germany.
Estimated Age Span: 10 - 11 Years Old
I found a CD in mom's collection that stated: "Unreal - Onderga het. Beleef het. Overleef het. Verander je werkelijkheid....voor altijd." (Translated: "Undergo it. Experience It. Survive it. Change your reality....forever.") it was Unreal, a first-person shooter video game developed by Epic MegaGames and Digital Extremes and published by GT Interactive in April 1998. This was a real turning point in my life.
When I first started playing the game the graphics were overwhelming, the rich game-play and everything just blew my mind. I always loved to look at the files a program came with and so I checked Unreal's system directory. I found something called UnrealEd.exe, I didn't have to think twice to realize that was an editor, opening it I immediately hit a dead-end. "Runtime Error!". I asked my mom whether I could use the Internet (modem, so no-one could use the phone while I was connected). To my surprise I immediately got a yes, I don't know how but I quickly found UnrealEdFix4, a program that fixed UnrealEd and let me open levels. I was mind-blown.
I found a very small level called "Entry.unr" and eventually figured out how to place a few objects and move some lights around but I had no idea how you could change the geometry. I quickly hit CTRL+S to try and save my changes because mom called for Dinner when suddenly a hole was created in a wall! It turns out that CTRL+S subtracts parts of the world and CTRL+A fills parts of the world back up. But whenever you did this suddenly the player could not jump anymore, if you were to jump you'd die immediately "Player left a small crater". There wasn't any lighting either in those areas.
One night I found a button called "Rebuild Lighting" and it would suddenly give light to the entire world, for weeks I continued creating levels that had not the slightest fall or jump to ensure you wouldn't die. Suddenly it came to me "Rebuild Geometry", I proudly showed my mom that I could jump around and shoot in my own level, it was fantastic. There was something called UnrealScript all over the place but I thought it was code that cannot be changed, decoration to make the editor look cooler.
Relatives came to visit us and brought an old computer with them asking whether we'd be interested in it. I jumped and immediately shouted "YES!", I don't know whether it was purchased for money but I got to keep the computer. On turning the power on it said "NO KEYBOARD DETECTED." and it wouldn't start passed that point. But I didn't care, I started the computer nearly every night enjoying the memory testing and other values that popped up on the screen. The reason we didn't have a keyboard was because the connection was very old, it was some sort of 7 pin connector as huge as something you'd see on a keyboard(instrument)'s MIDI ports. Eventually I found one on a flea market and I was so happy, you wouldn't believe.
The computer was in my bedroom. It had a Pentium 1 with 1GB Hard Drive space. It had a floppy drive and a serial port connector. My mom even gave me a printer. I do not know how much RAM was available because I never knew what that was at the time. This first installation of Windows 98 belonged to the previous owner which I believed to be a girl. It had a few programs like a mermaid letter writer and some awesome 2D games.
During this time I was too distracted by having my own computer that I forgot about Unreal a bit. I found old CDs with Windows 95/98 games and played those although I mostly looked at all of the files that came with the games, deleting them to see what would happen and switching them out. I really learned how windows worked because I checked out every single button I could find. Made my own automated tasks, changed sounds, learned about cmd and I got really good at it.
Eventually I wanted to try out UnrealEd again. Attempting to install it was hard because I didn't have enough disk space. I began deleting Windows Files, everything that didn't seem that important. I had at least 20 error messages every time I started the computer but it kept running and I was able to install Unreal. Luckily Unreal was built to run on old computers and could render the 3D graphics using only the processor very quickly.
I used UnrealEd to create levels and eventually also managed to install RPG Maker 2000 and run it by learning that Windows can be set to 16-bit color mode. I remember that I eventually had a controller as well that connected to the serial port and did eventually destroy Windows causing us to re-install it. When we first got DSL internet (with a 1GB traffic limit) Annika and I weren't allowed to use it (and I couldn't due to lack of a LAN connector) because our computers were "too old". Maybe we were too young and she protected us from it a little longer.
Windows XP, Second computer. Loud fan noise hit with foot. First time opening PC case.
I had a friend from school and he'd watch me almost every day while we made levels.
Found my best friend Jocke through visual basic forum. Visual Basic 2008.
The year of programming.
Game engines. WindEngine, Glue.