I took a C programming course in 1998, using XENIX machines where 16 students were plugged into a single 486 PC. Understanding pointers and recursion were pretty difficult for everyone involved, including myself as the procedural paradigm was a new idea, and I didn’t know how to bridge the gap between the high and low levels. The course was pretty oldskool and the course notes were photocopies of something that looked like they’d been typed up on a typewriter, I might have the folder somewhere - I should scan it in and upload it to

The most fun thing about the course was the fact everyone’s terminals were open by default, so you could send control codes to their tty and redefine their characters. I think this was deliberate by the course tutors, who wanted us to understand a bit about hacking. I made an arrow that shoved people’s text off their screens, and a way to swap letters about. I also made a terminal space invaders game that, when played, would make it impossible for everyone on the bank to actually compile a program because it was using all the CPU.

While C is fast, debugging on the Amiga at the time was pretty unforgiving compared to AMOS, so it was years later before I considered myself any good at it.

Some old things are here:

During my professional life, I used LoadRunner a lot. So it’s probably worth writing something about that for the sake of history.