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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind


By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 7/22/2024
Page Views: 8558
Here you'll find essays, free online courses and utilities gleaned from my decades as a systems analyst and corporate trainer.

When I was a kid, the technology of the day—radio, television, phonographs—was simple enough to understand that it could be explained to me, as a child, and I could understand the principles. Not because I'm so smart, but because those technologies were that basic.

Nowadays, however, things have changed. The televisions of my childhood were easy to understand; today, they aren't even all that easy to use!

And, as far as computers are concerned, most people don't even attempt to understand them. They are happy if they can just use them.

I think that's a shame. I think that knowing a little bit about how the insides of a computer works makes using one a more enjoyable, richer experience.

Let me give you an example. Everybody who sees Star Wars enjoys it. But those who happen to have studied Richard Campbell's theories on cultural touchstones, on which the Star Wars mythos is based, enjoy the franchise even more, because it ties in with things they already know.

The essays in this section aren't likely to make you money, or even make it easier to crank out that chart the boss wants by 4. But they will help you smile a little each time you encounter a subtle clue in your software as to its internal construction, and you understand why it's there.

What's Inside The Box?

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 1/15/2016
Page Views: 1054
Topics: #HowComputersWork #Computers
A brief look at what goes inside your computer.

If you are like 41% of Americans surveyed in 2014, you have a desktop computer. You are also likely to own a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. And all those devices are built using the same basic technology…and you probably have no idea what that is. This essay will give you a high-level tour of the components that make your digital device possible.

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Online Courses

By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 1108
Topics: #VisualC++ #VisualBasic #training #instruction #onlinecourses #computerprogramming #instructor #freeware
Paul S. Cilwa, computer programmer, specializes in Visual Basic and Internet development technologies.

I taught Visual Basic and Visual C++ programming for a living, but not everyone has the time or coincidence of location that would allow me to teach them in person. Besides, no one is offering classes these days for older technologies, such as pre-.NET Visual Basic. If that's what you need, please enjoy my learn-Visual-Basic course on-line, at no charge!

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By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 1084
Topics: #VisualC++ #VisualBasic6.0 #Freeware
Here are some fun programming projects you may find useful. —You're welcome!

It's an ill wind that blows no good. Hopefully, my winds blow benefits to all. Below find listed programming projects (and programming-related projects) I offer to any and all who can benefit.

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Welcome to CilwaWeb!

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 5/8/2024
Page Views: 891
Topics: #CilwaWeb #WebsiteDesign
How and why this site and code library was developed.

The year was 1997. The number one song that year was Something About The Way You Look Tonight and the top-grossing movie was Titanic. Bill Clinton was President. The worst the Republicans could find on him was he lied about having sex with a consenting partner, probably because they were mad at him for balancing the budget—something no Republican President had ever accomplished. I had just moved to Snowflake, Arizona, with my then-husband Michael and "web sites" were the latest thing. Many companies had them; and as every Windows computer already had Internet Explorer on it, so as soon as it was connected to the Internet, all those pages were accessible, along with email (which, years earlier, I had helped develop) and newsgroups (an early form of social media, taking the form of a bulletin board). And, as a computer professional and the author of four Windows programming books, it seemed like my creating a web site of my own was a logical step to take.

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By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 11/17/2017
Page Views: 1377
Topics: #Computers #Programming #Organica #Projects
Project pieces for my ultimate goal: A document-oriented computer interface.

I have for many years been designing a new-concept computer interface I call Organica. Eventually, I wish to replace the current action-centered interfaces (Windows, Apple, Android, Linux) with a document or object-centered interface. With such an interface, one works on one's document (whether it's an email, novel, painting, photo, song or video) with total freedom to include one kind of item in any other. No user would ever have to "buy an app" with a learning curve of its own; instead, one might choose to "buy an enhancement" that will be applicable to any kind of object.

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Advice from Professor 'Puter

By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 1083
Sage advice…or is it garlic?

I love to help. And I've helped out a lot of friends with their computer woes, and some people who weren't really more than acquaintances. Here are a few of my better bits of advice.

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By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 1081
When Microsoft hands you lemons…

As a computer professional who started working in that field before there was such a thing as email, as you might expect I have an opinion or two about the state of computer software and hardware—and little reason to keep them to myself.

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