Code Cracker Lives On Thursday, December 30, 2004

I bought my first Palm Pilot back when the Palm IV series first came out. I think it was 1998. Soon after I bought the device I was interested in writing software to run on the thing. I picked up a copy of OReilly's Palm Programming: The Developer's Guide, and I was on the ground running. I remember spending a weekend just playing around with the API and I built a very simple little game that played like the old MasterMind game that most of us played as a kid. It wasn't that I wanted to write a MasterMind game, that was just something simple that I could use to help learn the PalmOS API. I expected to just throw the thing away when I was done but I found myself enjoying playing the game when I had a minute or 2 to kill (like standing around in front of the microwave at work waiting for my lunch to cook) so I held on to it. I gave the application a proper name, CodeCracker, created a very simple web page that explained a little about the game and I put it on my personal web site and made the game available for download. I remember being surprised at how many people found the page and even more surprised at how many people bothered to take time to send a thank you note to me. A couple of years later I was cleaning up a hard drive and stumbled across the source code. I decided to put the source code on SourceForge for safe keeping and it has been there ever since.

Just today I received an email from a guy in Italy saying thanks for the game and offering some suggestions for how to improve the game.

I spent a weekend 6 or 7 years ago playing around with writing something for the PalmOS and a very simple game evolved. It is sort of interesting how these little things linger on.

CodeCracker Lives On! ;)

5 comments:

Jeff Brown said...

After posting that initial comment about CodeCracker I remembered a part of the saga I had left out. At some point the folks at Macmillan Publishing contacted me and asked if they could include CodeCracker in their upcoming Complete Idiot's Guide To Palm Pilot and Palm III book. I said it was no problem and signed the relevant paperwork etc. The software was included on the cd in the back of the book along with a paragraph or 2 about the program mentioned in an appendix. Sometime in 1999 the publisher contacted me about something that I needed to do to certify that my program didn't have any Y2K bugs (heh!). I never got around to it and I haven't checked in recent copies of the book to see if it is still included or not.

That episode may have burned about 20 seconds of my due 15 minutes. I have to start watching those things... ;)

Eric Burke said...

Yeah, that thing crashed my PalmPilot on 1/1/2000!

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