81-Year-Old Woman Learns Programming from Scratch, Makes Cool iPhone Game

Megalith

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Remember, it’s (usually) never too late to tackle an interest. Many people joke about seniors being tech illiterate, but this 81-year-old lady proves them wrong, having programmed an iPhone game even though she only started familiarizing herself with computers at 60 years of age.

If you laugh at how older people use computers, this 81-year-old from Japan is going to set you straight. Masako Wakamiya is making the news for an app she created to show people the correct way to place their traditional doll displays ahead of Hinamatsuri, or Girl's Day, in Japan. Wakamiya is a former banker who clocked 43 years of service at a major Japanese bank, and only learned how to use computers when she was 60. In the app, named Hinadan — a combination of the words hina, a type of doll, and dan, meaning "tier" — the player must position 12 dolls in their correct positions on a display with four tiers.
 

RogueTadhg

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So she's has 21 years of 'familiarizing' herself with technology. 133 Mhz was blistering fast at that time, 1996.


...That's not like she went from Knitting and cooking for grandkids to one day, for the thrill of it, picking up a programming book and made a program for the iPhone. I work with college kids that don't have 21 years on them.

Edit: Come to think of it, I didn't pickup an interest for technology (besides video games) until I was in High School - so she's got more years with technology than I do.
 
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Dr. Righteous

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My first computer was an Atari 400. I wanted to learn programming but basic and assembler was pretty much it. Basic was so slow it was worthless assembler was way over my head.
I gave up on programming at that point. I wish I would have revisited it in the years after. Now I really won't have the time for commitment to it likely till I retire. And by that time I'll be an old fart that won't give a crap. :(
 

rezerekted

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I tried a bit of assembler too and then my eyes glazed over when I had to learn the hex math.

Last thing I dabbled in was a bit of Python. Learned to program 'hello world' then put it away.
 

SpeedyVV

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There are millions of people that do nothing but complain about innovation and technology.

She made it do something for herself!

I should order her a [H] t-shirt as a gift.
 
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My first computer was an Atari 400. I wanted to learn programming but basic and assembler was pretty much it. Basic was so slow it was worthless assembler was way over my head.
I gave up on programming at that point. I wish I would have revisited it in the years after. Now I really won't have the time for commitment to it likely till I retire. And by that time I'll be an old fart that won't give a crap. :(

One of my friends had that computer (we played Keystone Kapers and Pac-Man on it). It had an "advanced child-proof design featuring pressure-sensitive, wipe-clean keyboard," which didn't really matter to me at the time (I was 10 years old in 1982), but as I learned how to type a few years later (on an Apple IIe) it did occur to me how inefficient the Atari 400's membrane keyboard was to more conventional designs.

Atari_400_keyboard.jpg
 

tjmagneto

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The Atari 400 was the first computer I owned and it was not very long before I got it upgraded from a puny 16K RAM to a whopping 48. For gaming of course.
 

Dr. Righteous

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One of my friends had that computer (we played Keystone Kapers and Pac-Man on it). It had an "advanced child-proof design featuring pressure-sensitive, wipe-clean keyboard," which didn't really matter to me at the time (I was 10 years old in 1982), but as I learned how to type a few years later (on an Apple IIe) it did occur to me how inefficient the Atari 400's membrane keyboard was to more conventional designs.
There was a aftermarket solution to the membrane keyboard and that was my first upgrade. It gave you a full stroke keyboard that had a good feel.
I wish I would have kept it but I sold it and the extras I had to buy a Atari 1200XL. I had the 1050 floppy drive with that system. That opened the door to MAIL ORDER shareware.
I ordered shareware from ads in the back of ANTIC magazine. Man, what FUN that was. The few dial up BBSs boards that was around I couldn't access. The phone infrastructure still use stepper switchers. It was only a few years before it was a party line.
When I moved to another state I was blown away by the fact you had a list of BBSes to choose from, and had no problem dialing up my 9600 baud modem. More shareware! :)
 

SpeedyVV

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Well, she's asian and not from America. She is already at an advantage. :cool: I really hate that it is that way, but it is.

Well, I'm %25 asian and not from America. I'm already at a %25 advantage. :cool: I really like that it is that way, it just is.
 

naib

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I tried a bit of assembler too and then my eyes glazed over when I had to learn the hex math.

Last thing I dabbled in was a bit of Python. Learned to program 'hello world' then put it away.
being able to copy-paste print('hello world') isn't really impressive btw, especially as that is all that is needed for python
 

Nukester

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Well, I'm %25 asian and not from America. I'm already at a %25 advantage. :cool: I really like that it is that way, it just is.

nice one ;)

I'm American but mostly Czech, and at a 100% disadvantage. But I call it like it is.
 

rezerekted

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being able to copy-paste print('hello world') isn't really impressive btw, especially as that is all that is needed for python

But I didn't copy paste and it is certainly not as simple as print('hello world'). I think you are thinking of Basic. :)
 

Exavior

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But I didn't copy paste and it is certainly not as simple as print('hello world'). I think you are thinking of Basic. :)


What are you talking about, it is exactly that simple. It is just a single print line of scripting.

you can even do all that from the command line

python -c 'print "Hello World!"'
 

Draax

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How else do you learn code other than from scratch? If there is some kind of learning, like jacking in in the matrix, that I am unaware of I need to know.
 

rezerekted

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What are you talking about, it is exactly that simple. It is just a single print line of scripting.

you can even do all that from the command line

python -c 'print "Hello World!"'

I'll go back to Linux and follow the tutorial again but you are misunderstanding the tone of my post. I was saying that is as far as I got due to lack of interest and know next to nothing about programming and not bragging that I learned to code "Hello World".
 

Seankay

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I wish I had this capacity! I am not even near to 81. She is truly amazing...
 

Xerack

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Now this image brings back memories. The Atari 400 was the first computer that I purchased as a kid - that membrane keyboard - bleh. - cassette drive. I remember wanting to mod it (lol even back then..peeps modded stuff) with a normal keyboard and I think there was a switch to emulate 800 mode? I forget..
Atari_400_keyboard.jpg
 
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