About

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This is the blog of Tony Wall, an experienced software developer living in Europe, born in Birmingham, England. I have been programming or engineering computer systems most my life. I specialize in Microsoft .NET C# (and some VB.NET when required) since 2001, C++ and assembler since the 1990’s. My experience covers mostly Microsoft systems but also good old business and home operating systems such as IBM OS/2, Commodore Amiga, C64 and Atari ST/E.

My first computer was a Commodore 64, shared with my brother at the age of 9. But even at that early age, was programming it rather than just playing. We’d take turns reading or typing Basic from samples published in the popular “Input” UK magazine. I also programmed my friend’s Spectrum. Following this came the Atari ST and STE, then the Commodore Amiga 500 and 1000. I produced a lot of artwork for the later machines under the handle “Pixel Panther”.

Pixel Panther

After exhausting my graphic abilities (due to hardware limitations) I moved onto programming the hardware directly in assembler, producing a number of graphics and technology “demos” surpassing hardware barriers such as “drawing outside the border” on the ST and mastering the copper processor of the Amiga.

I moved up to the first real business machines when we got our first family PC, an Intel 386. The lack of hardware chips and standard drivers to produce cool video or sound meant a dead-end for assembler, so I moved up to C++. Fortunately Microsoft released DirectX which presented a totally revolutionized and forwards compatible way to write any kind of media rich application (game or demo). This won me over to the Microsoft platform and I’ve never looked back since.

Code Chief profile pictureThe handle “Code Chief” comes from my XBOX gamer tag, which was a take from the “Master Chief” figure of the popular Halo XBOX game, plus a coding twist because that gamer tag itself was not available 🙂

Today I architect and produce (hands-on) complete business systems and consumer products, for large corporations, home and educational institutions worldwide. My BrainMine software has sold worldwide and I have many other ideas and products in the development pipeline.

Subscribe to my blog if you want to hear interesting tips and information about all things which interest me. That’s a load of cool stuff and working solutions in the computer, devices and electronics world,  plus information about my own products before release.

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3 thoughts on “About

    1. Yes that’s mine! I was the “Pixel Panther” in my teen years :-/

      Not sure about the name now. I remember spending ages on every pixel to try and get the most out of the limited 8 bit graphics of the Amiga and Atari ST. But I turned into a programmer not a graphic artist… Did a lot of machine code programming on the Atari ST, Amiga and PC… managed to knock-out a few demos but didn’t finish the Amiga paint program I always wanted to write. Trying to write games on the PC was a pain due to diverse hardware. Then came DirectX which demonstrated only C++ and higher level languages were the both capable and the only sensible option for mass-market.

      I’ve managed to convert some of my old diskettes to the PC Amiga Forever emulator, but not yet had time to post them for others to see. So thanks for the comment; it’s reminded me to do that. Shame I lost the source code in a garage clean-up, but have the built demo disks at least.

      Cheers,
      Tony

  1. Ah yes, I was the brother who read out BASIC programs to Tony on the Commodore 64. Wasted most of my teens playing with Atari ST then Commodore Amiga. I still play the Amiga games today via emulator, and some of the C64 and Amiga tunes are still great. In fact, if you listen carefully to many modern pop songs you will hear 8-bit chip samples in the background.

    I went down the Windows/Active Directory support route instead, but I also code many scripts and programs via VBscript, Powershell, and recently grappling with .NET and C#.

    Tony and I always wanted to code and release our own game since the age of 8. It never happened, maybe in the near future on Windows Phone 8 and Android, hmm…

    I really believe starting very young on C64 gave us a good future in IT. I learnt to type very fast thanks to that chunky Commodore keyboard, and it made me very passionate about IT. It does strike me these days that the “youngsters” who grew up with the Internet and no proper computer science education do not really understand IT, or do not have the patience or attention to detail to do things properly.

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