About John Dalesandro

Who am I?

I like to write code — both professionally and as a hobby. I like to design and implement elegant solutions to problems. I like to build full-blown end-to-end applications or small scripts and utilities. I have a BS and MS in Computer Science.

My first computer was an IBM PS/1. This particular model had an Intel 80286 running at 10 Mhz with 1 MB of RAM (upgraded from a paltry 512 KB) and a 30 MB hard drive. It came with King’s Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella and Where in the U.S.A. Is Carmen Sandiego? on multiple floppy disks. Until that time, my only experience with computer games was Oregon Trail at school on an Apple IIGS that we were allowed to use perhaps once a year. I was fortunate to also have a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), but computer games were different. At the time, computer games required some effort and knowledge of PCs to get them to work. You also had the ability to inspect the game files. So while the NES was perfect for gaming, the computer was great for both gaming and tinkering.

King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella
King’s Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella

I started programming at around 12 years old when I found a QBasic game called Gorillas (gorillas.bas) on my computer. I had upgraded the operating system to MS-DOS 6.0 and the game was included (buried) somewhere in the file system. It was the first time I had seen actual source code and I probably spent more time trying to understand it rather than playing the game. I taught myself QBasic by attempting to modify the game physics and graphics. As computer game technology advanced, it drove me to keep learning about how computers work in order to get games to run on older hardware. Again, I probably spent more time trying to figure out IRQs and RAM disks to get Doom II, Duke Nukem 3D, and Star Wars: Dark Forces to run versus actually playing those games.

This all led me to purse a Computer Science degree. Computer Science must be all about programming and games, right? Well, it didn’t have too many games unless your idea of games is programming to structure data, sort data, and search data. So much sorting — bubble sort, merge sort, quick sort, insertion sort, selection sort and more! Don’t forget math. A lot of math. And physics. While that may not sound like fun to everyone, it does offer a logical approach to problem solving. That’s fun for me so I kept at it and earned a master’s degree in Computer Science.

QBasic Gorillas (gorillas.bas)
QBasic Gorillas (gorillas.bas)

What is this site?

With that in mind, this site generally focuses on programming and technology to solve problems and get things done. I don’t favor one platform or language over another so you’ll find posts covering Windows, Linux, Java, C++, VBA — whatever the best tool may be to solve a particular problem. I assume that if I wasn’t able to find an already built solution to a problem, then perhaps someone else is also out there searching for an answer to the same problem. So I try to share solutions to help passersby avoid many hours of stumbling, but it also serves as a personal reference for when I forget how I did something. It’s a small addition to all of the great information posted by others which has saved me from many hours of stumbling.

I suppose it’s like the technology/programming version of Sheldon Cooper Presents: Fun With Flags from The Big Bang Theory.

This is a personal site and, as such, the posts represent my personal opinion. I will delete inappropriate or spam comments. While I’ve tested and used the code posted on this site, I can’t guarantee that it will work in every possible scenario or configuration. All content should be considered as “use at your own risk”.

Contact Information

If you have questions about any posts, please ask in the comments. You may also use the Contact form. However, please appreciate that I may not be able to immediately respond.

Feel free to look around and I hope you find something useful. Keep learning!