He is not the only person wth such a problem; the engineering industries have many so-called `legacy' programs which cannot easily be run on present day hardware, and whose authors have long since departed. While it is possible to find ways to make such programs run, it may be worth while spending the time to recode them in a more modern language, taking advantage of the better interaction and graphics facilites which these offer, and also taking the opportunity to generally improve the program.
Many people would choose to rewrite an older program as a spreadsheet. There are a number of reasons why I personally would not normally do this. One is that the spreadsheet concept was invented to replace the book-keeper's financial account book. This is not a good model for the `scientific' program which is more typical of what most engineers and radio amateurs wish to create. Another is that for any non-trivial computation spreadsheets are easy to get wrong and almost impossible to check or correct. If you would like to know more about this, see this link.
In what follows I am assuming general familiarity with some of these earlier languages, and where I make comparisons I shall use BASIC as an example. If you are completely unfamiliar with any programming language, read this.
I shall also assume that you are using Windows, although it is not a very good programming environment. If you want to know why, see this. I would however suggest that if you are going to develop your own Web programs you do not use Windows Internet Explorer but obtain Mozilla or Netscape. All programs will run in Internet Explorer, but you will find it less than helful in telling you what went wrong if your program contains errors.
Now click this link.
Look into your directory. You should see the icon for the file you have just saved. If you see its full name including the .htm then you can skip the next step as you already have the appropriate option set. If the only part of the name you see is hello then you need to tell Windows to display full file names.
On the folder window top bar select:
On the new pop-up window select View.
A few lines from the top you will see an option:
Hide extensions for known file types.
Make the box beside it blank.
If you are using Internet Explorer (OK for simple programs) all you need to do is to go to the View menu and select Source. In this case skip the next two paragraphs for the time being.
More generally you will want to open the file from the file manager window. You may be able to do this with a right button on the file icon and selecting Edit, or if you get an `Open with' choice (e.g. in Windows XP) choosing Notepad. However, Edit is likely to open the file in Word which is not suitable for editing programs.
One method that always works is to use the New option from the Folder background and create a New Text Document. Double clicking on this will open it in Notepad. Don't type anything into it but drag-and-drop the icon for hello.htm into it.
You will see that the program is as follows:
Now save the modified program using "Save As" and giving it a new name. Good programming tip: never change a working program. Make a new version. Now run the new program either by double clicking on the icon or by drag-and-dropping it into a browser window.
Look at the program in the Notepad window. Just to make things initially a bit confusing, you are seeing two computer languages. Most of this file is in fact written in HTML. This is because it is a Web page and this is what is used to write Web pages. HTML is easily recognised because it uses things in <...>s. For the time being we can forget about HTML except to note that anything between the HTML instructions
So we have a one line, one instruction program. The instruction is typical of what programmers sometimes refer to as a `procedure call'. This type of instruction causes a predefined and predetermined action to be carried out, but the program using the instruction can change how and/or what with the action is performed.
In this case:
Go on to learn more...