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Ask HN: Computer, programming book and no internet. Is it still doable?
11 points by gtirloni 14 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments
Back in the "good old days", that's how I learned everything. Do you still consider that doable nowadays? With npm, pip, cargo and other package managers. Can air-gapped programming be done in 2019? How?

Yes, it can be done.

Microsoft had great documentation in 1998. It is called MSDN VS 6.0. You can find it at WinWorldPC. You had everything there (in the documentation)! DirectX, WIN32API, what ever you wish... Hit F1 on random keyword and it would still pull out the documentation for it with code examples too. No need to connect to the internet.

Comparing that to nowadays Visual Studio documentation... it's... bad. Offline documentation has links to online resources which is missing the point. You have some information there but it is not complete, it is full of holes.

I swear modern MSDN is nearly impossible to navigate without a search engine.

I am so glad you said this. I thought it was just me.

Offline C programming on OpenBSD is still pretty comfortable due to the excellent manpages. It helps that you can get source for the userspace and kernel in a single CVS checkout.

Why wouldn't it be possible? That's how I learned to program back in the day and I maintain that it is still the best way to do it. It teaches you self-reliance, how to solve problems yourself and how to think hard (since you can't google solutions on the net).

Although there are many solutions I like the story to choose a language that existed before package management was part of the process. C, Ada, lisp is a great language, the Man pages are well written, use apropos to explore functions.

Depends on what type of work you're doing. I dont think modern app development would be easy given the amount of dependencies that need to be downloaded. But if you're working on something without that, and have a really good reference manual, than sure maybe. Of course no guarantees things get done is the same amount of time.

I did some kernel work a while back on a machine with no internet access. While I did use the internet on a laptop, it was mainly to read docs get help, so assuming I had all the docs offline, had the source already, and was smart enough with all the background knowledge (I seriously doubt lol), I suppose I could have done it offline.

Sure, but it'll take a lot longer without easy access to the burble and chatter of programming forums, the archive of other learners hitting walls and creating illumination.

I'd say not only doable, but would likely also encourage better habits initially. This question reminds me of a school I read about that taught programming using only pencil and paper.

Yes, if you learn fundamentals of programming, find some good books, setup programming environment, offline from internet is good for you.

Yep, with a suitable Linux Distribution installer disk that includes the basics.

Are you accepting internship applications?

Lol wrong thread my bad

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