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Thread: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

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    Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    I have a project that I once was inspired to create, it was the equivalent of an early version of World of Tanks and I started coding it back in the late 1980s. I created the backbone and structures using QB45 and later VBDOS then migrated to VB6. It was slow but steady going as I had other well paying jobs during that time. However, VB.NET came just as I was initiating the final large component and well, it made all the work I was doing in VB6 rather obsolete. I also had so much to do to complete. Previously, I had been able easily to migrate from one version of the language to another but with VB6 to .NET I was stymied as I didn't have the time nor the capacity to learn what appeared to be another new language entirely.

    So, I gave it up for decades assuming the work and time was lost only to pick up the idea again three years ago. I decided that I needed to re-familiarise myself with VB6 and tinker with VB.NET on a smaller scale to see if I was right to abandon my Magnus Opus or whether it would been possible to have completed it. Three years later I have learnt a lot more VB6 (I am still no expert) and I have also created VB.NET projects and I am fairly sure I made the correct choice. I could have done the .NET conversion but I would not have been able to find the MOJO to do so and the pain of using .NET for a VB6er was one that I am unsure I would ever have overcome.

    So, in my case the only potential path for my Magnus Opus without rewriting it, was VB6.

    In that interim TwinBasic/RADBasic have popped up (20 years late) they are almost here and I have the possibility of two new directions retaining the old logic of my old code and the potential for future platforms and supportability. It feels like VB6 is almost coming alive again.

    I now have an opportunity to complete my Magnus Opus but now with my new found knowledge I start to see that perhaps I may never complete it. Time has moved on. World of Tanks is already here, I have a life style that precludes spending the time I need to complete it. I have the knowledge, perhaps but I don't have the time - and time has moved on too.

    To answer my own question - I definitely have my own Magnus Opus but I am coming to the second realisation that I may never actually complete it.

    Do you have a Magnus Opus inside you? Will you complete it?

    I know you have seen images of my program before but here it is anyway.

    Last edited by yereverluvinuncleber; Sep 9th, 2021 at 07:37 AM. Reason: Added an image
    By the power invested in me, all the threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones - no arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign.

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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    I think the phrase you want is Magnum Opus.

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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Yes you are quite right. I did take Latin for two years and so there is no excuse for my mistake.
    By the power invested in me, all the threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones - no arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign.

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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    I keep thinking of that "Latin Lesson" scene in Monty Python's "Life of Brian." LOL

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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Back in the last 1980's I started to write a book on Pick Assembler. At the time there were only reference guide(s) which were useful if you only wanted to look for some info but were pretty useless on how to start and write Pick Assembler programs (I was taught someone who had been taught...). I had written the first five chapters and some appendices before I changed jobs and left Pick. I've still a print out of it. Since Pick has long gone, it would now be only as a curiosity item. Ahhhhh.....
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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    I keep thinking of that "Latin Lesson" scene in Monty Python's "Life of Brian." LOL
    People called "The Romanes" they go the house.
    By the power invested in me, all the threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones - no arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign.

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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    By the power invested in me, all the threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones - no arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign.

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    Angel of Code Niya's Avatar
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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    This reminds me of my last VB6 project. A massive code base that contains my attempt to recreate my own versions of all common controls. I was extremely enthusiastic about it in the beginning but it was around that time I was starting in VB.Net. And with each repeated use of VB.Net I grew more and more weary of the project. It got to the point where I just couldn't stand using VB6 anymore and I just abandoned the project. I entertained the idea of going back a couple times to try and at least round it out and fix it up a bit but just never got the zeal. It's original intent was for me to provide way for me to personalize my VB6 applications with it's own look and feel but there was no point to it anymore. I was done with writing programs in VB6 and there was no way for the Controls to work with .Net's WinForms. The underlying technologies were far too different. So I just left it unfinished.

    I did manage to complete about 5 or 6 controls, all of which were written from the ground up using the UserControl as a base to provide a surface to draw on and basic events like Click and Paint. The button controls I made were actually used in a production application for a while but some bugs started showing up so I advised they be removed and replaced with normal buttons. Lots of wasted effort when I think back on it, but I did learn quite a lot from it. I wish I had all that time to waste on pet projects like that again. I spent so much time on it, it's insane.
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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Or then there's Elon Musk's effort:


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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Quote Originally Posted by Niya View Post
    This reminds me of my last VB6 project. I spent so much time on it, it's insane.
    Possibly, you are insane. I say possibly but I do have some evidence and some of it is even in your own words.
    The trouble with coding, what could possibly be done with it, the potential of the end result and the aspiration to achieve it hooks into the human drive to extend oneself. A human strength is that it is only by failing to realise your limits that you can possibly extend those limits. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

    Did you place that code in an open source repository? If not, then you should have done. Let that code be an example and one day, perhaps an inspiration to others.
    By the power invested in me, all the threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones - no arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign.

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    Angel of Code Niya's Avatar
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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Quote Originally Posted by yereverluvinuncleber View Post
    Did you place that code in an open source repository? If not, then you should have done. Let that code be an example and one day, perhaps an inspiration to others.
    I thought about that but I did so many things the wrong way in that project, I really don't want to contribute to teaching programmers the wrong things. For example, in that project, all the controls had a multi-colour gradient theme to them. These colour themes were implemented as actual images created in Photoshop. It was only many years later long after I went into .Net did I learn that Windows itself has a number ways to generate gradients automatically. GDI+ has something called a gradient brush. New technologies like WPF also generate gradient backrounds on the fly through DirectX. Doing gradients as I did in that project was the wrong way to do it and it contributed greatly to the final size of the OCX and a number of performance related issues. I wanted them to be of good quality so these are very high quality images which means they are pretty heavy.

    But what I could perhaps do is release the code for the controls I was most proud of as a final product. These would only be 2 controls though, one for a button and another for a progress bar. There are some other controls like a carpet control that spreads itself on a form to give it a background gradient and a fancy border and a menu bar control. While they are quite functional, they never lived up to the image I had in my head when I wrote them and they have some quirks. Only the button and progress bar turned out exactly as I wanted.
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    C++ programmers will dismiss you as a cretinous simpleton for your inability to keep track of pointers chained 6 levels deep and Java programmers will pillory you for buying into the evils of Microsoft. Meanwhile C# programmers will get paid just a little bit more than you for writing exactly the same code and VB6 programmers will continue to whitter on about "footprints". - FunkyDexter

    There's just no reason to use garbage like InputBox. - jmcilhinney

    The threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones. No arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign. - yereverluvinuncleber

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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Well, if you can put that all to bed by doing so then it would seem a beneficial thing to do, for both you and for others.
    By the power invested in me, all the threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones - no arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign.

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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Quote Originally Posted by yereverluvinuncleber View Post
    Well, if you can put that all to bed by doing so then it would seem a beneficial thing to do, for both you and for others.
    I might just do that.
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    C++ programmers will dismiss you as a cretinous simpleton for your inability to keep track of pointers chained 6 levels deep and Java programmers will pillory you for buying into the evils of Microsoft. Meanwhile C# programmers will get paid just a little bit more than you for writing exactly the same code and VB6 programmers will continue to whitter on about "footprints". - FunkyDexter

    There's just no reason to use garbage like InputBox. - jmcilhinney

    The threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones. No arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign. - yereverluvinuncleber

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    Hyperactive Member Peter Porter's Avatar
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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Back in the 1980s on a Tandy PC, I got into coding after breaking an art program, discovering it's basic programing. When my graphics art teacher saw me viewing the code, he handed me a book on coding basic, which I learned and created my own art program. After that I found a magazine with code to create my own Breakout game, which was pretty basic, so I tweaked it giving it advanced levels, better sound, and a hall of fame to save scores by rank. Feeling inspired, I then got to programming a more advanced game based off the Aliens movie, using my own art program to design it. I had the dashboard down to show character stats which showed all their faces, sprites, a window to show the action, and the handheld radar, but never finished the game. At the time I didn't know a cheaper lookin' version of this game was already created. Anyway, I started programming this game too late, and never finished it since I graduated HS, and not having a PC of my own. It probably wouldn't have ran smoothly after completion, but from what I remember, tests with 3 animated sprites worked fine.

    I still have all the old floppys I saved my programs on!
    Last edited by Peter Porter; Sep 11th, 2021 at 09:51 PM.

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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    I once wrote a 2D platform game in QuickBasic using text mode for graphics. It had a level editor and the ability to record and replay games. Really wished I still had the source to that just to see how much has I have changed. I wrote this in my early teens, probably earlier. How I accomplished even that much with such limited knowledge is beyond me.
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    C++ programmers will dismiss you as a cretinous simpleton for your inability to keep track of pointers chained 6 levels deep and Java programmers will pillory you for buying into the evils of Microsoft. Meanwhile C# programmers will get paid just a little bit more than you for writing exactly the same code and VB6 programmers will continue to whitter on about "footprints". - FunkyDexter

    There's just no reason to use garbage like InputBox. - jmcilhinney

    The threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones. No arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign. - yereverluvinuncleber

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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Quote Originally Posted by Niya View Post
    I once wrote a 2D platform game in QuickBasic using text mode for graphics. It had a level editor and the ability to record and replay games. Really wished I still had the source to that just to see how much has I have changed. I wrote this in my early teens, probably earlier. How I accomplished even that much with such limited knowledge is beyond me.
    I don't remember what basic I used back then. Maybe it was Quickbasic. Are there emulators out there to get QB working?

    After I blew my graphics teacher away with my advanced version of Breakout, which was almost like Super-Breakout from the arcades, he was really looking forward to my Aliens game. Hell, I would go back to programming that dinosaur of a game for the fun of it if I could find an emulator and drivers for old 80s or 90s floppy drives, and a manual on coding whatever basic I used back then.

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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Porter View Post
    I don't remember what basic I used back then. Maybe it was Quickbasic. Are there emulators out there to get QB working?
    There's QB64 now which I believe is 100% compatible with ancient versions of QuickBasic.
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    C++ programmers will dismiss you as a cretinous simpleton for your inability to keep track of pointers chained 6 levels deep and Java programmers will pillory you for buying into the evils of Microsoft. Meanwhile C# programmers will get paid just a little bit more than you for writing exactly the same code and VB6 programmers will continue to whitter on about "footprints". - FunkyDexter

    There's just no reason to use garbage like InputBox. - jmcilhinney

    The threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones. No arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign. - yereverluvinuncleber

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    Hyperactive Member Peter Porter's Avatar
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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Quote Originally Posted by Niya View Post
    There's QB64 now which I believe is 100% compatible with ancient versions of QuickBasic.
    Great!

    Now all I would have to do is find an old working 5.25 inch floppy drive and a adapter for it. That's not gonna be easy!

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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Easy, peasy! Ebay is your friend. These items are not the throw away items they once were, so be prepared to pay a reasonable amount for a working example. The adapter will probably be the cheaper item. Often it is best to buy a whole system with a Mobo with a floppy IDE and cable.

    Retro computing is the thing at the moment!
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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    QB64 has the old QB IDE, the language is 100% compatible, it does not have the exact same process for building a binary, I believe it is a transpiler, your QB code is translated to C and then compiled but it all appears the same to the user. The run and continue is also handled differently to the original QB45, or was, you'll get used to it, there are a raft of new keywords that extend the language and it is also multi-platform (on occasion when those function).

    Watch out for the forum though, it doesn't have the same attitude as here. There are some strange politics going on, it seems that they are mostly right-leaning and the mods let the politics intrude on technical threads as the main right-leaning techies are more or less running the show, so they can never be banned.

    There is an additional graphical compositor, not a patch on our old VB6 forms designer but more of an add-on that allows QB64 to implement win GUI type controls and as a bonus, it can also implement event driven code. Really worth looking at.

    I was keen on the product before I encountered the in-thread politics, silly of me I know but I decided the QB64 forum wasn't the place for me nor my son as I don't like any politix intruding so I gave it up technically. Strange how that works.
    By the power invested in me, all the threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones - no arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign.

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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Porter View Post
    I still have all the old floppys I saved my programs on!
    Isn't it floppies ?

    I hope they still operate!
    By the power invested in me, all the threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones - no arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign.

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    Fanatic Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Last edited by 2kaud; Sep 12th, 2021 at 06:05 AM.
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2kaud View Post
    Floppy is an adjective
    I am normally a stickler for this sort of thing but the noun became the familiar name for such items and after fifty years I think it can be accepted, floppies it is.
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    Hyperactive Member Peter Porter's Avatar
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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Quote Originally Posted by yereverluvinuncleber View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 2kaud View Post
    Floppy is an adjective
    I am normally a stickler for this sort of thing but the noun became the familiar name for such items and after fifty years I think it can be accepted, floppies it is.
    Floppy, floppies, I just hope they still work! They're about 34 years old!

    I always kept them in a cool place, but I'm guessing there might be some deterioration.
    Last edited by Peter Porter; Sep 12th, 2021 at 06:58 AM.

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    Hyperactive Member Peter Porter's Avatar
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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Quote Originally Posted by yereverluvinuncleber View Post
    QB64 has the old QB IDE, the language is 100% compatible, it does not have the exact same process for building a binary, I believe it is a transpiler, your QB code is translated to C and then compiled but it all appears the same to the user.
    The weird thing, I don't remember if I used QB or not. All I remember was accidently breaking a program and seeing it's basic code, and coding my own stuff shortly afterwards.

    After that I haven't touched a computer for over 13 years. Did light coding for fun in late 1999 (don't remember what basic I used then, but I believe it ran in DOS mode), and not code for over 10 years again.

    I'm not as young as I use to be. Maybe all the crazy partying I've done in the 90s fried my memory.

    If QB was the only thing around in 1986 thru 87 for Tandy computers, then that's what I used!

    To give you an idea of how old I am, my first PC was a TRS 80, with nothing following afterwards except for a C64 for gaming many years later.
    Last edited by Peter Porter; Sep 12th, 2021 at 06:53 AM.

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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Porter View Post
    If QB was the only thing around in 1986 thru 87 for Tandy computers, then that's what I used!
    I very much doubt it unless that Tandy was a business-type PC compatible you were running with MS-DOS. Regardless, QB64 would be a great target for a port as all the traditional BASIC keywords, statements, functions, syntax will all be there. Let us know how you get on.
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    Hyperactive Member Peter Porter's Avatar
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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Quote Originally Posted by yereverluvinuncleber View Post
    I very much doubt it unless that Tandy was a business-type PC compatible you were running with MS-DOS. Regardless, QB64 would be a great target for a port as all the traditional BASIC keywords, statements, functions, syntax will all be there. Let us know how you get on.
    Money is kinda tight, plus having the worry that we could catch this virus one day, shelling out bucks for an old 5.25 inch floppy drive that may not work is kinda risky. Anyway, I have an old PC in my basement. It might have an old floppy drive, but my guess it's 3.5 inch. I do know it has a CD disk drive, so it might be to ahead to have a 5.25 inch with it.
    Last edited by Peter Porter; Sep 12th, 2021 at 09:20 AM.

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    Angel of Code Niya's Avatar
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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Quote Originally Posted by yereverluvinuncleber View Post
    Watch out for the forum though, it doesn't have the same attitude as here. There are some strange politics going on, it seems that they are mostly right-leaning and the mods let the politics intrude on technical threads as the main right-leaning techies are more or less running the show, so they can never be banned.
    Sounds like my kind of place. I'm not American but like the rest of the world, we do consume a lot of American content and to be honest, the mainstream left leaning culture of America is unpalatable to me. 52 genders? Woke culture? Cancel culture? SJWs being offended at everything? Radical man hating feminism? No thanks. Any content I consume outside of STEM, programming, movies and music tends to lean heavily into the right, where common sense still seems to be a thing. The only thing I can't stand with American right wing ideologies are their tendencies for racism but I think they are of sound mind otherwise.
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    C++ programmers will dismiss you as a cretinous simpleton for your inability to keep track of pointers chained 6 levels deep and Java programmers will pillory you for buying into the evils of Microsoft. Meanwhile C# programmers will get paid just a little bit more than you for writing exactly the same code and VB6 programmers will continue to whitter on about "footprints". - FunkyDexter

    There's just no reason to use garbage like InputBox. - jmcilhinney

    The threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones. No arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign. - yereverluvinuncleber

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    Re: Do we all have a Magnus Opus inside us?

    Quote Originally Posted by Niya View Post
    Sounds like my kind of place.
    Well, there is no place for it in a technical non political thread like this one!
    By the power invested in me, all the threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones - no arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign.

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