Hello, World!

It’s not particularly original, but I thought that this was the perfect thing to call the first post on this blog. For most programmers – or at least the ones who started learning in the 1980s or later – a program that outputs the words “Hello World” will have been the first program they write. It’s still the first thing I try and make whenever I’m starting to learn a new language, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that. I’ll be coming back to this topic a bit later on, but first I wanted to give a little bit of background about why I’ve decided to start this blog off.

Last Friday, I took part in an event called the Mad March Hack. This was a 24-hour coding event at Platform Studios in Hull, for students and ex-students from the university, and organised by James Croft, who’s done a really cool write-up of the whole thing on his blog. I decided, for reasons that I’m not entirely sure of now, to try and produce a Game Boy emulator. Note the try in that sentence – I didn’t succeed in doing much more than reading a ROM and outputting some garbage to the screen. Still, despite this rather inauspicious start, someone was interested enough to ask me if I’d be keeping up development on it, and if there was anywhere that I’d be putting out updates on its progress. And that, right there, is when I decided: I need to get me a blog.

So, back to “Hello World”. Like I said, it’s pretty much been everyone’s first program since about 1978, when it was used as the first example in Kernighan and Ritchie’s book The C Programming Language. And, at this point, it’s been done to death. Googling around has turfed up examples in pretty much every language from Basic:


to Brainfuck:


(By the way, if you can’t figure out what the hell is going on there, I don’t blame you. The Wikipedia page for Brainfuck has a pretty good explanation of it.)

so it’s kinda hard to show off anything that might be new to anyone. But, while

#include <iostream>

using namespace std;

int main() {
cout << "Hello, World!" << endl;
return 0;

will always be kinda special to me as the first program I ever wrote, I thought I’d rather show off something a bit different. So, if you happen to have a Game Boy emulator handy (I used VisualBoyAdvance), then download and load up the following ROM:


Or, if that sounds like too much work, just look at the screenshot below:


If you want to know more about how I made that ROM, then have a look at my tutorial about it, here.