Programming Projects and Practices

A site dedicated to my passion for application development


Putting together this website.

Improving my skills on both
the frontend UI and backend.

Finally writing the principles
I hold dear as a software developer.

Combinding my hobbies
and my career.


James R. Galyen
125 Sheffield Rd.
Groveland, IL 61535

E-mail: See Resume
Tel.: See Resume

I started programming on my own at about the age of ten, and learned how to program decently by eleven. And I remember even during these first few years, I spent as many as twelve hours or more a day programming. I still have my times where I have a need to program for days on end, with minimal to no sleep, but my wife usually keeps me from doing that too often.

My father had been in computer repair and told me about making programs, but was not around to show me how. He had mentioned something called BASIC (GW-BASIC, is what he meant) and I found QBASIC on my own.

After opening up an executable to see how they worked, I was baffled by the strange symbols. How can people even type this? Then I realized that there was help after accidently presshing shift+F1. But was still puzzled the the strange symbols.
I still through it was strange that the keywords and examples in the Qbasic's help screen looked nothing like the machine code I had opened up. So I decided to put a keyword in while the page was blank. PRINT. Then I executed the code. I saw text show up in the console! After exploring some more, and building some examples, I was obsessed.

A lot of people have that very first computer they hold dear. Mine was was a 286 AMD 16 mhz x86 clone processor with a whole 1 meg of ram and 80 megs of hard drive space. By the time I started using it, it was 1995. And according to the bios, it was made in 1983 -- the year I was born.

It first ran it with DOS Shell. Then it was upgraded to Microsoft Windows 3.0. What a huge improvement! Especially when I got a few games from bowep to run off floppy disk. Although learning how this Windows operating system worked was fun, Qbasic was still my program of choice when using the computer.

While in eighth grade, I got a great present for my birthday. Something I wanted more than anything I could think of. Turbo C++ 4.5 with Turbo C 3.0 for DOS and a trial of Borland Turbo C++ Builder 1.0! Along with a 486 pc with just enough memory to do the programming I was so interested in doing. I was still stuck with the old Windows operating system (Windows 3.11 now), but just having my own computer instead of having to share was excellent!

I quickly converted over as many projects from Qbasic as I could (though still unfamiliar with the language and libraries). But figuring out the language was hard. And being more familiar with Qbasic, I continued to start my ideas out there. Then converted my project into C++ the best I could. If only C++ could access the screen as easily as Qbasic...

Then, as a junior in high school, I finally got a computer worthy of being as good as my classmates. A pentium 3 processor with 32MB of ram with plenty of hard drive space. For a while, I had red-hat from a linux for dummies book I had purchased. But I eventually, in college, I went out and bought Microsoft Windows 98 SE! Skipping Windows 95 completely.

From there I've been programming all along. I hope I haven't been too boring, and thanks for reading.

About this website

And the name symbolizes my want to be a professional programmer. Although this isn't a business, but rather a personal website showing my professional experience, I would like it to become much more.

Another reason I picked Poison-Arrow as my name is because so many organizations and clubs advertise animals as a logo. I go by lion James at my local Lions Club. Which the lion is our mascot used to promote helping the blind and deaf; Linux uses the penguin as it's mascot; GNU uses the gnu as it's mascot; so my animal I use is the poison-arrow tree frog.

If I used it for a good cause, it would be for the Serra Club helping the environment, since the absence of frogs in a water system is considered a critical indicator of pollution. I am currently using it to promote my programming skills as being as sharp and precise as an arrow. It also reflect my past favorite IDE, Dev-CPP located at But the biggest reason I am using the poison-arrow tree frog is its huge array of vibrant colors it come in--allowing them to change colors to reflect the colors of my website. As well as it being the only animal which shows off its red and yellow colors so well. A red background and yellow foreground is my favorite combination of colors (showing I'm a true programmer--we often pick the worst colors when developing and design gui's)