While battling the rendering of images in PowerPoint via JavaScript I remembered that my ver first piece of software was actually a “presentation design tool”. Back in 1985, in the final years of high school, I submitted a program as an entry to a programming contest.

Screen drawing was in its infancy then, and I noted that all programs were “destructive”, you drew something on bitmap canvas and could store the end result, but there was no way to edit / undo your master piece at a later stage. My program stored individual actions which had 2 benefits: you could edit your drawing, and it took far less tape space to save the file (a line just takes 2 points to store).

The program was written in Basic on a TI-99/4A (which had a screen resolution of 256 pixels I think). Unfortunately, I did not win the contest. I think the winner was a shopwindow advertising application written by the son of the local butcher that enabled horizontal scrolling of the latest entrecote prices in big characters on the screen. (The butcher himself seemed to know more about the intricacies of the program than his son though). I think the jury thought this had more practical application than a presentation design program.

Image via WikiPedia

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