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Identifying languages and best language for newbies!!!


I am inquiring about 2 things:

1) How do you Identify what language a program is written in (I.E. Notepad is written in (C++, Assembly, or ...)). I would like to know how to tell what any given program or applicaton is written with.

2) What or where would you recommend I start to learn programming? I learned TRS-80 Basic in middle school. I then went on to learn Basic for the Commodore VIC-20. I was taught very little assembly and some Visual Basic 6.

I would like to learn about the lowest level of programming possible. I understand it to be the most difficult, but also the most powerful (by powerful I mean it will undermine an operating system, where Visual Basic runs on top of the operating system).

I believe I have a pretty good idea already about this, but would like to get the opinions of some experienced programmers regarding their beliefs and experiences.

As a Network Administrator I believe the best defense is knowing how people infiltrate systems. That means being a good Hacker/Cracker. Likewise being good at stopping viruses or knowing when one is or is not a virus is knowing how and what language they are written in.

I intend to decompile some programs labeled viruses, because there is controversy surrounding one that the publisher insists is not a virus even though the anti-virus claims it is.

The biggest reason for the concern is if the anti-virus labels a given program a virus, then you must trust the person giving it to you or risk being violated. The recommendation that I place this program in my exclusions list so that the anti-virus ignores it is ridiculous to me. I would never consider that.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Tom Daniels
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