Handmade Hero»Forums»Code
3 posts
Do you take notes while watching the videos? How?
Hey everyone!

I've been trying to take notes effectively while watching the videos, since I knew a bit about C, I made use of the Intro videos and I've tried to take notes on paper, on a simple txt file, on Microsoft OneNote, and even in Tex.

I've experimented a bit and I didn't find a "good" way to take notes. I have two screens so I can watch the video and write code at the same time easily. I go on MSDN when Casey links to it and I take time to read all the info after the video and I try to re-do everything by myself, checking the original code as least as possible.

Usually I'm a fan of taking notes on paper, but when it's about programming, it often goes back and forth and it quickly becomes a mess when trying to classify parts, write code examples, etc.

I find the episode guide on this site to be really useful, but you have to Watch the video everytime you need to check something. I'd like to have a way to link to specific parts of a video in case it's not clear enough in the notes, and using the parts already done in the guide would be nice. It would also be nice if anyone could use it. Maybe Markdown would be appropriate here. I'm starting to watch the main videos now, and I'd like to make things correctly to get the most out of it.

So, do you take notes? If so, how do you do it? Thank you!
Casey Muratori
801 posts / 1 project
Casey Muratori is a programmer at Molly Rocket on the game 1935 and is the host of the educational programming series Handmade Hero.
Do you take notes while watching the videos? How?
I'm not particularly well versed in how these things are set up, but I believe the Handmade Companion already is written in markdown. You can look at the GitHub and see it. For example:


Not sure if that helps anything, but just wanted to point it out...

- Casey
3 posts
Do you take notes while watching the videos? How?
Thanks for the quick reply!

I think having the videos separated in parts helps everyone to agree on a convention (if that makes sense), but I think it's not "organic" enough for the purpose of taking notes. It's awesome for linking to a part of a video when asking questions though!

I'm new to programming, I've read a couple of tutorials and books, and I'm looking for insight from more experienced people. Do you find it's useful to take notes? I'm not looking for the perfect solution, but I'd like to know what people think about that.
Nines Baobaberson
37 posts
Do you take notes while watching the videos? How?
Hey mfort, good question. I've got a single running text file of notes, but it's pretty sparce. I mark the day and time in the notes so I can find the full explanation again. But if I code something during the video then I tend to put notes in the code itself rather than the master text file, which is kind of a hole in my method actually. (This code gets copied every session, so to find something I'd have to go back through all my old versions of the files.)

My goal would be to have very terse "overview" notes, kind of like Iker's nice summaries.. basically enough for me to remember the structure of things at a glance. The idea is I want to be able to recreate the code from scratch with just a few guiding notes (after all, Casey can!).

My main strategy is similar to yours: basically take notes during the lesson and then try to recreate the code on my own afterwards. However, I'm quite a bit behind on the "recreate on my own" portion :silly: so I can't really report on the effectiveness of this yet.

Also now that we're on game code, my strategy may shift a bit since I don't feel as completely out of my depth here. But also because some of the coding here is exploratory, I don't feel I have to follow Casey so tightly. Just sort of being along for the ride feels like enough. Not sure how I'll end of proceeding here. Right now I'm just taking notes on anything I think I won't remember. (Or hilarious quotes, like Casey's near perfect deadpan delivery of "it's a game about animal safety" in the day 33 pre-stream.)

Do you find it's useful to take notes? I'm not looking for the perfect solution, but I'd like to know what people think about that.

Yes, I definitely find it useful. Although to be honest I'm not sure how often I actually use my notes... sometimes I think just the act of making them helps me remember. I don't get too detailed though... Right now probably the most common thing in my notes are various Windows calls... but here's kind of like what it looks like:


is basically a mask, any F byte will remain


day 24

translation lookaside buffer
like a cache for virtual memory addresses

good for us since we're using such a big chunk of contiguous memory


"where" is a Windows cmdline tool that will list the position(s) 
of that file in the filesystem IF any can be found (e.g. try "where xinput*.*"). 
It uses the same logic (as far as I can tell) that DLL loading etc. 
use (current folder, PATH, ...).



day 23

could draw paths too like the bret victor thing

note: mostly this is so easy because of the way
we set things up, the memory etc...


day 23

-transparent window-


(layered doesn't work with owndc, so we'd have to get dc every time and release like normal)


"we could load the executable in the dll
load a handle to that and reverse call into it"

day 21 24m40s

Anyway, that's kind of like what my notes look like. In hindsight I def need to do a proper mind dump of things on my mind now, basically a summary of what we've done so far. As you can see I also put other related notes, like tips from the forums too.
Andrew Chronister
194 posts / 2 projects
Developer, administrator, and style wrangler
Do you take notes while watching the videos? How?
My notes are in the form of comments next to relevant things in the code itself, since I'm coding along staying (mostly) caught up. The idea being if I ever want to check how we did something in HH, the note will be right there.

This doesn't always work, like if we do something and then change it to be something else, but most of the time it seems pretty effective.
Livet Ersomen Strøm
163 posts
Do you take notes while watching the videos? How?
Luckily now I have access to the code, so then it no longer matters.

I recommend preordering the game, so that you get access to the code. Because then you don't need any notes. All code is there, from the very beginning.

Notes never helped me much. I just need to understand what is done, and when I get it, I can recreate anything missing.
3 posts
Do you take notes while watching the videos? How?
Thank you all for your answers, sometimes just knowing what others do is of great help when you're not sure where you're going.

Kladdehelvete: I've already preordered the game, but since I'm recoding it myself it's only useful for assets, and the code itself is not as commented as I would like.

If it's of interest to anyone, I've found a video of a med school student doing exactly what I'm trying to do, and as far as taking notes go, theses guys are definitely doing something right. Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh_WGWii7UE
Martin Cohen
47 posts / 1 project
Code, art, music, stupid ideas.
Do you take notes while watching the videos? How?
I have a text file opened (and available) at all times on all computers. I'm simply adding new notes (in Markdown). I have various lectures playing all day long when I'm working (usually on the same topic for several days in a row).

Anytime I happen to hear something interesting, I'll write it down in a semi-structured way. I can afford to re-watch everything several times a day if I know I don't remember too much from the video.

"Luckily", there's not much of "new" stuff for me in the stream right now. I'm watching it nonetheless (addiction?) including the pre-streams (available on the twitch) to get any information possible from Casey. It's not everyday I have the possibility to be lectured by someone I can learn from be it C basics or SIMD.

I also keep the videos I want to watch in a youtube "Watch later" list (or add the link to the notes in case it's from other source).