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Thread: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

  1. #1

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    Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    My first BASIC computer was a Sinclair ZX80 that I built from parts in 1980. 1K RAM, 3.5mhz Z80, 4K BASIC ROM. Later expanded to 16K with a ram pack.

    That was where I cut my teeth with BASIC, albeit a tokenised version. None of my programs survive as they were all less than 1K or so, were useless and they were all written to cassette tape. I do still have that computer and I treasure it.

    My second was a ZX Spectrum 48k (another z80) with 2 x 400K IBM floppies and a home-built disc drive controller all built into a BSR record deck as the case. Tokenised Sinclair BASIC again. One or two of the programs survive, one survives as a concept that is still growing today, that's my mil. sim. software, Firestrike that morphed into QB45, VBDOS and VB6.

    I still have that Spectrum somewhere. I'll have to dig it out.

    My third was a IBM PC 5150 with 640K with GWBASIC. Nothing I wrote for that early PC survives. That PC was a work PC and it has long since bitten the dust.

    Q. What was your first computer that your programmed in some form of BASIC?

    Q. Does any of your early software still survive? Pictorial examples please.
    Last edited by yereverluvinuncleber; Jun 3rd, 2019 at 10:15 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    my first computer commodore 64,
    most program where "copy/paste" from magazine. so not my own.
    I did a few minor programs, but very basic, mostly to experiment, on graphics, on text, colors. nothing that I felt was a "real" project.
    next computer amiga 500, I started programming with Amos.
    I did my "first real" project, a hex-editor, that I used to "change" strings in datafiles,
    used it to experiment on games and changed the name/text of stuff, just for fun, (not any serious attempt to crack).
    I also did a bunch of different programs, mostly graphical, some very basic paint program and music,
    since I also used tracker (music-programs) I also created intro/demos with music.
    nothing is saved, I think I did have something in some disks, that I saved but gave it away to a friend when I sold my computer.
    when I bought a PC, a 486 with dos and windows 3 I started to learn turbo pascal.
    I did a few programs, utilities, similar to norton commander, one that I actually liked a lot, that I found more user friendly that norton commander.
    I lost that one when I moved to "windows-only" environment.
    when early windows 95/98/early years of xp. I did a bunch of programs in visual basic 6.
    due to a HD crash, I lost everything and I needed to start over.
    from later xp to 7/10/now, I do have every project I created, that means around 10 years back. everything older that that is lost.

  3. #3
    PowerPoster Arnoutdv's Avatar
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    The first computer on which I started programming was the Atari ST.
    Together with a friend we created a multi part demo in Omikron Basic, which had a very decent compiler.

    The demo was called “The Tea Party Demo” and was created in 1990.
    http://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=19891
    https://demozoo.org/productions/59513/screenshots/

    Code:
    POKE $FF820A,2
    CLEAR 63000,4096
    POKE $484,0
    PRINT "f": CLS
    CLEAR FRE(0)-10000
    Col_Buf%L= MEMORY(32)
    MOUSEOFF
    MEMORY_MOVE $FF8240,32 TO Col_Buf%L
    MEMORY_BLOCK 00,32034,Pic%L
    PRINT "f": CLS
    MEMORY_BLOCK 01,32034,Front%L
    MEMORY_BLOCK 02,32034,Back%L
    MEMORY_BLOCK 03,32034,Frnt%L
    MEMORY_BLOCK 04,32,F_Voor%L
    MEMORY_BLOCK 05,32,F_Achter%L
    MEMORY_BLOCK 06,32,Normal%L
    MEMORY_BLOCK 07,32,Achter%L
    MEMORY_BLOCK 08,32,Voor%L
    MEMORY_BLOCK 09,32,Shadow%L
    MEMORY_BLOCK 10,32,Fontcol%L
    MEMORY_BLOCK 11,32,Crazy%L
    MEMORY_BLOCK 12,8300,Storm%L
    Play%L=Storm%L+20
    St%L=Storm%L
    CALL St%L
    XBIOS (Sm%L,2)
    Ws%L=Sm%L
    FOR I%=0 TO 32 STEP 2: WPOKE $FF8240+I%,0: NEXT I%
    MEMORY_MOVE Pic%L+34,32000 TO Ws%L
    DIM Font1%L(50)
    DIM Tekst%B(2000)
    T$="     THE DOUBLE DUTCH CREW PROUDLY PRESENTS THE 'FLYGUY STRIKES BACK' SCREEN.              "
    L1%= LEN(T$)
    T$=T$+" WHEN I SAW THE ULTIMATE GFA DEMO (BY THE OVERLANDERS) I THOUGHT: NO, THIS CAN'T BE TRUE!, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO DO SUCH THINGS IN BASIC!              "
    L2%= LEN(T$)
    T$=T$+"AGAIN I LOOKED AT OUR PREVIOUS DEMO'S LIKE THE OMIKRON SLIDER, THE FASTER THAN LIGHT DEMO, FREE STYLE DEMO"
    T$=T$+" AND THE IN FULL EFFECT DEMO.  I REALIZED THAT WE COULD DO BETTER.             "
    L3%= LEN(T$)
    T$=T$+"WE NEEDED MORE COLORS, BETTER GRAPHIX AND FASTER SCROLL ROUTINES, AND WE NEEDED SOUND BADLY...           "
    L4%= LEN(T$)
    T$=T$+" SO HOMEBOY WENT ON WITH HIS GREAT GRAPHIX PERFORMANCE AND I TRIED TO 'RE'INVENT SOME NEW TECHNIQUES, WE ALREADY HAD SOME SCREENS DONE FOR THIS DEMO, BUT OUR NEW SCREENS ARE HEAD BLASTING.             "
    L5%= LEN(T$)
    T$=T$+" WE NOW EVEN DO HAVE MUZIEK (THANX TO CRUSH FROM AENIGMATICA AND TO DARYL AND MAD MAX FROM TEX)                  "
    L6%= LEN(T$)
    T$=T$+" AFTER THE CODERS CONVENTION IN OSS I ALSO OPTIMIZED OUR SCROLL METHODE,  AT THIS MOMENT WE DON'T NEED THE BLITTER ROUTINES ANYMORE....             "
    L7%= LEN(T$)
    T$=T$+"WHAT ELSE DO I'VE GOT TO SAY?       JUST 1 GREETING:  YO! DOGUE THE MAUVE (OVR), THANX FOR THE GREAT REVIEW OF THIS DEMO ALTHOUGH IT WAS JUST A PRE-RELEASE!         "
    T$=T$+"THE DDC ALSO THINKS THAT YOU ARE ONE OF THE BEST BASIC CODERS AROUND! (SEND US SOME MONEY AS WELL FOR THIS REMARK!)             THAT'S ALL FOLKS...       LET'S START FROM SCRATCH!                                              "
    L8%= LEN(T$)
    Tekst_LEN%= LEN(T$)
    Hoogte%=32
    LPOKE $44E,Ws%L
    Laad_Font
    Convert_Text(T$)
    Blok%L=8
    Blok2%L=Blok%L*2
    H160%=Hoogte%*160
    Hb%=H160%-Blok%L
    Back%=320-Blok2%L
    Pb%L= MEMORY(3000)
    Pb2%L= MEMORY(3000)
    Pb152%L=Pb%L+38+400
    Pb153%L=Pb%L+39+400
    Pb8%L=Pb%L+2+400
    Pb2152%L=Pb2%L+38+400
    Pb28%L=Pb2%L+2+400
    Pbxx%L=Pb%L+400
    Pbxx2%L=Pb2%L+400
    
    Ww1%=1:Ww2%=1
    Kar%=1
    Karno%=Tekst%B(1)
    Lastkar%=Tekst%B(0)
    Bigbuf%L= MEMORY(320256)
    Bigbuf%L= INT((Bigbuf%L+255)/256)*256
    MEMORY_MOVE Front%L+34,32000 TO Ws%L
    BITBLT 10,0,300,200 TO Front%L
    MEMORY_MOVE Frnt%L+34,32000 TO Ws%L
    BITBLT 10,0,300,200 TO Frnt%L
    PRINT "f": CLS
    Cc%=1
    LPOKE $44E,Ws%L
    FOR I%=0 TO 9
     K%= ABS((5-I%))
     MEMORY_MOVE Back%L+34+I%*640,32000-I%*640 TO Ws%L
     MEMORY_MOVE Back%L+34,I%*640 TO Ws%L+32000-I%*640
     BITBLT Frnt%L TO 10,0,320,200,4
     BITBLT Front%L TO 10,0,320,200,7
     MEMORY_MOVE Ws%L,32000 TO Bigbuf%L+I%*32000
     CLS
    NEXT I%
    CLS
    MEMORY_MOVE Fontcol%L,32 TO $FF8240
    H0%=H160%-160
    A160%=160
    Bump%=160
    WHILE 1
    MEMORY_MOVE Pb%L+402,1280 TO Pb%L+400
    Put_Char4
    Px%L=Pb%L
    Put2x
    
    MEMORY_MOVE Pb2%L+402,1280 TO Pb2%L+400
    Put_Char1
    Px%L=Pb2%L
    Put2x
    
    MEMORY_MOVE Pb%L+402,1280 TO Pb%L+400
    Put_Char3
    Px%L=Pb%L
    Put2x
    
    MEMORY_MOVE Pb2%L+402,1280 TO Pb2%L+400
    Put_Char2
    Px%L=Pb2%L
    Put2x
    Lastkar%=Karno%
    Kar%=Kar%+1
    Kar%=Kar% MOD Tekst_LEN%
    IF Kar%=L1% THEN MEMORY_MOVE F_Voor%L,32 TO $FF8240
    IF Kar%=L2% THEN MEMORY_MOVE F_Achter%L,32 TO $FF8240
    IF Kar%=L3% THEN MEMORY_MOVE Normal%L,32 TO $FF8240
    IF Kar%=L4% THEN MEMORY_MOVE Voor%L,32 TO $FF8240
    IF Kar%=L5% THEN MEMORY_MOVE Achter%L,32 TO $FF8240
    IF Kar%=L6% THEN MEMORY_MOVE Shadow%L,32 TO $FF8240
    IF Kar%=L7% THEN MEMORY_MOVE Crazy%L,32 TO $FF8240
    IF Kar%=L8%-1 THEN MEMORY_MOVE Fontcol%L,32 TO $FF8240
    Karno%=Tekst%B(Kar%)
    A$= INKEY$
    IF LEN(A$)<>0 THEN EXIT
    WEND
    CALL St%L
    FOR I%=1 TO 3
     TUNE I%,0
     NOISE I%,0
     VOLUME I%,0
    NEXT I%
    LPOKE $44E,Sm%L
    FOR I%=0 TO 30 STEP 2: WPOKE $FF8240+I%,0: NEXT I%
    CLS
    MEMORY_MOVE Col_Buf%L,32 TO $FF8240
    SYSTEM
    
    DEF PROC Put2x
     XBIOS (,37)
     CALL Play%L
     XBIOS (,5, HIGH(-1), LOW(-1), HIGH(Bigbuf%L+Scr%L), LOW(Bigbuf%L+Scr%L),-1)
     Bump%=Bump%+A160%
     IF Bump%=160 OR Bump%=26880 THEN A160%=-A160%:Ttel%=0
     Hulp%=A160%
     IF Ttel%<10 THEN Hulp%=-Hulp%
     Sm16000%L=Bigbuf%L+Scr%L+Bump%-1600
     IF Ttel%<10 THEN
      IF Hulp%= ABS(Hulp%) THEN
       Begin%=Ttel%*160:Eind%=H0%+1600+Ttel%*160
      ELSE
       Begin%=1600-Ttel%*160:Eind%=H0%+3200-Ttel%*160
      ENDIF
     ELSE
      IF Hulp%= ABS(Hulp%) THEN
       Begin%=0:Eind%=H0%+1600
      ELSE
       Begin%=1600:Eind%=H0%+3200
      ENDIF
     ENDIF
     Ttel%=Ttel%+1
     Ps%L=Px%L+Begin%/4
     FOR Sc%=Begin% TO Eind% STEP 160
      Ss%L=Sm16000%L+Sc%
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L,2 TO Ss%L
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+2,2 TO Ss%L+8
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+4,2 TO Ss%L+16
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+6,2 TO Ss%L+24
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+8,2 TO Ss%L+32
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+10,2 TO Ss%L+40
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+12,2 TO Ss%L+48
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+14,2 TO Ss%L+56
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+16,2 TO Ss%L+64
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+18,2 TO Ss%L+72
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+20,2 TO Ss%L+80
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+22,2 TO Ss%L+88
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+24,2 TO Ss%L+96
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+26,2 TO Ss%L+104
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+28,2 TO Ss%L+112
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+30,2 TO Ss%L+120
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+32,2 TO Ss%L+128
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+34,2 TO Ss%L+136
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+36,2 TO Ss%L+144
      MEMORY_MOVE Ps%L+38,2 TO Ss%L+152
      Ps%L=Ps%L+40
     NEXT Sc%
     Scr%L=Scr%L+32000
     Scr%L=Scr%L MOD 320000
    RETURN
    
    ....
    https://web.archive.org/web/20041102...astscroll.html
    Last edited by Arnoutdv; Jun 3rd, 2019 at 01:34 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    The first one was ZX-Spectrum-128K and i made the games and programs using Sinclair BASIC.
    Written in 2018 (you can get it from first/last track of 07d7 album )
    Code:
    1 CLEAR 29999
    5 LET c=0
    15 PAPER 0: BORDER 0: INK 7: CLS 
    20 FOR x = 0 TO 31
    25 LET c=c+1: IF c>7 THEN LET c=1
    30 PRINT AT 0,x; FLASH 1; INK c;"";AT 21,x; INK c;""
    40 NEXT x
    50 FOR y=0 TO 21
    55 LET c=c+1: IF c>7 THEN LET c=1
    60 PRINT AT y,0; FLASH 1; INK c;"";AT y,31; INK c;""
    70 NEXT y
    90 LET c=3
    100 FOR y = 3 TO 7
    110 PRINT PAPER c;AT y,4; " "; PAPER 1;AT y,5;"                      "; PAPER c;AT y,27;" "
    130 NEXT y
    140 PRINT PAPER c;AT 2,4;"                        "
    150 PRINT PAPER c;AT 8,4;"                        "
    160 PRINT AT 5,8; PAPER 1;"Т H E  Т R I C K"
    165 INK 2
    170 PRINT AT 11,14; ""
    180 PRINT AT 12,13; ""
    190 PRINT AT 13,13; ""
    200 PRINT AT 14,14; ""
    210 PRINT AT 15,14; " "
    300 FOR n=30000 TO 30028
    320 READ a
    330 POKE n,a
    340 NEXT n
    350 DATA 229,197,33,168,64,6,8,197,6,16,126,79,203,39,177,119,35,16,247,1,240,0,9,193,16,237,193,225,201
    360 RANDOMIZE USR 30000
    390 LET y=17: LET x=8
    395 INK 6
    405 PRINT AT y,x; INK 7;""
    415 PRINT AT y+1,x; BRIGHT 1;"     "
    425 PRINT AT y+2,x;"    "
    490 FOR x = 2 TO 20 STEP 18
    500 PRINT AT 12, x; INK 5;""
    510 PRINT AT 13, x; INK 7;"   "
    520 NEXT x
    1000 PLAY "M23(O2 3cO3c)(O2 fO3f)(O1#gO2#g)(O2#dO3#d))", "UX1000W0 O2 3c O7 1cc X3000 O1 3g O7 X1000 1cc)", "((9&&)) (3&&V13 g&ggg#g&ccc#g#g#gg&&#d&#d#d#df&#d#d#dd#df#d))"

    Then i acquire the Vector-06C.

  5. #5

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Five minutes after saying I had lost all my GWBASIC code I was looking in a folder on a drive I seldom use and there was a GWBASIC .OBJ of a program I once created on the IBM PC 5150. Some blasted a/v tool has quarantined the EXE at some point so that has gone and of course I can't find the original .BAS but I do have some traces of the software that I created in the late 1980s.

    Can you recreate an EXE from just the OBJ?

  6. #6
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    My first go with a form of Basic was on a Timex Sinclair 1000 that my brother picked up at a yard sale back in the early 80s. The unit had some keys that did not work and was not possible to do a lot with it but I managed to do enough that it interested me. Later another brother found another one at yet another yard sale and this one had working keys so I was able to do a lot more with it. It wasn't until the late 80s that I actually bought a computer to really dive into it. My first was a Commodore 64C and that is where I really cut my teeth learning the basics of basic. A couple of years later I bought an cheap clone AT system and installed GW Basic on it which is where I really learned the Basic language.

    As far as programs retained. I think the oldest stuff that I still have around I wrote somewhere in the early 90s. The best of which would be a couple of door games I wrote for the old BBS systems.

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    TI 99 4/A, then spectrum 48, PC XT, Atari ST, Amiga, 286, 386, 486 etc...

    I wrote some games in Basic with the TI 99/4A and started my first sold app on the XT in Turbo Pascal.
    Long time ago....

  9. #9
    PowerPoster Zvoni's Avatar
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    C64.
    Wrote my first Database on it for fun (a DB for my Vinyl-Collection. Singles, Longplayers, A- and B-Sides, Album of one Artist, Samplers with multiple Artists, Search-Function etc.)
    Ported it later to Turbo-Pascal 3.0 in School for a Project (which earned me a straight "A").
    Don't have the code anymore. Lost it some 30 years ago
    One System to rule them all, One IDE to find them,
    One Code to bring them all, and to the Framework bind them,
    in the Land of Redmond, where the Windows lie
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    People call me crazy because i'm jumping out of perfectly fine airplanes.
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    For health reasons i try to avoid reading unformatted Code

  10. #10
    Frenzied Member wqweto's Avatar
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Quote Originally Posted by The trick View Post
    Then i acquire the Vector-06C.
    It was really very hard to find *anything* in the years we spent behind the iron curtain indeed. We in Bulgaria had Apple II clones called Pravetz 82 since. . . well '82 and my father brought home (one of) the original Apple II they cloned. Later they reversed and cloned PC XT, 286 and just before fall of comunism they had prototypes of Intel 386 based ones that never went into mass production.

    Unfortunately using eastern bloc (russian) chips had negative effect on performance. Pravetz PCs were the only machines that PC Tools showed something like 80% speed based on stock XT :-))

    cheers,
    </wqw>

  11. #11
    Fanatic Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    The first computer I used in 1974 was a HP-2000 Basic time-sharing system. My school had a telephone modem link to one at 110 Baud via an ASR33 teletype. I still have the HP manual and some line printer listings of programs I wrote.

    My first own computer was an Acorn Atom in 1980 - shortly after it was announced. I also had a card cage that connected to it via a bus cable that contained extra memory cards and a RS232 port card. I still have this but sadly it no longer works - the last time I tried it over 10 years ago it just showed some gibberish on the screen (possibly dry joints as the soldering wasn't the best). I have cassette tapes of programs, but no listings. I do have the original manual somewhere.

    Ah - those were the days.
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

    C++17 Compiler: Microsoft VS2019 (16.3.9)

  12. #12
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Quote Originally Posted by wqweto View Post
    It was really very hard to find *anything* in the years we spent behind the iron curtain indeed. We in Bulgaria had Apple II clones called Pravetz 82 since. . . well '82 and my father brought home (one of) the original Apple II they cloned.
    It's quite interesting i'll study it in more detail. As far as i know in USSR was the Agat computer which was inspired by Apple II (i don't know exactly). At all there was the many different machines which radio amateurs builded in home and also the clones (just ZX spectrum has the many different clones (i had Pentagon-128K built by my father)).

  13. #13
    Hyperactive Member Peekay's Avatar
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Name:  Oldest basic80 program.jpg
Views: 415
Size:  77.2 KB
    I started Basic in 1975 on the first Wang PC, leaving mainframes and Fortran IV behind.
    It had one tape drive, of the old cassette music era, for storing data and programs in sequential files. The Basic language was stored in ROM.
    In 1980 I bought a Superbrain PC with two floppy drives.
    My oldest program printout of 1981 which I still have, developed on that PC, is attached.
    It is a structural analysis program. A three dimensional structure with 9 members and 54 degrees of freedom ran for an hour before the results were printed. I have done about 200 updates to this program as PC's, operating systems and Basic became stronger from Basic80 to Qbasic to GWbasic ... and today it handles structures with about 1200 degrees of freedom in 2 seconds.

    PK

  14. #14

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Quote Originally Posted by wqweto View Post
    ... Later they reversed and cloned PC XT, 286...
    </wqw>
    I'd like to get my hands on one of those old XT clones and also one of the Eastern Bloc Spectrums.

  15. #15
    Wall Poster TysonLPrice's Avatar
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Seems like this should be moved to Chit Chat.
    Please remember next time...elections matter!

  16. #16
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    very interesting to read what kind of computer u did have in your youth.
    please share more memory of that era and about the imitations, your achievements etc.

    one thing that i remember with those old computers is that to always try its limits.
    i always loved to see demos/programs in commodore 64 when the sprites where in the border of the screen.
    it was like magic, how can something be there? haha.

  17. #17
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    My first exposure to Basic was in 1975 I think on a Digital PDP 11/03 which my school had. In those days there were such things as control line model airplanes and my first program was to calculate the speed in MPH based on the time taken to complete the control line circumference. It was stored on paper tape and is long long long gone.

  18. #18
    PowerPoster SamOscarBrown's Avatar
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Tandy Radio Shack ~TRS 80~ ("~Trash 80~").
    No, Those cassette tapes long gone (if any exists, am sure they are unreadable).
    So many years ago, I'm surprised "I" am still surviving! :-)

  19. #19
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    My first computer was an ACORN ELECTRON with BBC BASIC, 1984. My second was an Atari STE in 1991 and GFA BASIC
    In 1996 I moved to PCs, and from GWBASIC i wend to Visual Basic 5
    My favorite Basic program is M2000 Interpreter which I continue to develop from 1999 (with a ten year in froze, from 2003 to 2013). First work on it using Visual Basic 5 and Windows 98, and finish to XP at 2003 . From 2013 I change my language to Visual Basic 6, and from then I continue the developing of the language. Today I work on an AST Interpreter (a kind of) for M2000, and I believe that I can make it 10 times faster.

  20. #20
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    At work: Commodore PET 2001, with the calculator style keyboard and cassette tape storage. (Guess they'd have a world of trouble if they'd called it 'HAL')

    The program is long since lost, but they were used for accounting data entry - all stored on cassette tape. Then one PET was interfaced (bespoke) to a 1/2 standard magnetic tape (11 inch reels in a 6 ft cabinet!) and all the cassette tapes transferred (hopefully) to the big tape.
    The 1/2 inch tape was then processed on a DEC PDP-11/40 in another location . WAN? Nah, with modems at (best) 110baud (8-10 bytes/sec), road transport was quicker.

    Personally: I built and experimented with both NASCOM 1 & 2 - DIY Z80 processor - vastly superior to the 6502 and dare I say better than the 8080/8086 and every intel CPU since.

  21. #21
    PowerPoster techgnome's Avatar
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    First computer I used and learned on was the Apple ][e ... 83-84.... Apple BASIC ... and ah... no, I don't have any of my code or programs from that time... I might still have my books from then, but not sure. A couple years later we got an I.B.M. PC ... one of the originals... 8086.... with two 5" drives... 256k memory... we upgraded to 640k (because someone promised us we wouldn't need more than that ) I still have some of my floppies from that era. Later we upgraded it with a 32Mb HD and a modem. That sucker got me through my formative years of high school and into college. I bet it's still in my parent's storage somewhere. It's where I taught myself GW-BASIC, QBASIC, Pascal, and dBase 2. I built some basic graphical games, and even built an application to track yearbook sales and distributions for my high school. But it was a power sucker... I swear, when you clicked it's big orange switch on, the lights in the house would briefly dim, then slowly come back up to full strength as the power grid caught up.

    -tg
    * I don't respond to private (PM) requests for help. It's not conducive to the general learning of others.*
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    C64. This is what I learned Assembly on but also Basic. I still have it and it is in excellent working condition. I think I heard that someone was selling their C64 or maybe it was the C128 on EBay for $20,000.00

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Quote Originally Posted by techgnome View Post
    ... A couple years later we got an I.B.M. PC ... one of the originals... 8086.... with two 5" drives... 256k memory... we upgraded to 640k (because someone promised us we wouldn't need more than that ) ...
    -tg
    That would have been an 8088 (16-bit processor, 8-bit external bus), not an 8086.

    I looked at an IBM PC in 1981 when it first came out, thinking I would buy one. But when I found out it was an 8088 rather than an 8086, I put it off. I didn't end up buying a IBM PC "Clone" until 1991, or so. A 12 Mhz (with 1 wait state) AT (80286) clone.

    But my first computer (not counting work) was an Ohio Scientific Challenger 1P bought in the Spring of 1979, I guess. Later that year, sold it to a co-worker and bought an Apple II+.
    Probably the only programs I might have (got rid of the Apple II+ and Apple IIe that I had in the early 1990s), are parts written in notebooks from back in the day. I still have the C-1p, but couldn't get it to start up the last time I tried. Also have a working C-64, at least a few years ago was the last time I had it hooked up.

    Also, an Osborne Executive CPM machine from 1983, but haven't tried it in a long time. If it sits for any period of time, you had to open it up and take the belts off the floppy drives and soak them in hot water to limber them up so that the drive would spin at a consistent enough speed to be readable. I have a whole slew of 5.25 floppy disks for that machine, but whether any of them would be readable now, would be difficult to say.
    Last edited by passel; Jun 6th, 2019 at 02:37 PM.

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Some of the BASIC computers mentioned above.

    Sinclair ZX80 my first basic computer


    Sinclair Spectrum, my second


    IBM PC 5150, my third


    Commodore 64


    Amiga


    Atari ST


    Sinclair Spectrum 128k


    Vector-06C


    Vic 20


    Timex 1000


    TI 99/4


    I'll add the others later but feel free to add your own.
    Last edited by yereverluvinuncleber; Jun 11th, 2019 at 09:20 AM.

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?


    HP 2000 time sharing system as used by 2kaud



    Acorn Atom as used by 2kaud
    Last edited by yereverluvinuncleber; Jun 11th, 2019 at 09:19 AM.

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Well some other stuff was making me feel old today, but this thread made me feel young (I'm in my mid 30s)

    I didn't start with BASIC until it was on VB3, just a little bit before VB4 came out.

    The only software I released publicly in those early years died with AOL, and I lost the only personal copies of the source and binaries 12 years ago. Might possibly have screenshots from a webhost that I got an archive of a personal webpage from back a few years ago before they stopped hosting historical archives, but would really need to dig as it's not where I thought it was and don't remember anything to run a search on. Maybe later.

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Well, your (fafa) comment DOES make me feel old...mid 30'S? Argh...I'll be a septuagenarian next January!

    Oh, and this is what my 'NEW' COCO looked like SO MANY YEARS AGO!

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  28. #28

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Quote Originally Posted by The trick View Post
    I am under 30 years old .
    Now that's just plain cruel! At a crusty old VB6 forum no less!

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Mine was a Commodore 128, with a Commodore 64 built in. Sort of like dual-boot. I didn’t code more than like 10 lines. Not sure why I wasn’t into it then. I didn’t get into coding until around 2001. I had to learn to code out of necessity, but I’ve learned to like it’s power. I’ve stuck with VB6 ever since.

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Well, age-be-told, I took one semester of programming in college. Now, remember, this was in 1971! We didn't (of course) have personal computers (The hand-held calculators had just come out!), so all our programming was done 'in class'. When it was my turn, I'd sit in front of a keyboard and type simple programs (my very first one which RAN, drew a line graph keeping track of the number of pushups and situps I was doing then (i could do 100 pushups and 300 situps in a row, without stopping---NOW? Geez...I have trouble getting UP if I fall! ~smile~). And how I kept MY program was not in some memory location, but on PUNCH CARDS. For you kids, they were about 8 inches long, 3 inches wide, made by IBM and had 80 columns and 12 rows, which, to tell the computer what I had typed, either had a 'hole' or not in each 'cell'. I do not know how long the computer took to generate my graph, but I recall I had several hundred punch cards. I carried these cards back to the dorm in between classes (as there were no storage locations in the classroom). On one event, I dropped them, and had to put them back in order again (at least each had a sequential number so I could do that).

    Yes, kids, computing has come quite a ways in the past 48 years since my first program...I wonder why VB6's MSChart capability isn't easier to use...easier than punch cards, but not much!

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Ah yes, punched cards - I remember them well from when I did some Fortran programming in the 1970's using an IBM system (I think it was an 1130). Cards jamming in the card reader, reading two together, being dropped without sequence numbers (as I couldn't be bothered to punch them in), the noise of the punch machines, the issue of changing a program by removing and inserting new cards (which caused sequencing issues if used). The good old, bad old days... Almost as much fun as using punched tape for program storage!
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

    C++17 Compiler: Microsoft VS2019 (16.3.9)

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    All the computer images in this post were mentioned in the threads above:


    Osborne 1


    Challenger 1p


    Apple IIe


    Superbrain


    Commodore Pet


    Nascom 1 kit


    Digital PDP 11/40


    Wang PC from the 1970s

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    We use Wang PCs (80186) for Document processing in the early 80s.
    I found it somewhat amusing that since I just getting started with programing for a living in the early 80s that my Uncle mentioned they had started using computers for some part of their work at a Fleet truck servicing outfit, but was rather reluctant to say the name of the computer system out loud, so kind of muttered it quickly under his breath and with an embarrassed edge to his voice that is was a Wang.

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Casio FX-502P (yes, it has a kind of BASIC), then ZX Spectrum, Atari ST with GfaBasic, then Windows with 16-bit GfaBasic. Atari and Windows software have survived, below a screenshot from my word processor programmed in a mix of Gfa and 68000 Assembly.
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  36. #36

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Well, bu@@er me, I'd forgotten the old Casio FX series, I had a 702P which I had completely forgotten about.

    I need to add that to my list then!

    Last edited by yereverluvinuncleber; Jun 24th, 2019 at 08:49 PM. Reason: added image

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    I still have my TI-85 graphing calculator (it has TI-BASIC for a programming language, so I guess it kind of works for this thread) that I got in 1993. It still has all of the programs that I wrote to help with my high school math/science classes on it, and of course, "programs" that were nothing more than lengthy notes of various physics and calculus equations, etc. It was basically cheating I guess, since I wouldn't have been allowed to have that same content on paper when taking an exam, but back then calculators didn't have "Test mode" functionality that blocks access to user entered programs, and because not everyone had access to the equipment needed to back up calculator memory onto their PC back then (many people didn't even have PC's), it would have been a tough sell to get students to clear their calculator memory in advance of each test.

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Quote Originally Posted by SamOscarBrown View Post
    Well, age-be-told, I took one semester of programming in college. Now, remember, this was in 1971!
    Thanks Sam
    At 59 I feel a bit younger now

  39. #39
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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    Not considering fancy calculators, my first computer was a TRS80 Model I just running the BASIC OS:

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    Fresh out of U-of-Houston with an accounting degree, I developed some amortization programs and a somewhat well developed inventory system on it. However, I don't think a single line of that software still survives. It may be somewhere on my NAS box deep in a ZIP file, but it's certainly not in any currently used code.

    My next computer was a TRS80 Model II. It was running CP/M:

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    I did a great deal of work on that computer, including the development of an accounting system specifically for architects and engineers. That launched me into a company that did well for 14 years, and provided me with a great deal of travel. It's difficult to say exactly which lines of code, but some of that code definitely still exists in my VB6 code. That was all well before MS-Access and/or SQL databases, so I had to develop all my own indexed data storage methods, specifically ISAM approaches.

    Next, on that path, I (we) acquired an Altos system running MP/M:

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    We had four dumb-terminals hanging off of it. We were actually an Altos dealer for a while. I actually still have fond memories about the Altos system. For a command-line driven system and OS, it worked well. That's when I taught myself how to implement my home-grown version of record locking.

    There was also one of those Osborne luggables and an Intertec Superbrain around in that period (both seen above). The Osborne was fine, but just had a screen that was too small for anything but demonstration. My sales partner used it for travel. I hated the Intertec Superbrain. We actually went through a couple of them, but it was cheap hardware and constantly crashed and rebooted out of thin air. Ultimately, I refused to use them for any development.

    Next was the IBM PC revolution, and the introduction of PC/MS-DOS:

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    All of our CP/M code came over to the PC fairly easily, as it was all written in Microsoft BASIC.

    Fairly shortly after getting into PCs, we got into the Novell networking (coax). Novell had a record locking API which we embraced. That all worked fairly well, but setting up shared printers was a bit of a pain. I don't remember the details, but we were Novell dealers and actually had a source that provided us with IBM PC boxes with nothing but power supplies and mother boards. We would purchase our own floppies and hard drives, and assemble them ourselves. That was an interesting time.

    And that was also the time that startups starting making "standardized" hardware: Compaq, Dell, HP (not exactly a startup). It was shortly thereafter that we got out of the hardware business, just making recommendations, and selling our accounting software.

    At one point, the Kuwaiti-Engineering-Office actually purchased a copy of our software. I got to fly to Kuwait (before the first war) for a few weeks. That was quite the experience. We had sold systems outside of the U.S. before this, but that was my first introduction to a monetary system with three (not two) decimal places (the Denar).

    It was also around that time that I got tired of it all and sold my interest over a multi-year period, and went back to graduate school. However, I never lost my love for programming and computers. It was that period that I started assembling my own "boxes" for development (the early Windows era). That's when I came to love Asus motherboards (and other hardware components). The computer I'm on right now is actually an Asus laptop (GL702VS). IMHO, they're a top-notch company.

    Ultimately, from walking away from the accounting programming, I landed on my feet developing programs for studying how children with physical handicaps walk, and I'm still there. Truth be told, there's not much of that old software from the TRS/Altos/IBM-PC days, but I'm sure some "concepts" learned back then are still in my contemporary code.

    And interestingly, at times, I'd have small teams of coders under my direction. But, in many ways, I was a lone-wolf who never really used programming to be social. It wasn't until I joined these forums in 2014 that I actually became social about my programming. I somehow managed to get my tasks done before that time. But, I must say, it's been an experience having a place to talk through my programming challenges, and enhance my knowledge in a discussion setting.

    I think many of us are older than we'd like to admit. However, I was just put on a four-year grant to continue development of my motion analysis software. One of the first tasks is to address logging and the implementation of administrative passwords. Yuck. I much more enjoy working on new analysis features, but I guess this is a necessary evil. Don't be surprised if you see me asking about encryption and password protection soon.

    Y'all Take Care,
    Elroy
    Any software I post in these forums written by me is provided “AS IS” without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, and permission is hereby granted, free of charge and without restriction, to any person obtaining a copy. Please understand that I’ve been programming since the mid-1970s and still have some of that code. My contemporary VB6 project is approaching 1,000 modules. In addition, I have a “VB6 random code folder” that is overflowing. I’ve been at this long enough to truly not know with absolute certainty from whence every single line of my code has come, with much of it coming from programmers under my employ who signed intellectual property transfers. I have not deliberately attempted to remove any licenses and/or attributions from any software. If someone finds that I have inadvertently done so, I sincerely apologize, and, upon notice and reasonable proof, will re-attach those licenses and/or attributions. To all, peace and happiness.

  40. #40

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    Re: Your first BASIC computer? Has your software survived?

    That was great Elroy, and good images too.

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