RetroRetrospective

RetroRetrospective – Fun today with yesterday’s gear……..

Way back in the day on of my favourite programming tools was Nibble BASIC from the Nibble Magazine.  It allowed you to write Applesoft programs without line numbers, and added additional commands such as If/ElseIf/Else, and Loop/EndLoop, as well as Goto and Gosub labels rather than using line numbers.

I added extra commands such as Repeat/Until and While/EndWhile, and “Turtle” like graphic commands.

In a previous RetroChallenge I was going to re-write Nibble BASIC in itself, but my project this time is to write an external “compiler” to take an enhanced Applesoft like script and convert it to run on an Apple][.

My target script is a version of the traditional “Hello World” program below:

# RetroChallenge 2016/10
# Hello World Program

my String$  = "Hello World"
my Counter% = 10
my Count%   = 1
my Co%      = 2
my Characters_Per_Line = 40

home

for i = 1 to Counter%
   Co% = centre_text(Characters_Per_line,String$)
next 

Print "String$ [";String$;”]”
PRINT "Counter%>";Counter%
?     "Count%  >";Count%
print "Co%     >";Co%

sub centre_text
   my line_size = shift
   my text$     = shift
   my start_character = int(len(text$)/2))
   htab start_character : print text$
return(start_character)

So, in a nutshell, declared variables with full name support, not just up to the first two characters, called subroutines passing and returning  values (no recursion support) , and case insensitive commands.

If time permits, I’ll add additional Applesoft commands to the parser.

. . . Also known as Retro Procrastination:

Things Achieved:

  • Sorted out back section of the 8Bit Bunker
  • Laid 2 boxes of carpet squares (10 sqm) in tidied up area
  • Setup Lounge on carpeted area
  • Setup very retro CRT TV to watch the tennis
  • Cleared and setup second desk to provide work-space for  RetroChallenge programming

Things Not Achieved:

  • RetroChallenge programming

Stay tuned for further Retro Procrastination Updates.

January 4th, 2015

2015/01 Retrochallenge

No Comments, Uncategorized, by Michael.

OK.  I’m a glutton for punishment.  I’m going to give my S-Basic project one last shot as a Retrochallenge project.

Outline of of amended revised simplified easier goals coming to this post soon (I promise).

June 12th, 2014

2014 “Summer” Challenge

No Comments, Uncategorized, by Michael.
Nibble Programmer 1983 Issue 06

Nibble Programmer 1983 Issue 06

 FAIL!  FAIL!  FAIL!  FAIL!  FAIL!  FAIL!  FAIL!  FAIL!  FAIL!  FAIL!  FAIL!  FAIL!  FAIL!  FAIL!  FAIL!  

 OK, so it’s winter here in Australia, so what is this “Summer Challenge” thing.  2014SC is the Retrochallenge and to quote the site:

“In a nutshell, the RetroChallenge is a loosely disorganised gathering of RetroComputing enthusiasts who collectively do stuff with old computers for a month.

The event is very much open to interpretation… individuals set there own challenges, which can range from programming to multimedia work; hardware restoration to exploring legacy networking… or just plain dicking around. It really doesn’t matter what you do, just so long as you do it.

While the RetroChallenge has its competitive side, it’s not really a contest… it’s more like global thermonuclear war — everyone can play, but nobody really wins.” More

February 24th, 2014

It’s not an Apple][ !

2 Comments, Dick Smith, Random Thoughts, VZ200, by Michael.
VZ200

VZ200

Boldly stepping into the retro world that is not Apple][ related.  Just arrived is my ‘new’ Dick Smith VZ200.

I still need to find an old cassette player recorder to go fully retro, but in  the meantime I intend to digitise the tape, and play the audio file from my iPhone to the the input port of the VZ200.   Should be able to save files by recording to the iPhone.

I’ve downloaded a VZ200 emulator, so I can at least look at the basic programming in my spare moments.

Thought I’d get a jump on the rewriting of S-Basic in S-Basic by dumping the S-Basic Applesoft code to a text file, then reformatting it as S-Basic, then running it through S-Basic5.3 on my disk image.

Great idea, but . . . . .

The code is just too unstructured.  Too many unexpected terminations within a routine using a GOTO that drops you part way into another routine.  Arrrrrrrrgh!

I love structure, indenting, flow control, so looks like I’ve got to do it myself then.

So back to my original plan of writing from scratch using the Applesoft listing as a guide only.

More

Nibble Programmer 1983 Issue 06

Nibble Programmer 1983 Issue 06

OK, so it’s summer here in Australia, so what is this “Winter Warmup” thing.  2014WW is the Retrochallenge and to quote the site:

“In a nutshell, the RetroChallenge is a loosely disorganised gathering of RetroComputing enthusiasts who collectively do stuff with old computers for a month.

The event is very much open to interpretation… individuals set there own challenges, which can range from programming to multimedia work; hardware restoration to exploring legacy networking… or just plain dicking around. It really doesn’t matter what you do, just so long as you do it.

While the RetroChallenge has its competitive side, it’s not really a contest… it’s more like global thermonuclear war — everyone can play, but nobody really wins.” More

September 12th, 2013

Apple LaserWriter 16/600

No Comments, Printing, by Michael.
Apple LaserWriter 16/600

Apple LaserWriter 16/600

In a blog post at the RetroMacCast,  I mentioned I’d picked up up an Apple LaserWriter 16/600 back in Nov’09, and  getting it on my network New Years Eve 2009.  As I said the printer came with an ethernet adaptor, so no problems putting it on the network, but without a control panel on the printer, how was I to set it up on my network so that my modern Mac and Linux PCs could find it, and print to it. More

Click to view/download the PDF

Apple EDVT (click to download/view)

Another interesting find while plundering the treasures of eBay. “Apple Computer Inc . EDVT  (Engineering Design Verification Test) ETHERNET ADAPTER CARD”

In my day job I have to produce documentation, as well as review documents produced by others, and it never ceases to amaze me how much extraneous verbiage people pad their work out with.  I’ve always attempted to keep my documents succinct and relevant to the task at hand, so I was delighted when I came across this document in eBay.

Now that I’ve dropped it onto the scanner and OCRed it,  it’s now posted here for others to enjoy.

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August 23rd, 2013

The AppleII Monitor Peeled

No Comments, Apple2, Manuals, PDFs, by Michael.

TAMP_CoverYou never quite know what you will find when you go browsing on eBay.  A couple of weeks ago I came across “The Apple II Monitor Peeled” and the old style presentation of it intrigued me, so I put a bid on it, and won it for pretty much the hand written price in the corner of the front cover.  Its ye olde charm, and printed on 3-hole paper with a two staples binding, it was too much to resist and just had to add it to my bookshelf.

A typewriter composed book written in 1979 (2nd printing) by William E. Dougherty, and perhaps his forward to the book would be the best description.

 

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