Did you \"Type\" games in from books?

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Did you \"Type\" games in from books?

Post by ZOoOpS » Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:13 pm

Who can remember sitting and typing in games from book or magazines one bought? I can, and here are a few of the fun things I remember about it.

I remember my dad and me about 8 years old at the time typing games in together. My dad would sit and read the lines to me, and I’d type them in. Once that was done, one started the process of getting rid of all the syntax errors, goto without gosub or for to without next errors. And once all of them were removed you were rewarded with a new real cool game. :D :D :D

All of my game typing days were done on a Commodore VIC20 and I never forget the first game I typed in, we lost it, because after running it we never knew how to get a listing of it back on the screen. We later found out of the “Listâ€

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Post by merman » Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:28 pm

Whoa, flashback!

I remember going on a school trip once, at the end of the week I came back and my dad had (one finger at a time) typed in a listing from the Commodore Programmer's Reference Guide - Maurice the Dancing Mouse! Sound, sprites, movement, animation - the works!

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Post by achromic » Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:03 pm

AMAZING!!! You read my mind (not too hard to do!)

I remember, sitting in front of my rubber thumb speccy, and typing in arcade games from a book (who I've still got) and hoping that they'd work.
Most of the time they didn't, but some of the time they'd work and I would be so proud of that (kinda like these days, but with VB.NET)
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Post by theObserver » Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:08 pm

The 'Your Sinclear 'mag used to print a few pages of machine code every month which I would happily spend hours typing into my speccy. I needed a damn ruler just to keep my place in the page. Even then I regularly skipped a line or two and the damn thing wouldnt work after hours of effort. :shock:
Last edited by theObserver on Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Sureshot » Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:13 pm

Yeah definitely. Used to sit endlessly in front of the same two-page feature of Micro User every month tapping in code, only to find the bloody thing didn't work at the end.

Other than that, I'd also borrow BASIC books from the library, and I even had some text-adventure game book that I got from somewhere-or-other, that was so long that you got bored just by looking at the length of the thing. Plus, why bother playing it once you'd just written all the solutions in anyway...

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Post by CraigGrannell » Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:37 pm

I hated that kind of book. Spend all afternoon typing something in, only to get some dumb error message. Re-check everything and realise some typo has probably caused the programme not to run.

The only half-decent book of this kind I remember was by Melbourne House, which handily included a checksum application.
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Post by OriginalJax » Mon Feb 27, 2006 3:50 am

I remember only too well...

Magazine listings were the worst - the printing quality was often pretty poor, especially for us with Commodore machines - those stupid CTRL codes inside quotes - it took a few years before some bright spark decided to use little codes inside <> brackets to eliminate the mistakes (like <CLS> and <BLK>...)

I also typed in a machine code monitor from the back of "Programming the C64 - The Definitive Guide" - took me two nights of typing in DATA statments that the tiny BASIC stub POKE'd into memory ($C000 - 49152). At least the guy had the good sense to add a checksum value at the end of each DATA line - it found a bunch of lines I'd entered incorrectly, but at least it told me which lines they were - imagine going over hundreds (maybe it was thousands!) of lines of pure numbers to find the one-or-two that were wrong!

Ahh... I miss those days :(

Jax :D
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Post by TMR » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:16 am

Typed the odd magazine listing in, but more to learn how they worked than anything else; spent a lot of time deliberately typing them into the wrong computer and trying to make 'em work. =-)

The only listing i can remember typing in because i wanted to use it was a VIC 20 tape turbo by John Twiddy...

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Post by Scooby1970 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:47 am

Every month, with my new issue of Amstrad Action in hand I would go home and type in all the programs. My dad would read them off line by line while I done all the typing. I also bought a few books with just games type-ins in, and spent many many hours typing in these, and then de-bugging them at the end of it all, as I inevitably made mistakes!

Those were the good old days, when the family were amazed by computers and every type-in offered something new and refreshing. Oh, how I miss them so much!

:) Mark
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Post by revgiblet » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:47 am

I used some of the Usborne ones - Space Computer Games, Spy Computer Games, Horror Computer Games and the like. That was how I learnt to use BASIC.

I found loads of others in my local library so always had something on the go.

I once spent days typing in a program called 'Soccer Headhunter' or something. It was a football management game. And it didn't work, and I couldn't find out why. That was so annoying.

There was also one book that was several programs that made up one game. I can't remember the name of it, but it was a Rogue type D&D game. One of the programs was a character creation one, then their was one that let you design the dungeons, and then there was one that allowed you to play the dungeons as your created character. That was an awesome book.

Some of the games turned out to be exceptionally good considering they were in BASIC, not commercially released and text based. A friend of mine and I had hours of fun playing a simple Auction game that I had typed in.
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Post by LeeT » Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:37 am

After spending ages typing in listings from the C64 user manual and finding they would not run properly, I gave up on listings. Also the likes of C&VG would always censored-up and print erratums in the following month's issue.

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Post by koopa42 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:44 am

GDIL - used to have a big book of speccy type ins, it was always a balancing act between short easy ones that would yeild a crappy game or massive 3 days epics that would yeild a crappy game :? so you'd settle for something in between, spend an evening typing in stuff, press run then have to spend another day finding where you put an incorrect symbol or space


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Post by Kaptain_Von » Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:46 am

Iused to buy 'Sinclair Programs' and 'ZX Computing' religiously every month as not having a vast amount of money to spend on games for my ZX81 it meant that I could pick up a few dozen games for not a lot of money. That said I'm not sure if the amount of time spent typing them in, suffering bouts of sudden onset Tourettes when the Blu-tack holding my Memotech 16k rampack to the computer decided to go its own way and then finding that someone had cocked up the listing was worth it. I suppose it did give me a decent grounding in de-bugging code and seeing if I could make it more efficient which stood me in good stead in later life.

Now who remembers the tunnel and rocks game called something like 'Meteors' from ZX Computing circa 1983 ? :D
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Post by OriginalJax » Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:53 am

Incidentally, did anybody here ever get that CEEFAX thing working with their BBC micros?

It was part of the BBC's (TV) computer education series to go along with the show. You could (apparently) 'load' a program just by selecting the relevant page on CEEFAX (which looked like complete nonsense if you actually tried to read it).

Nice idea for the time, though - good delivery system - I never saw it in action, though, so I thought I'd ask - it's sort of like typing in listings - only it's automagic...

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Post by Jax » Mon Feb 27, 2006 6:15 am

Spent many a month typing in listings from magazines and books, I think
I still the some C64 and Spectrum Games you can type in books, will
have to see what has survived in the book boxes (from moving about 5 times
in as many years, meant I left them in storage)

I recall it was the best way to learn programming, if they had a typo
it was up to you to figure out the correct code.

and O-Jax, this could get confusing :lol:

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