Magazine program listings

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miner2049er
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Re:

Post by miner2049er » Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:09 pm

necronom wrote:
came into the room and caught the plug with his foot
my Dad accidentally turned the electricity off
:shock:

You both typed in hours of stuff without saving!?! That is asking for trouble.
It was the early 80s.

Who backed up?
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DonkeySpank
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Post by DonkeySpank » Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:55 pm

Certainly not me - I spent literally *days* typing in LOADS of listings - I was hankering for more, MORE, MOREEEE games as every kid did back then, but had no cash to buy them (until the genius of the £1.99 games from Mastertronic, etc.) so I'd happily spend hours and hours and hours typing in listings on the promise that "this is a great game, lads" - as printed in the magazine.

I don't think I ever got a single one of them to work.

If I knew back then what I know now about coding I'd probably have been able to spot the bugs as I went along. Alas, I had not a sodding sausage of a clue back then.

I also seem to (painfully) recall writing an "Artificial Intelligence" program on the Speccy after watching Wargames in the cinema (so this must've been 1984 I guess). Obviously it only consisted of INPUT$ statements, but I was so excited that when I'd finished it I could "have a conversation" with my Spectrum. I was going to impress my parents soooo much as I had a Currah MicroSpeech jobby too so my computer would actually SPEAK the answers to me!

Unfortunately, I failed to test after I "assumed" I'd got the first "LET S$='hello'" correct - so none of my speech worked, whicih in turn meant that my ENTIRE program was duff. ARRGHH!! I was so p*ssed off I reset without saving - then IMMEDIATELY regretted it!! What a censored.

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Post by seanmcmanus » Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:13 pm

I typed in loads of listings and learned quite a bit from them. I remember typing in games from Computing with the Amstrad, many of which were better than the games Amsoft was selling at the time. I don't remember any that didn't work, although I tended to steer clear of anything that had an artistic layout. Whenever the art department tried to flow a listing around some fancy shape, a few lines inevitably got lost. I didn't do any that were too long either - I did do a couple of pages worth, but I remember Amstrad Computer User publishing pages upon pages of pokes for a machine code game over a period of months. Who would ever type that? I did see the game later, and it was okay. But frankly, not worth that much work, especially since you couldn't learn anything from typing in data statements all weekend.

I later contributed type-ins to ACU and Amstrad Action. I was surprised many years later to hear from people who had actually typed them in - I had assumed that everyone just read them occasionally, like I did. But people were still typing them in in the early 90s. (They're on my website to download now, if any Amstrad emulator users are interested - www.sean.co.uk).

Sean

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sparky
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Post by sparky » Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:42 pm

I certainly can't recall a listing that didn't work from 'INPUT', it was a worthwhile addition and something a little different back then compared to just games magazines.

They're still in the loft as well.
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DonkeySpank
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Post by DonkeySpank » Fri Dec 16, 2005 8:45 am

Yep, good to find another INPUT reader. I have the entire collection in binders here. Excellent magazine. But unfortunately there *were* bugs in the listings, if you remember the last issue had an Index and an Errata section. In particular, I remember the Assembler listing in the "Maching Code" section didn't work, IIRC.

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Wil
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Post by Wil » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:10 am

I think the only listings I tried were those poster mag ones. An A1 (I think) poster with some dubious airbrushed artwork on one side (just where is Steiner Lund now?) and a ridiculously long listing on the other. All just to watch an X stumble around the screen on an '81.

Still, kept me off the streets.

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C16
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Post by C16 » Fri Dec 16, 2005 11:30 am

Back in the days I typed in alot of listings for the C16, quite a few worked without glitches. These days I just scan them into my pc as a text file then convert them to a program using Winvice's Petcat. Oh it makes like so much easier :P

Btw, we have a magazine listings section on the website for the C16/Plus 4. This was put together by Sixteen Plus one of our members :)

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Post by merman » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:33 pm

The one I will always remember was typing in a game listing from a book...

I had the day off school due to a sporting injury (shot put in wet conditions equals badly bruised right arm) and so was typing in the listing LEFT-HANDED very slowly. 2 hours it took.

Now, one little quirk of the C64 is that if you switch memory banks to make room for user-defined graphics, when you hit RUN-STOP + RESTORE to break into the listing, sometimes the machine gets confused. And so you type on the screen but you can't "see" what's happening because the computer thinks the screen is somewhere else.

End result? I couldn't SAVE what I had done (not knowing the POKE to restore the screen properly at that time) and so I had to type it in again another day...

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Post by Kaptain_Von » Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:05 pm

Sinclair Programs and ZX Computing taught me the fine art of debugging which I use to this day. I used to spend hours typing listings for my ZX81 due to having very little cash to spend on games but just enough to be able to afford Sinclair Programs each month (which if I remember correctly was either 85p or 95p). Evenings would be spent tapping away, praying that the rampack would not decide to part company with the blu-tack that held it to the ZX81 reducing my hard entered machine code or basic listing to three hours wasted time.
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Me too

Post by default_user » Sat Feb 04, 2006 4:07 pm

I used to spend hours typing in and debugging program listings for my 1st machine, a TI99/4A. I had to because it was so expensive for the modules and there was very little other support for it. Even type in listings for it weren't as prevalent as for other machines but one of the few mags that had regular type-ins for it was Home Computing Weekly. That and messing about with my own programming efforts taught me BASIC well enough to have a few of my own programs published and thanks to the 'net I've managed to track down copies of all the magazines I was published in. I sold my '99 a long time ago and all my tapes went with it. I wish I'd kept it now as there was loads of work I did that I'd love to look at now. I know I had several efforts rejected for publication and I can't even remember what they might have been. Thankfully, I kept all the stuff I did on my Atari 800XL on disk. Going through all that stuff years later as an adult was a truly nostalgic experience.
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psj3809
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Post by psj3809 » Sun Feb 05, 2006 4:46 pm

Back in the day when i first got my Speccy and couldnt afford many games i used to type in loads of them. 85% of the time they worked, had a few nightmares when some didnt but most of them did.

Some werent bad but they werent exactly brilliant. Then of course 1.99 games came out and i could get a fair few of those, plus most of my mates had Speccys so i could get loads of copies of games but for a short time to fix my gaming addictiveness it was good to type some games in

Nowadays its a complete waste of time and i would never type in any due to emulators. Its fun to see the old listings of programs but it would be a complete waste of a page or so to put any listings in RG. Personally for me they were great for a while, WH Smiths used to stock lots of mags with listings etc. Classic early years of computers

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RetroBob
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Post by RetroBob » Sun Feb 05, 2006 7:31 pm

I used to type stuff into my Archimedes A3000 from Let's Compute - they regularly printed incorrect stuff. Most of the time it worked though.
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Randall Flagg
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Post by Randall Flagg » Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:45 pm

Program Type Ins used to have a lot of fun poked at them.

I think it was in a Spitting Image book or maybe an Alas Smith and Jones book where a listing for the ultimate adventure game was listed. It went something like this:

10 PRINT "WHAT NEXT?"
20 INPUT A$
30 PRINT "I DO NOT KNOW THE MEANING OF THE PHRASE ";A$
40 GOTO 10
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Opa-Opa
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Post by Opa-Opa » Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:04 am

Magazine type in listings ruined my life..!

I really wanted to work in the games industry when I was a kid. I spent hour after hour typing in a few listings from early computer magazines but they never, ever worked..
This led to me being very disapointed and never learning to program as it seemed like a complete waste of time.. Ooopps...
Now I have this nagging urge to remake a couple of simple games I loved way back when but just can't. I have even tried DIV games studio and The Games Factory etc but as soon as it gets to the part where I have to use some simple coding my brain shuts off and starts a repeating message I must have left there when I was younger. "this will not work, this will not work" :(

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LeeT
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Re:

Post by LeeT » Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:50 am

Opa-Opa wrote:Magazine type in listings ruined my life..!

I really wanted to work in the games industry when I was a kid. I spent hour after hour typing in a few listings from early computer magazines but they never, ever worked..
This led to me being very disapointed and never learning to program as it seemed like a complete waste of time.. Ooopps...
Now I have this nagging urge to remake a couple of simple games I loved way back when but just can't. I have even tried DIV games studio and The Games Factory etc but as soon as it gets to the part where I have to use some simple coding my brain shuts off and starts a repeating message I must have left there when I was younger. "this will not work, this will not work" :(
Very true!

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