Magazine program listings

A place to discuss anything retro that isn't games related

Moderators: NickThorpe, Darran@Retro Gamer

User avatar
Randall Flagg
Posts: 1898
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:21 pm
Location: The Underwurlde
Contact:

Post by Randall Flagg » Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:29 am

i've found Blitz Basic pretty easy to use (when I say easy i actually mean I've been banging my head against a wall and achieved a few results).

The problem with programing is the time it takes.

I have a job where i'm away from home a lot in strange towns and a lot of evenings in hotel rooms / hotel bars so get plenty of time to do a bit of bedroom coding.

You write a bit of code, you run it, it doesn't work and you spend three time as long as it took to write the code working out why it doesn't work. Then when it does work you spend twice as long again debugging it to get it to work 99% as you intended. And theres always the other 1% which you never get working properly hence the head banging on walls.... :wink:
Retrotechy.
Zapp Brannigan Quote - You remind me of a younger me Fry, Not much younger mind, Perhaps even a little older... Image

User avatar
Opa-Opa
Posts: 4304
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:35 pm
Location: Kent UK
Contact:

Post by Opa-Opa » Thu Feb 16, 2006 12:32 pm

My problem comes from not understanding why it don't work..?
If a wheel falls off my car I can see the problem and fix it, if a piece of code does/doesn't work I don't know why.?

What makes one set of seemingly random numbers produce the effect you are after but not another set is something I can't seem to grasp.

It doesn't help that I am one of those people who learn from being SHOWN and not TOLD... The instuctions for DIV would be great if I understood what the hell it all ment...

I am not going to give up and one day I will produce a complete (if some what small and simple) game, but not yet :(

User avatar
necronom
Posts: 5648
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:23 pm
Location: Middlesbrough

Post by necronom » Thu Feb 16, 2006 1:46 pm

What makes one set of seemingly random numbers produce the effect you are after but not another set is something I can't seem to grasp.

Once you understand the commands, it's not too difficult. The most important thing to have is a reference manual for all the commands that your chosen language uses.

Of course, you need un understand the basics of programming, but once you "get it", you can pick up a similar language just my looking at the commands available.

Programming these days is different to the good-old-days. Now a lot of it is "visual". Things are assigned events that are triggered by button clicks and selections. On retro machines it's just a case of start at the top of the program and follow it through.

Programming on the Amiga in something like AMOS is MUCH MUCH easier than on the C64 in CBM Basic, for lots of reasons. What would be you machine of choice?

Good luck though. I'm sure if you try again, people here would help you out.

Didn't you choose Computer Studies at school?

User avatar
Opa-Opa
Posts: 4304
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:35 pm
Location: Kent UK
Contact:

Post by Opa-Opa » Thu Feb 16, 2006 2:02 pm

I guess My machine of choice would be something like the Amiga or PC using AMOS / Blitz. As I said I have the DIV games studio for the PC which seems to be like AMOS (to my untrained eye..) but you can add Jpegs, MP3 etc

The type of game I want to make would be something very simple to start with.. Maybe a remake of the Blitz game that I had for the VIC-20, single screen and not much going on at any one time.

There was a GRAC program given away with Amiga Format that enabled you to create Point and click style games that needed simple basic commands. That almost "clicked" in my head.. When looking at the code I could "see" what it was doing (like the Matrix lol) but that was the only time I ever came close...

I left school in '88 - our computer sudies comprised of making a joystick for a BBC and filling out a spread sheet.....

User avatar
necronom
Posts: 5648
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:23 pm
Location: Middlesbrough

Post by necronom » Thu Feb 16, 2006 2:19 pm

Blitz... I used to play that quite a bit on my Vic-20 as well. Even my Mam used to play that!

That shouldn't be too hard to do. I made a "Tanks" game in Amiga Basic that is sort-of similar - Tanks shooting cannons at each other that destroy the scenery when they hit it.

1988 - I left in 1987 and the first thing we did when we started computer studies, was start programming on the PETs we had there. We did a bit on the Beebs, but mostly we programmed. Our computer teacher even brought his C64 in (when I still had my Vic-20), and we used to play on that first thing on a morning before the register. I wish I had a time machine...

I'm not familiar with DIV games studio. Is it a proper language, or is it more like The Games Factory? AMOS is a proper language - you load it up and get a blank screen with a flashing cursor. The Games Factory is a game designer that gives you lots of tools and objects to stamp on the screen and you mainly use the mouse to make your game (not much actual programming from what I've seen of it).

User avatar
Scoca
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:05 pm

Re:

Post by Scoca » Thu Feb 16, 2006 2:32 pm

C16 wrote: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 :)
Do you remember where the C16 listings were from?
I remember typing some in from magazines but I can't think which mag.

Did you try 'the great commodore 16 music maker' in the back of the user manual? It seemed brilliant at the time, how easily pleased I was back then.

User avatar
Opa-Opa
Posts: 4304
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:35 pm
Location: Kent UK
Contact:

Post by Opa-Opa » Thu Feb 16, 2006 2:37 pm

Our computer studies teacher was also the maths and PE teacher... So you can guess how much he knew about computers..!!!

DIV is a lot like games factory more mouse and drag and drop etc. with some coding to hold it all together.

http://www.fasttrak.co.uk/press/div_pr.html

I should have a look round E-bay and pick up AMOS and a few books, it is something I must do before I die lol.
Is there a version for the PC or do I have to dig out my Amiga..?

User avatar
necronom
Posts: 5648
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:23 pm
Location: Middlesbrough

Post by necronom » Thu Feb 16, 2006 3:26 pm

Is there a version for the PC or do I have to dig out my Amiga..?
There isn't an Amiga version :( If I could have ANY application on the PC that doesn't exist at the moment, I would choose AMOS. Last year I was finishing off a couple of AMOS programs and a few people wanted copies. When I said you would have to emulate an Amiga to run them, it put a few of them off. People still ask for a copy (someone asked yesterday), but if I could have my programs running on a PC natively, it would be much better.

There was once a project to write an AMOS compatible PC language, but it was never finished.

Maybe I should look at Blitz. If it's anything like AMOS I might be able to convert one or two programs to that. I miss being able to program on my main computer, and writing stuff on my Amiga means it's not very accesible to anyone else.

I remember having a very quick look at Blitz on the Amiga, and it looked like it was more powerful, but not as easy to program.

User avatar
Randall Flagg
Posts: 1898
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:21 pm
Location: The Underwurlde
Contact:

Post by Randall Flagg » Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:13 pm

Blitz Basic is just an advanced version of normal basic. Anyone who has tinkered around with any type of basic in the past should be able to pick up the fundamentals pretty easily. It has the added advantage of compiling the final program into a PC .exe file so you can distribute.

I am currently working on a Berzerk remake. It is proving to be quite a lot of work even though the full game is pretty simple (Hence why I chose it!)

Blitz Basic comes with a lot of tutorial programs and sample programs to help you understand whats going on. Would recommend it to anyone.
Retrotechy.
Zapp Brannigan Quote - You remind me of a younger me Fry, Not much younger mind, Perhaps even a little older... Image

User avatar
Opa-Opa
Posts: 4304
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:35 pm
Location: Kent UK
Contact:

Re:

Post by Opa-Opa » Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:27 pm

Randall Flagg wrote:Blitz Basic is just an advanced version of normal basic. Anyone who has tinkered around with any type of basic in the past should be able to pick up the fundamentals pretty easily. It has the added advantage of compiling the final program into a PC .exe file so you can distribute.
Sorry for what might be a silly question but do you mean the Amiga version of blitz basic will create a PC .exe file..?

User avatar
default_user
Posts: 103
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:26 pm
Location: Sunny South Wales
Contact:

Programming...

Post by default_user » Thu Feb 16, 2006 5:25 pm

I started with a TI99/4A and the user manual. I taught myself how to write programs in TI Basic and even got good enough to get a couple published. From there I moved on to the C64 and Atari 800XL, again teaching myself how to program them both. The dialects of Basic on all three of these machines are very different but the basic (no pun intended) principles are the same. Once I moved on to the ST and Amiga I lost interest in programming, mainly because by that time I was working, had little time and could afford loads more games. When I started my nostalgia trip for retro computers a few years ago and got myself a TI99 again the first thing I wanted to do was have a go at programming it again. So much stuff I thought was forgotten came flooding back and I knocked out a program that I'd wanted to write the first time round but thought I wasn't capable of. Nothing special, just a character designer, but it gave me the programming bug again. I don't think I'd have any problem picking up something like Blitz Basic now, the problem I have now though is just time. Being all grown up with responsibilities leaves me little time for myself and there are just too many other things I want to do as well. I wish I'd taken a different path through life now, one that led to working in computers rather than engineering, which is what I ended up doing.
My little retro corner of the web:
http://www.ricks-graphics.co.uk/area99

User avatar
Randall Flagg
Posts: 1898
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:21 pm
Location: The Underwurlde
Contact:

Re:

Post by Randall Flagg » Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:06 pm

Opa-Opa wrote:
Randall Flagg wrote:Blitz Basic is just an advanced version of normal basic. Anyone who has tinkered around with any type of basic in the past should be able to pick up the fundamentals pretty easily. It has the added advantage of compiling the final program into a PC .exe file so you can distribute.
Sorry for what might be a silly question but do you mean the Amiga version of blitz basic will create a PC .exe file..?
Er No, That would be the PC version of Blitz Basic :wink:
Retrotechy.
Zapp Brannigan Quote - You remind me of a younger me Fry, Not much younger mind, Perhaps even a little older... Image

User avatar
Opa-Opa
Posts: 4304
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:35 pm
Location: Kent UK
Contact:

Post by Opa-Opa » Fri Feb 17, 2006 3:06 pm

I did say it was a silly question :) but thanks for clearing that up.

User avatar
Crunchy
Posts: 2123
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:43 pm
Location: Claymorgue Castle

Post by Crunchy » Fri Feb 17, 2006 5:24 pm

Aeons ago me and my mate spent an afternoon typing a listing into his computer (so long ago that I can't remember what machine it was now - Vic 20, Spectrum or Atari 800. Anyway ...). It was in Popular Computing Weekly or whatever it was. I think.
It was some sort of special thing where you didn't know what the program did but hints in the accompanying blurb indicated that it was pretty spectacular. We had visions of it being some brilliant game or something.

After slaving over it for an hour or two we finally got it running.

And so we watched as the words "Idi Amin" appeared on the screen, slowly moved to the top of the screen and then slowly moved back down to the bottom of the screen. This was followed by the message "The Rise And Fall Of Idi Amin".

:shock:

If you know anything about the person who did this listing then let me know. Me and my friend would still like to speak to this guy. :D

User avatar
SirClive
Posts: 20261
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:25 pm
Location: Planet Sinclair
Contact:

Re:

Post by SirClive » Fri Feb 17, 2006 7:08 pm

Scoca wrote:Do you remember where the C16 listings were from?
I remember typing some in from magazines but I can't think which mag.
Can't help with the question, but I got my dad to type in a very long C16 listing that didn't run when finished. So I tried to do the reset where you hold a key down (can't remember which) to 'break' the program, but must have not pressed the key properly cos it all got lost. My Dad got mad and never help me type in another listing :cry:
Image

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest