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Usborne 1980's BASIC computer programming books

Node Nibblers
#1 - 2016-02-10 13:47:10 UTC
They taught me to code/program back in the mid eighties on my trusty ZX Spectrum and now they are giving them back free as PDF's.

Spent hours typing in the larger programs, hoping that they would save to cassette afterwards.

I think I'll be digging my old speccy out of the loft tonight and giving them ago again.


Ian Morbius
Potomac Greeting Card Company
#2 - 2016-02-10 17:56:42 UTC  |  Edited by: Ian Morbius
First programming text was some book on PASCAL and structure programming. At some point, had to rebind it in,... DuctTape. Might still have it in a file box somewhere, but more likely it was sent to the recycling center years ago.
Khergit Deserters
Crom's Angels
#3 - 2016-02-11 16:02:20 UTC  |  Edited by: Khergit Deserters
a:= 1
1: if ( a = 1) then
goto 1;

a:= 1;
1: if ( a = 1) then
goto 1;

a := 1;
1: if ( a = 1) then
goto 1;
Node Nibblers
#4 - 2016-02-11 16:06:42 UTC
Or what we used to write in Tandy every Saturday morning:

20 GOTO 10
Buzz Orti
State War Academy
Caldari State
#5 - 2016-02-12 02:19:05 UTC  |  Edited by: Buzz Orti
I had a Timex Sinclair 1000 Basic book which didn't do much since the largest program was 1 kb.
One character took around 1 byte of memory, whether RAM or Storage space.
The storage space was harder to calculate since it was stored on a 4 track tape.
It worked like a modem with tweaks and sounds that stored data in audio form similar to binary.
It failed often, both to record properly and to decode properly.

That book was robbed from me, and I never got it back.
Someone from Irak offered me an old Timex Sinclair device which was almost forfeited thanks to the government here.
However, that device requires a compatible power device and , it probably doesn't function / work.

The robber tried to stab me, and the officer working on the case died of a brain tumor.

Other than that, I got a GW-Basic book for MS-DOS in 1992 which still work and for which I still have harware to run and code.
It will not work on device with over 80 MB of hard disk space or 10 MB of RAM or some other low end hardware settings.
Well, this prevented from corrupting the work for one thing.
Now, I only have to code my inventory programs again, and copyright them.
They are easily transferred into flowchart after that, or before the coding (implementation) phase, or right during that phase.

I used to design the flowcharts at the coffee shop at night and after school while I took the other 4 hours of computer lab per day to encode.
I used to write the code by hand on paper before copying it to electronic code on computer as I had no device to do it otherwise.
It was more time effective for me, for until that I got my hand on my first computer (after the first robbed Timex Sinclair back in 1985).
So yes, my programming / design / analysis experience spans over 31 years.

I never coded much in QBasic, and Visual Basic yet, although I used some of both depending on computer programming requirements.

We used to code processes , to later implement the code in an inventory program with menus, which I can port to logistics with the largest companies, government and military now.

(Needless to say, the code for my 1992 was again robbed, although I can do most of what my course was again, and better.
It is far easier said than done. I sure will and already do copyright it though. In fact, they change the law in 2014 on editing and editing is used to create source code and compile program, such as run GW-Basic on DOS.
GW-Basic doesn't work from the MS-DOS prompt because of the hardware limitations.
I presume they could be integrated to function but it is not the case at this time yet.
It does work on a 386 though.

This was the last straw when I heard the crown finally admit to claim seizure and forfeiture of it in 2014.
One of the best report in 30 years.

btw, International Copyright Treaties are not Conventions and as Treaties, are much more strict on the requirements that must be met to adhere to them.)

(I can scan pages from the book and from my coded pages (used to be hardcopy printed on a dot matrix for marks), however both scanners I have only work on Windows XP, and set at a specific bit scheme, either 32 or 64, but not both...
I only have one monitor and very little space which makes switching systems ackward and complex.
I have 2 keyboards and mice, but they are not connected anyways.
The data transfer hardware works very good though, if not almost perfectly. There are only a few errors on the USB ports disconnecting and reconnecting, which happens more often in certain areas, in square miles.)

Builds ship in empty Quafe bottle.

Buzz Orti
State War Academy
Caldari State
#6 - 2016-02-15 05:08:59 UTC  |  Edited by: Buzz Orti
Forgot to mention that the Timex Sinclair book was bilingual if I remember correctly which made it easier for me to complete it faster.
(From 1984, 1985, the friend who sold it to me for around $80 back then got an Apple II 'e' which was the property of a college civil engineering teacher who was our badminton coach and had a new McIntosh when it came out for sale,
and graduated to specialize in bridge engineering.)

Builds ship in empty Quafe bottle.

Jonah Gravenstein
Machiavellian Space Bastards
#7 - 2016-02-15 13:31:45 UTC
Machine code for beginners, ye gods I used to have that book. Many an evening and weekend was spent laboriously copying code from magazines, and then peeking and poking my way around the memory addresses.

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.

New Player FAQ

Feyd's Survival Pack

Jenshae Chiroptera
#8 - 2016-02-15 14:09:34 UTC  |  Edited by: Jenshae Chiroptera
witchking42 wrote:
...Spent hours typing in the larger programs, hoping that they would save to cassette afterwards.
Aww you poor thing. Mid '80s, we had an XT with two 5" floppy drives then we got a 512KB hard drive.

I played with Basic and QBasic but only really did anything from Visual Basic era onwards.

CCP - Building ant hills and magnifying glasses for fat kids

Not even once

EVE is becoming shallow and puerile; it will satisfy neither the veteran nor the "WoW" type crowd in the transition.

Buzz Orti
State War Academy
Caldari State
#9 - 2016-02-15 21:14:37 UTC
Jonah Gravenstein wrote:
Machine code for beginners, ye gods I used to have that book. Many an evening and weekend was spent laboriously copying code from magazines, and then peeking and poking my way around the memory addresses.

A friend of mine programmed in machine language but I never had the code to do it.
I learned a bit about Assembly but not enough to code it / decode it either.


can help me, if it is still working.

Btw, machine language and machine code may or may not be the same thing.
Machine language was used in arcade games, to code the program running on those coin operated machines.

I did have 2 or 3 XT though, none of them with hard disk, though my neighbour had one with a hard disk that failed which I fixed for her (and the fix worked).
The XT(s) was used to write electronic text files with WordStar editor, play TradeWars 2002 on BBS and create an information system.
I also used to keep track of budget expenses with it.
This was in around 1994 to 1996 though, I couldn't get a computer for a couple of years after my graduation and the Timex Sinclair was long robbed, with lawyers asking for who knows how much to perhaps never get it back either (nice try, but no).

Builds ship in empty Quafe bottle.