PDA

View Full Version : A Blast from my Past - Computer Spacegames



mpickering
September 13th, 2006, 10:34 AM
All,

I picked up this little gem recently off eBay. I used to check this book out of my local library when I was a kid and had my first computer (Timex Sinclair 1000). Decided it might be worth having to relive some memories with and boy has it.

Item here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=1247&item=320022117576

I've actually gotten these programs to run on a BBC Basic interpreter on Linux (how's that for a twist on vintage computing). The programs work. Downside is the interpreter's random number generator resets on every program run so it generates the same random numbers each time. I found a assembly fix for it, of all things, to include in your programs.

Now I'm trying to see about rewriting these programs in Curses Python just for the nostalgic quality. And maybe acquiring an old laptop with a built-in BASIC just so I can run the programs properly.

If anyone would like the original listings or a modernized Python version, I can provide them.

Matt

dongfeng
September 13th, 2006, 10:48 AM
I have that book! There used to be lots of that series in my local library and I used to copy them out at school. I always remember it used to take just as long to troubleshoot the typing errors as it did to type out the listings!

There was one book called Haunted House (or similar) that was a giant text adventure game. That was really cool, I don't have the book for it though.

I used to have them all saved on disks, but I loaded them in my BBC a couple of months ago and they had all suffered bitrot :(

Still got the books, but sadly not a spare couple of weeks :D

dongfeng
September 13th, 2006, 10:49 AM
BTW, I was quite successful in getting them to run in QBASIC with a few minor tweaks. Out of all formats listed in the book, I think the BBC gave the best results.

Ernest
September 26th, 2006, 08:32 AM
Thank for the find. I remeber this book when I was younger. I don't have it but I did when I was younger.

chuckcmagee
September 26th, 2006, 08:43 AM
I'm typing in the "lunar.bas" that I got from http://www.moorecad.com/classicbasic/index.html on my newly purchased NEW Epson PX-8 (still waiting for my RS-232C cable making hardware to arrive).

I'm going to wait until I get that serial thing working to transfer the haunted house program I see on that same site. Tooooo much typing for me.

DoctorPepper
September 26th, 2006, 01:17 PM
I'm typing in the "lunar.bas" that I got from http://www.moorecad.com/classicbasic/index.html on my newly purchased NEW Epson PX-8 (still waiting for my RS-232C cable making hardware to arrive).

I'm going to wait until I get that serial thing working to transfer the haunted house program I see on that same site. Tooooo much typing for me.

Hah! Don't I know it. When I moved down to Florida in 1996, I needed an office to work from home in, so I claimed the spare bedroom. While cleaning it up, I found an old photocopy from a Dragon magazine (Dungeons & Dragons), dating back to June 1983. It had a BASIC listing of the "Dungeon Master's Personnel Service" program. I put it away for safe-keeping, and basically forgot about it. After I started collecting vintage microcomputers, I decided to try my hand at entering it. At first, I wanted to use my TRS-80 Model IV, but that quickly gave way to my Xtrs TRS-80 emulator. Anyway, after many hours of typing, I got it entered and debugged. I gave a copy to Ira, over at trs-80.com. The moral of that story is it was a gigantic pain in the you-know-what to type that program in. I had forgotten how much of a job that had been back in the good old days.

I say good luck to anyone contemplating doing something similar. It will quickly cure any super-nostalgic feelings you might be having! ;-)

BTW, I saved-out the haunted house BASIC listing, ran my trusty unix2dos program on it, then imported it into my Xtrs TRS-80 emulator (using the import.cmd program supplied by Tim Mann) and the darned thing ran right off! That doesn't mean it doesn't have syntax errors in it somewhere, but at least it did run.