What is BASIC (although not an OS in the modern
BASIC (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction
Code) was more than a beginner's programming language. It was part of the instruction set (not quite an OS) for early home
computers like the TRS-80 Model III running on TRS-DOS or NEWDOS and Commodore
running on the ROM-resident OS named KERNAL (misspelling of
I remember reading
lots of books on BASIC and Byte
Magazine and watching Bits and
Bytes on channel 13
experience at school was on a TRS-80 Model III, on which I wrote (coded)
several programs that no longer exist (saved on cassette tape, what an unreliable medium). At home, I spent many hours in front of my C64.
This is why, on this page, I can only concentrate on my experience of BASIC on C64.
was one of the first computer
systems that I
ever used and the first one I ever owned (1984). I quickly got up hooked into a whole new
field and style of life geekdom while
writing (coding) source
code instead of sleeping. KERNAL and Commodore BASIC in its 8-bit glory for C64
boasting a 1.023 MHz microprocessor and 64 KB of RAM gave and experience was as close at it could
be for any kid in the early 1980's (1984, in my case). To make things even
more exciting and bringing more curious kids (like myself) to computer science, C64
was heavily used for games
and even some music programs thanks to its ground-breaking technology based on two chipsets by MOS
Technology SIC 6581 and VIC II. Commodore International declared
bankruptcy and closed shop in 1994. In 2011, a new
reincarnation named Commodore USA released updated versions of C64
(C64x) with the same vintage (old, obsolete, ancient, historical,
retro) exterior ("breadbox") and VIC
20 (VIC Slim) with their own Linux distribution named Commodore OS. I
had not been thrilled about any new system
and/or other technologies for a long time. The
whole idea of reviving the C64x had me
like a little kid before Christmas, but I never bought
one. Commodore USA closed shop a little after one of its
owners died on 2012 or 2013.
For those of us who want to relive the heyday of C64
(1982-1985), a new version of C64
is scheduled to released in 2018 by the C64 Mini,
which is marketed as a video game console with 64 built-in games
and it will ship with its own joystick. According to the vendor,
The C64 Mini can also be used to program Commodore BASIC (forked from Microsoft BASIC) the first programming language that I ever learned.
Needless to say, I am
10 INPUT "WHAT'S YOUR NAME?"; NAME$
20 PRINT "HELLO, "; NAME$;
30 INPUT ", HOW ARE YOU? (OK/NOT)"; OK$
40 IF OK$ = "OK" THEN PRINT "GLAD TO HEAR THAT."
50 IF OK$ <> "OK" THEN PRINT "TOO BAD!"
Another nostalgia option is Manomio's licensed emulator
for iOS iPhone, iPod and iPad. This emulator
is almost as good as the original.
Unfortunately it has been almost thirty (30) years since
I last wrote (coded) my
last program for the C64
and I do not remember
how to code
and dirty (not to mention descent) program, but I consider it the geekiest
purchase I have ever made.
Of course, if you are merely interested in C64
you may simply get a ROM emulator and a handful of ROM images, which may be
illegal in some areas and/or under special conditions (17 U.S.C. §
§ 117 . Limitations on exclusive rights:
(a) Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner
of Copy.Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an
infringement for the owner of a
copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making
of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided:
(1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as
an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and
that it is used in no other manner, or
(2) that such new copy or adaptation is for archival
purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed
in the event that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful.