You mentioned my name in an article (http://www.atariage....p?showuser=6661
) and I found it via Google.
To give you some more information, some of which I am sure you already know:
BaPAUG was the Bournemouth & Poole Atari Users Group. I lived (and live) north of London, so I never got to see them except at shows; if you Google around a bit you will find a few pictures of me at Stafford, where the shows were generally held, and is utterly dismal.
I was closer to LACE (London Atari Computer Enthusiasts); the chairman of which lived in Leytonstone, though it was a fairly wide bunch, with one member living south of the river and we generally met at member’s house in Kensal Green (NW London). We used also to dial in to a BBS in Brum, I forget who ran that, but later LACE ran it. Algie in Kensal Green is the man to contact, but I forget his surname (if I ever knew it). His long-time partner Cat was sweetheart too.
As for PL65
, it is no doubt derived from PL/M (and unlikely from PL/1, a much more complex language) and was pretty swift. I programmed for PL/960 on truly obscure processors. If you Google around, you will find several programs that I wrote in PL65
—none of them my best. It is basically an ALGOL-based language and was advertised in Page 6 and I imagine in Atari User etc. As you suggest, it was somewhat obscure, but considering we had no C or C++ at the time, was better than Atari Basic or even Turbo Basic, for the power user. It will run on standard AtariDOS, you don’t need SpartaDOS. I hope I shan’tbe in trouble for cracking it open! Bit too late now I imagine. If I recall correctly, it was deliberate bad sector, and knocking out the code to read the bad sector made the1 problem go away. As a professional software engineer, I don’t tend to do that kind of thing, since I am simply taking money out of one pocket to put in another, but it was a pain to use before cracking it open, so I did it for my own sake having legitimately bought a copy. I never knowingly gave anyone else a copy, so I can’t imagine how you got hold of it.
I can remember most of the details of PL65
. It had a distinction between PROC and FUNC, if I recall, and also a very queer feature (which resembles LISP lamda-functions in some respects) whereby a procedure could be passed to another procedure, i.e. the address of it, to save having to push and pop arguments unnecessarily. I also wrote—God knows if you would ever find this—a “defragmenter” that removed all the fragments in assembly language programs and made them much faster to load. AtariDOS had a four-byte header on each segment indicating the length of the segment and its address in memory, which was then followed by the data. This was especially important for PL65
which typically would have 80+ segments.
Bear in mind that I had the 6502 instruction set off by heart at that point (and 8086 and 68000 too). I wrote an 80-column emulator which would be nice to find again, and a few demos for LACE that are quite nice. I wrote a prog to solve Kriss Kross puzzles which was probably the first to use a real windowing system on the Atari 8-bits (the prog was more or less a demo of the underlying windowing system), The Cube Demo which demonstrated rotating cubes using the DMI etc (apparently not so good in the US as it only *just* made it under 20ms and with a faster screen refresh rate and slower processor on US machines, would demand two screen cycles), and did other bits and bobs that I can tell you about later.