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Newbie BASIC programming language questions

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More newbie questions (still trying to decide if I want an Atari 8-bit machine or not).

 

1) Both the Atari 400 and 800 boot up into notepad and you have to plug in the BASIC programming language cartridge if you want to program in BASIC, correct?

 

2) What is the default color combination on the BASIC programming screen (text color on background color) for the 800 and 400 computers?

 

3) The XL and XE series boot up into the BASIC programming language without a cartridge, correct?

 

4) What is the default color combination on the BASIC programming screen (text color on background color) for the XL series and XE series computers?

 

I wonder why Atari decided to burn BASIC on the ROM on the motherboard instead of continue on with the practice of putting BASIC on a detachable ROM cartridge?

 

Thank you

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1) correct

2) White text on blue background

3) correct

4) same as 2

 

The Basic rom went in to the machine for cost reasons (I guess) the atari cartridge design in the 4/800 days was very well engineered, you can remove the cost by removing the need for the cart. Most people in the day programmed in basic any way

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I don't think Atari originally envisioned there being one "standard" language for the machine. Instead you just plug in whatever language you want. By the time the 600XL/800XL machines came out, it was clear that access to BASIC was fairly essential (and many computers relied on it to be the default interface).

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Not a big deal, but on the answer for the default colors for text and background. It's actually a lighter blue text on a darker blue background. You don't get white with blue. When you're in the highest resolution text or graphics mode on the atari you get 2 shades of 1 color.

 

Bob

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I see. I'm assuming the Atari engineer's chose pale blue on dark blue background for a reason. Not "just because they felt like it" (that's not logical). I noticed that the Commodore 64/128 also has a pretty similar default color screen for it's BASIC too.

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You have to pick something and blue looked good on the average TV. Plus, using two shades of the same color minimizes color artifacts.

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Try this

SETCOLOR 2,0,0

in the "Notepad" and the background will go black.

1st parameter is the color register. 2 is for the background in text mode

2nd parameter is the color. try values from 0 to 15

3rd parameter is the luminance and should be zero but can be anything between 0 and 15. (Only even values are supported for text mode)

 

So there are 16 different dark colored designs. Blue looks good.

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Blue is one of the easiest colors on the eyes for eye-strain when it comes to long periods of staring at something with text and drawings. That's why schematics in various fields of engineering and design are called 'Blue Prints' and the paper traditionally were actually white text on blue backgrounds in many cases. Black on white is also a standard for some schamatics/plans/prints. Yellow is often used as background on paper too.

 

I'm sure Atari and Commodore and others did their own research into the colors too, and settled on the classic colors expecting programmers to be reading the text and data onscreen for many long hours.

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1NG,

Don't you mean to say: Type SETCOLOR 2,0,0 from the READY prompt? If you are running a 400/800 OS, the notepad mode does nothing but print what you type on the screen.

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In the early 80's, my father worked at IBM and he told me that the system engineers said that blue background with white text was known to be easy on the eyes, and many set up their terminals with that color combo. In early versions of MS Word, Edit and similar Microsoft editing environments like Quick C, they defaulted to white on blue. Incidentally, my father bought us an Atari 800, and not an IBM PC.

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More newbie questions (still trying to decide if I want an Atari 8-bit machine or not).

 

1) Both the Atari 400 and 800 boot up into notepad and you have to plug in the BASIC programming language cartridge if you want to program in BASIC, correct?

 

2) What is the default color combination on the BASIC programming screen (text color on background color) for the 800 and 400 computers?

 

3) The XL and XE series boot up into the BASIC programming language without a cartridge, correct?

 

4) What is the default color combination on the BASIC programming screen (text color on background color) for the XL series and XE series computers?

 

I wonder why Atari decided to burn BASIC on the ROM on the motherboard instead of continue on with the practice of putting BASIC on a detachable ROM cartridge?

 

Thank you

There are two ROMs in the XL/XE A8s. The OS is I think 10K and BASIC is 8K. The early XLs had

socketed ROMs, so you could put a different OS or BASIC ROM in. BASIC wasn't swapped out

much I think, but there were/are a number of OS upgrades/choices, including one that has 32

different A8 OSes. Later XLs and the XEs didn't have the socketed ROMs, were straight

to the motherboard.

Edited by russg

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The OS is 16KB, not 10.

 

And indeed: 'white' on 'blue' is really good readable. Another good combination is white on dark-green. that is why so many 'blackboards' in The Netherlands are dark green. I assume that in countries with English language a blackboard is black?

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The OS is 16KB, not 10.

 

And indeed: 'white' on 'blue' is really good readable. Another good combination is white on dark-green. that is why so many 'blackboards' in The Netherlands are dark green. I assume that in countries with English language a blackboard is black?

yes but a green house is not green :grin:

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The OS is 16KB, not 10.

 

And indeed: 'white' on 'blue' is really good readable. Another good combination is white on dark-green. that is why so many 'blackboards' in The Netherlands are dark green. I assume that in countries with English language a blackboard is black?

OK, the OS is 10K in 800/400, 16K in XL/XE and XEGS I guess has another 8K for Missile Command.

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And indeed: 'white' on 'blue' is really good readable. Another good combination is white on dark-green. that is why so many 'blackboards' in The Netherlands are dark green. I assume that in countries with English language a blackboard is black?

Except for the really old ones most blackboards i saw back in school and college were green in the U.S. They are still either called blackboards or chalkboards. I am guessing at some point green was deemed easier on the eyes. I would guess many these days have been replaced by white boards and dry erase markers.

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