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luckybuck

Last missing OSS BASIC XL book

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Hello together!

 

 

Recently the following manuals:

 

OSS-The Basic XL Toolkit-Including the BASIC XL Runtime Package-Reference Manual

 

and

 

OSS-Basic XE Reference Manual

 

did arrive at Atarimania. So, the circle is closing...

 

There is just one book left, which seems to be lost:

 

30 Days to Understanding BASIC XL - Bill Wilkinson and Diane Goldstein

 

 

If anyone of you has this book, we would really appreciate that to complete the BASIC XL project.

Many thanks in advance to you and Happy Easter! :-)

post-32599-0-04319500-1397771582_thumb.jpg

The manual for BASIC XL is exceptional. The first section, an exhaustive tutorial entitled, "30 Days to Under standing BASIC XL," takes the novice by hand and walks him through the fundamentals of BASIC programming. Experienced programmers can proceed directly to the excellent 135-page reference section.

Review - BASIC XL

BASIC XL

OPTIMISED SYSTEMS SOFTWARE

1173D S. Saratoga/Sunnyvale Rd.

San Jose, CA 95129

(408) 446-3099

16K Cartridge $99.00

by Robert L. Riggs

Optimised Systems Software (O.S.S.) has done it again! Bill Wilkinson & Co. have put the cap on the BASIC language for Atari computers: BASIC XL. It's neatly wrapped and documented in a yellow binder which accompanies the bright orange cartridge.

The documentation begins with a 176-page tutorial entitled "30 Days to Understanding BASIC XL," written by Bill Wilkinson and Diane Goldstein. If you are a complete novice at BASIC programming, this book and a fair amount of determination are all you will need to learn to use your Atari computer. Bill and Diane introduce you to BASIC XL with the "chapter-a-day" system: 30 chapters, beginning with "Getting to know your computer" and extending through "Congratulations: 30 END."

Following the tutorial is the reference manual which documents the entire language, including 45 syntax expressions and keywords not found in 8K Atari BASIC. It's a well-known fact that Bill Wilkinson was part of the team that developed 8K Atari BASIC. He's written more than once of the bugs and limitations inherent in that language. BASIC A+ did much to alleviate those shortcomings, but it was disk-based and devoured too much memory. BASIC XL is on cartridge and, because of its memory bank design, uses no more RAM than Atari BASIC. Critics of the execution speed of other versions of BASIC will find little to complain about with regard to O.S.S.'s latest achievement. BASIC programs previously typed in from magazines and abandoned because of their boring snail-pace run at arcade speeds with BASIC XL. In fact, timing loops almost invariably have to be extended when running Atari BASIC programs with BASIC XL. That's right, BASIC XL is upward compatible with Atari BASIC, unlike MicroSoft BASIC. And it still offers MicroSoft-style string-handling, auto line-numbering, renumbering and line delete.

Other useful additions to the BASIC vocabulary include ELSE, WHILE, ENDIF, ENDWHILE, PRINT USING, TAB and TRACE/TRACEOFF. Player-missile graphics are of particular interest to many Atari programmers. Dozens of articles and programs in a variety of books and magazines are devoted to utility programs to help you design and use players and/or missiles. O.S.S. provides you with BASIC commands to deal with these pesky critters. just wait until you can use commands like MISSILE, BUMP, PMCOLOR, PMGRAPHICS, PMMOVE, PMWIDTH and PMCLR. You'll love it! SET is another new and extremely powerful command. It allows you to exercise control over a variety of system level functions. You can quickly and easily change 13 functions such as BREAK key enable/disable, Tab stop settings for the comma in PRINT statements, the prompt character for INPUT, auto DIMensioning, and LIST formatter to automatically indent structured statements. DOS commands directly from BASIC include DIR (disk directory), ERASE, PROTECT, UNPROTECT and RENAME.

And that's not all. You get additional functions like DPEEK/DPOKE, ERR, FIND, HSTICK/VSTICK, PEN, PMADR and SYS. You can type them all in caps, lower case or even reverse characters for all BASIC XL cares. Just think -- no more angrily hitting the CAPS/LOWR key after a syntax error!

Yes, I know that doesn't add up to 45 commands, yet. There are more advanced-technique keywords that some of you will undoubtedly drool over, so I suggest that you run (don't walk) directly to your friendly Atari dealer and buy your very own copy of BASIC XL immediately. It's the here-and-now solution to all your BASIC needs for your Atari computer.

 

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BASIC XL cart is my favorite BASIC.

I don't recall seeing a "30 days to understanding BASIC XL" book. Just had the reference manual that came with the cart.

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Luckybuck,

Where did you find that review and picture?

 

Found the review. Analog #19.

 

The way the author wrote that review it almost seemed that the "30 Days to Understanding BASIC XL," wasn't really a separate book but the first half of the manual. I have been hunting down as many Atari books as I can but have never come across even a mention of that book. It would be great to have.

 

Another thing that would be great to have is a complete archive of the OSS newsletters that they put out. Does anyone have any of these?

 

Allan

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If I can dig out (a) a floppy drive and (b) find my copies of the disk newsletters, I think I have one or two OSS floppy newsletters.

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Dear Allan!

 

Up to now, I am already on that trace. If the force is with us, it will be offered for all.

 

The OSS project is very near to close concerning the big ones. All newsletters are a further challenge...

 

Some are really good. Here:

 

Action! Run Time Disk & Action! Run Time Manual

 

is for example a DOS XL 2.3 masterdisk image which could be patched via a newsletter to 2.3p. OSS never published that version...

 

Stay tuned for more to come.

 

Happy Easter!

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I do have this book. It is the first section in front of the manual. I will try to get this scanned over the weekend( I don't have a scanner, but will figure something out...). Also, hi all! This is my first post on atariage, but have been lurking for a long time.

post-34078-0-42744500-1397865212_thumb.jpg

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I do have this book. It is the first section in front of the manual. I will try to get this scanned over the weekend( I don't have a scanner, but will figure something out...). Also, hi all! This is my first post on atariage, but have been lurking for a long time.

Welcome - pretty cool first post!

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Dear low.bow!

 

There was a time where E=mc^2 was just one post...

 

But it changed the world!

 

We will take over any costs you have. The best would be to do this in a copy shop with OCR in a pdf file.

 

It would be a little step for you, but a giant leap for the Atari community worldwide.

 

Obviously, you are the last person on earth, who has this manual...

 

Tera thanks in advance to you from all.

 

The very best regards.

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@Stephen thanks, I'm pleasantly surprised that I will actually be able to contribute something to the community!

Edited by low.blow

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Dear low.bow!

 

There was a time where E=mc^2 was just one post...

 

But it changed the world!

 

We will take over any costs you have. The best would be to do this in a copy shop with OCR in a pdf file.

 

It would be a little step for you, but a giant leap for the Atari community worldwide.

 

Obviously, you are the last person on earth, who has this manual...

 

Tera thanks in advance to you from all.

 

The very best regards.

I won't consider any compensation. But I have never scanned a text to pdf before. Will the copy shop do the work? If not, any advice to making the best possible scan is appreciated(and will definitely scan as pdf with ocr).

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Yes, normally the copy shop can do the job. But there are alternatives. Your manual is just black and white. Even pictures with a camera are sufficient. We will make the rest. Recently, from a camera, I got some jpg files and made this here:

 

The ACTION! Run Time Package-A Reference GUIDE.pdf

 

out of that. O. K. a 176-page tutorial will take some time...

 

But, we have all the time in the world... ;-)

 

 

 

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Dear low.bow.

 

One more thing. Besides the 30 days manual, there is also the reference manual with 135 pages...

 

It would be cool, if you could compare this with the one here:

 

OSS-BASIC-XL-Manual.pdf

 

If it is same, well done! If not.... let me locate a good copy shop close to you.... ;-)

 

 

Warm regards.

Edited by luckybuck

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Dear low.bow.

 

One more thing. Besides the 30 days manual, there is also the reference manual with 135 pages...

 

It would be cool, if you could compare this with the one here:

 

OSS-BASIC-XL-Manual.pdf

 

If it is same, well done! If not.... let me locate a good copy shop close to you.... ;-)

 

 

Warm regards.

The manual that I have, which is in the same D-ring binder as the 30 day manual, is indeed 135 pages. And it appears to be different than the pdf you linked. Attached is a pic of the last page...

post-34078-0-58235100-1397873977_thumb.jpg

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For 3 decades there were just rumors, that these manuals exists.. can't believe it. :-)

 

We can manage both, one or two pdf files. We have Acrobat Pro to divide on pdf file, as well as to join them. But two would be better, because of lower downloads.

 

I did never had such an Easter in my live. Thank you so much, don't know, what to say. That is a milestone! I am sure, Stephen would agree to that. From the beginning to the hall of fame, congratulations! :-)))))

 

Will be back in 12 hours.

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The manual that I have, which is in the same D-ring binder as the 30 day manual, is indeed 135 pages. And it appears to be different than the pdf you linked. Attached is a pic of the last page...

If you are scanning them with a flat bed, put a black piece of paper on top of the page you are scanning. This will reduce bleed-through from the other side of the page. If you are using a document feeder, consider scanning these as 'Text' if your software has such a mode. If not just use 'color'

 

Allan

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So I tried three different copy shops. The first one said it was too much work. The second and third ones hassled me over copywrite. Looks like I'll be doing this the hard way. I was able to borrow a scanner/printer from an in-law. I got the drivers installed and can now scan to pdf from my computer. I cannot scan to ocr pdf, the drivers don't have that functionality. Attached is a test scan of the first couple of pages. What settings do I want to use for the final? The test scan is 300 dpi black and white "auto exposure type: document"(whatever that means...). I did not scan with black paper on the back side for this test print, but I will do that for the final scan(the wife is at the store to buy black construction paper right now). Target size is set to "original". it looks like the manual is printed on A5 size paper. Are these settings sufficient? Anything I'm missing?

 

basicxl30daytest003.pdf

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The results look great! :-)

 

Of course, they need post processing, but that doesn't matter, we can take over at that point.

 

Please look here:

 

P1.doc

P1.rtf

P1.txt

P2.doc

 

 

Well, I can understand them, but not those, who told too much work!

 

Someone comes to a copy shop: "I have all evidences from Area 51" Sorry, government property, we can't copy...

 

 

Well, with the black paper. The main important thing is, that there will be no letters from the backside during scanning. Sometimes also white is needed...

 

Size: 5.47 inches times 8.19 inches, normal OSS paper

 

You did use an Epson :-)

 

Well, I would suggest to look for a copy shop near to you via yellow pages. More than 320 pages, that is not a favor, that is incredible! We can't do such a big thing for you in return. Only pay for. That takes so much time from you.

 

Anyone here, who has a good idea for that problem?

 

 

Maybe it is easier and quicker to make photos with a camera?

 

What do you think?

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Looks like it ocr'd quite well. I think I will have a go at scanning myself. Hopefully it is ok if I give multiple pdf's, as I do not think I can get it all done in one shot. I will pm you in a moment.

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I can photograph with a camera as well. Probably much quicker for me, but I would rather save you a little effort on your end, so scanning is probably better?

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I can photograph with a camera as well. Probably much quicker for me, but I would rather save you a little effort on your end, so scanning is probably better?

Yes, it's quicker but the results are really poor. Scanning is better. Is this doc in a three-ring binder? If you could find someone with a document feeder it would be a lot quicker for you. I could scan it for you but considering that you don't know me there would be trust issue which I perfectly understand. You don't happen to live in Connecticut, do you? That would make it to easy. :)

 

Allan

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So I tried three different copy shops. The first one said it was too much work. The second and third ones hassled me over copywrite. Looks like I'll be doing this the hard way. I was able to borrow a scanner/printer from an in-law. I got the drivers installed and can now scan to pdf from my computer. I cannot scan to ocr pdf, the drivers don't have that functionality. Attached is a test scan of the first couple of pages. What settings do I want to use for the final? The test scan is 300 dpi black and white "auto exposure type: document"(whatever that means...). I did not scan with black paper on the back side for this test print, but I will do that for the final scan(the wife is at the store to buy black construction paper right now). Target size is set to "original". it looks like the manual is printed on A5 size paper. Are these settings sufficient? Anything I'm missing?

 

This is perfect.

 

Allan

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Anyone here, who has a good idea for that problem?

 

 

Maybe it is easier and quicker to make photos with a camera?

 

What do you think?

 

Using a camera is only good if there is no other option. Short of finding a photo shop that would do it, the best way (an easiest) is finding someone close by with a document feeder. As long as the paper isn't too thick or smooth, the whole thing can be done in an hour or so with very little work.

 

Just want to say a thanks to you, Luckybuck for converting these into pure text documents. Even though I like to scan the stuff I post on Atarimania in it's original form, I like to see in pure text/word processor form as well. Especially when it's set up in a nice indexed PDF form. They look great on my tablet and doesn't slow my tablet down like the jpg converted PDFs.

 

Allan

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