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Maury Markowitz

Why did AB push the line number and not the address?

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On 8/16/2019 at 4:15 PM, Rybags said:

Yeah.  And if they'd released something with similar speed to Basic-XE or Turbo Basic then they could have hurt their own game sales.

I doubt that. Atari Basic was what SMI could deliver in time. It is not the result of some kind of engineering master plan to keep Basic slow, just what was possible in time and the capabilities of the team back then.

Atari needed a Basic, they needed it quickly, and it should be sufficient to demonstrate the powers of the machine. Consider it would have been Microsoft basic: No "graphics" command, no "sound" command, only peek and poke. Probably a bit faster, but certainly not better.

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please go back and understand somewhere in all our discussions, microsoft BASIC 1 and 2 are official Atari BASICS, Atari did not get Microsofts BASIC in a timely fashion, They had their own BASIC rushed out and not only due to time involved but one other issue we got what we got. There was no reason other BASIC variants could not have been delivered also... honestly, since Atari could have any BASIC in cart form... a pass through right/left cart format could have been chosen for what turned out to be the best of the crop...  it didn't get that far, and the cheap built in became the standard....

 

I still feel the story of the BASIC's is out there already and just needs to be dug up again...

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On 8/18/2019 at 7:02 PM, _The Doctor__ said:

please go back and understand somewhere in all our discussions, microsoft BASIC 1 and 2 are official Atari BASICS, Atari did not get Microsofts BASIC in a timely fashion, They had their own BASIC rushed out and not only due to time involved but one other issue we got what we got.

Whether Microsoft Basic would be better or worse would be another discussion - not related to the apparent slowness of Atari Basic and its sub-optimal math performance. I strongly believe that Atari Basic was a good choice as it provided elementary graphics and sound support that allowed users to use the powers of the machine without much complexity. Compare this with the C64: Creating sound or graphics was a nightmare of peek/poke. Even if math performance might have been better, the overall package the user got in the C64 world was worse. The C64 port was a "quick and dirty" port of MS basic, without taking any of the strengths of the machine into account.

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