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Total newbie advice for learning basic?

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This my current setup:

Atari 800XL 64k PAL REV D motherboard/basic REV unknown?

Theirs also a toggle switch for OS (i have no idea how to identify them how do i do this please?)

Atari 1050 drive stock as far as i know

Atari stock XC12

Lotharek SIO2sd Ver 1.3

 

Handful of new blank cassettes(10)

5¼" floppy disks used 3 unknown blanks or size/3 unknown Amstrad blanks or size/2 IBM  unknown blanks or size/ 1 3M DS,DD 360KB

 

I don't know the quality the of the above disks of size or what's on them the cassettes are brand new SKY C90 FX'S

I have no programming languages or books,magazines or Dos type software

 

So i'm looking for advice on what to use basic/dos/books/magazines/ to read and other utility software i might need

 

http://69.60.118.202/atari/atari-books.htm any advice were i start?

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First off, learn the syntax from a book, which there are plenty. https://www.atariarchives.org/. Mapping the Atari will also help you when you start to look at BASIC listings but there are just so many books that can assist you that you're not going to run out of reading.
Are you wanting to learn BASIC just to learn it OR do you want to learn a programming language on the Atari because I hear good things about Action!

Edited by Justin Payne

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Think i will start with basic first with baby steps it's just which version too use?

I have no idea how to create or format blank disks or any use with cassettes i'm starting from complete scratch

I found out a little more information on my 800XL by do some peeking XL/XE OS Rev 2 Revision C Basic

Is their similar methods for the 1050 and the XC12?

Edited by 256 colors

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12 hours ago, 256 colors said:

Think i will start with basic first with baby steps it's just which version too use?

I have no idea how to create or format blank disks or any use with cassettes i'm starting from complete scratch

I found out a little more information on my 800XL by do some peeking XL/XE OS Rev 2 Revision C Basic

Is their similar methods for the 1050 and the XC12?

Reason I ask is that we all learned BASIC because that came with the computers and it was what was taught at more schools or what mode programs were listed in magazines. Action is much faster than BASIC but uses a familiar syntax. It's not something like Assembly Language which is what a lot of people did learn to make really fast programs. 

I'm sure someone can recommend a better book but the one I learned BASIC with the the one that game with my computer (https://www.atariarchives.org/basic/). I see there is this one for the XL line, like you have (https://www.atariarchives.org/basicxl/) but I'm pretty sure they are similar. 

When you get that down this is a pretty good book for Graphics (https://www.atariarchives.org/agagd/)
I don't know how much you know about BASIC but just in case you don't know much, they aren't all alike. If you find a book with a BASIC listing in it and it doesn't say it's for the specific computer or BASIC (For example, Microsoft BASIC) don't expect it to work. I had books as a kid with BASIC listings but because they were written in other computer's BASIC, they wouldn't work without some tweaking to make it work with Atari BASIC.

 

As for using your 1050 Driver, here is the manual (https://archive.org/details/Atari_1050_Disk_Drive_Owners_Guide_1982_Atari) but since you have a Lotharek SIO2sd Ver 1.3, you'll probably use that most of the time.

 

As far as the two XC12, nice. Again, you'll probably not use those too much now a days but there is a mod to speed up their loading much quicker. I look at them more as something to finish the collection. If you want to use that, https://archive.org/details/Atari_XC12_Program_Recorder_Owners_Manual_1986_Atari

 

As for the toggle switch, I have one of those in my 800xl and it's for a 3rd party chip that helped with compatability between old 400/800 software and the XL line of computers. There were several out there so I couldn't tell you what is without looking at it but it's possible the chip is labelled. Maybe just flipping the switch will bring up a menu that will tell you.

 

Hopefully this is all useful info and I didn't misread your needs.

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Thank's for your help so far i appreciate it

So far as toggle switch goes it's mystery to me it outputs to grey screen with no memo pad or ready prompt

Even using a simple type in like 

10 print"hello"

20 goto 10

run

 

does nothing at all?

 

When looking at different types of programming languages and other software i notice most of it for the american market NTSC systems is that software gonna make a difference on my PAL setup

Also XL/XE OS Rev 2 is my current OS could i do with a better OS or is this okay for my 800XL PAL

 

In addition too getting prepared for learning more i have Altirra 3.20 setup on my laptop exactly the same way the real 800XL hardware here so i can switch stuff between the two

 

Looking at all the Atari books/manuals/PDFS is there a good reliable way of copying and pasting text from those into Altirra 3.20 and the real 800XL and hows it done?

 

Edited by 256 colors

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To get started, all you need is the computer hooked to a monitor. That will get you into Basic where you can start learning the commands and making it do things. Next up, you'll want to be able to save your creations. For that you'll need a disk operating system (DOS). Check out the disks, do any of them say some variation of DOS? You can use the SIO2SD at this stage and download a DOS to start, but that adds some complexity. A good DOS to start with is MyDOS (scroll down, you'll see a zip file).

 

As for books, look at Your Atari Computer (XL/XE) edition. It covers getting started with your computer and also introduces you to Basic. Once you are familiar with programming, you can move on to other books/languages.

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8 hours ago, 256 colors said:

Looking at all the Atari books/manuals/PDFS is there a good reliable way of copying and pasting text from those into Altirra 3.20 and the real 800XL and hows it done?

Copy the program from pdf using right-click then paste into altirra using right-click (ctrl-v won't work), press F1 to go into warp and it gets pasted faster.

Edited by Preppie

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I'm having all sorts of problems copying and pasting anything from pdf into Altirra

I have to copy from pdf to notepad text then copy and paste and hope and prey no double lines of same numbers or strange character fuckups

Or sometimes half the listing only goes in

 

from pdf to notepad text okay

100 I=PEEK(106)-8
110 POKE 54278,I
120 PMBAS=!*256
130 FOR Q=PMBAS+512 TO PMBAS+640
140 POKE Q,O
150 NEXT Q
160 X=180:Y=100
170 POKE 704,54:POKE 558,46:POKE 53277,3
180 POKE 53248,){
180 FOR Q=O TO 8
200 READ P
210 POKE PMBAS+512+Y+Q,P
220 NEXT Q
230 DATA 12,12,8,63,72,136,20,34,65
240 POKE 53256,1
250 GOSUB 1000
260 GOSU8 i100
270 FOR Q=l TO 80
280 B=USR(UP,PMBAS+511+Y):Y=Y-l
280 NEXT Q
300 FOR Q=l TO 120
310 X=X-l:POKE 53248,X
320 NEXT G
330 FOR Q=l TO 80
3408=USR(DOWN,PMBAS+511+Y):Y=Y+l
350 NEXT Q

 

 

from notepad text into Altirra

100 I=PEEK(106)-8
110 POKE 54278,I
120 PMBAS=!*256
120 ERROR-   PMBAS=!*256
130 FOR Q=PMBAS+512 TO PMBAS+640
140 POKE Q,O
150 NEXT Q
160 X=180:Y=100
170 POKE 704,54:POKE 558,46:POKE 53277
,3
180 POKE 53248,)

Edited by 256 colors

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The original listing as pasted into Notepad is full of syntax errors (e.g. 'PMBAS=!*256'). That's why the BASIC interpreter is rejecting it. You'll need to correct the syntax errors in Notepad before pasting into the emulator. I could guess at quite a few of the required corrections, but it would probably be better to start with a plain-text listing which contains no errors.

 

Edited by flashjazzcat
typo
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And if copy and paste direct from the pdf 

 

100 I=PEEK(10G)-8
110 POKE 5427971
120 PM8AS=I*25G
130 FOR Q=PM8AS+512 TO PMBAS+G40
140 POKE G70
150 NDn Q
160 }{=100:V=70
170 POKE 704790:POKE 55974S:POKE 53277,3
180 POKE 53248.X
190 FOR G=:O TO 8
200 f-"?EAD P
210 POKE PM8AS+512+Y+G7P
220 NE}{T G
230 DATA 12712,8763,72,136,20,34,65

 

then into Altirra only half the listing and lots duplicate lines

 

100 I=PEEK(10G)-8
100 ERROR-   I=PEEK(10G)-8
110 POKE 5427971
110 ERROR-   POKE 5427971
120 PM8AS=I*25G
120 ERROR-   PM8AS=I*25G
130 FOR Q=PM8AS+512 TO PMBAS+G40
140 POKE G70
140 ERROR-   POKE G70
150 NDN Q
150 ERROR-   NDN Q
160

 

 

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Let me say the same thing in another way: the PDF listing contains syntax errors. The 'duplicate' lines are not duplicates. That's the interpreter telling you the previous line contained errors, and pointing out the location of the first error.

 

Try copying and pasting something which doesn't contain errors. Just Google some Atari BASIC code and paste it direct from the HTML. The PDF you are using is full of errors.

 

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23 minutes ago, 256 colors said:

And if copy and paste direct from the pdf 

 

100 I=PEEK(10G)-8
110 POKE 5427971
120 PM8AS=I*25G
130 FOR Q=PM8AS+512 TO PMBAS+G40
140 POKE G70
150 NDn Q
160 }{=100:V=70
170 POKE 704790:POKE 55974S:POKE 53277,3
180 POKE 53248.X
190 FOR G=:O TO 8
200 f-"?EAD P
210 POKE PM8AS+512+Y+G7P
220 NE}{T G
230 DATA 12712,8763,72,136,20,34,65

What @flashjazzcat said. The only line above that is valid in Atari Basic is 230, and that's probably not correct.

 

I would recommend to people that they type the code, not just copy and paste. Working up muscle memory on typing basic will go a long, long way.

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Gawd i was hoping the age of rage quitting after endless line of codes only to have one typo fuck everything up were over 

Why can't it just be easy?

Edited by 256 colors

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13 minutes ago, 256 colors said:

Gawd i was hoping the age of rage quitting after endless line of codes only to have one typo fuck everything up were over 

Why can't it just be easy?

 

The listing you are using looks like it went through an OCR (optical character reader), that didn't do very good job.  Hence all the errors.

 

For example: 160 }{=100:V=70

 

And this:

 

120 PM8AS=I*25G
130 FOR Q=PM8AS+512 TO PMBAS+G40

 

Which should probably be:

 

120 PMBAS=I*256
130 FOR Q=PMBAS+512 TO PMBAS+G40 <--maybe 640

 

 

 

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So it's down to a bad reader that doesn't have option to read as plain text?

Are there better alternatives to adobe that can read as plain text?

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It looks like the original PDF is wrong, there's nothing you can do about that.  It's the fault of whoever made the pdf copy, they didn't proof read it.

 

The only thing you can do is find better pdf's

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24 minutes ago, 256 colors said:

So it's down to a bad reader that doesn't have option to read as plain text?

Are there better alternatives to adobe that can read as plain text?

Here is my attempt at fixing all the errors:

 

100 I=PEEK(106)-8
110 POKE 54279,1
120 PMBAS=I*256
130 FOR Q=PMBAS+512 TO PMBAS+640
140 POKE Q,0
150 NEXT Q
160 X=100:Y=70
170 POKE 704,90:POKE 559,46:POKE 53277,3
180 POKE 53248,X
190 FOR G=0 TO 8
200 READ P
210 POKE PMBAS+512+Y+G,P
220 NEXT G
230 DATA 12,12,8,63,72,136,20,34,65 

 

 

Major caveats:

170 is probably wrong...I think it is POKE 559 but I assume 4S is 46?

230 I assumed most of the 7s are bad commas

 

It still isn't right but I think it is closer and it actually runs

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just tried it, and get same results.

 

The PDFs are correct but they're not the highest quality so it looks like the windows copy/paste is having trouble.

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The other thing you are going to run into is that OCR knows nothing of ATASCII characters, nor does the standard windoze notepad.... it's going to make a mixed salad out of them.

What's needed is an Atascii aware dot matrix tuned OCR package...

Edited by _The Doctor__
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I tried zooming in so the pdf text was very large and that gave better results, you'll probably still get a couple of errors though.

 

A lot of those programs in old books were done with dot-matrix, so it's always going to be a bit dodgy trying to copy&paste.

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I didn't think it was the pdfs were at fault just method of transferring the information into Altirra is hard not that it's a fault too

Theirs gotta be a way around this somehow we can't go back to the dark ages of typing every single line not in year 2019

Edited by 256 colors

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5 minutes ago, 256 colors said:

method of transferring the information into Altirra is hard

It's hard if the material in the paste buffer already has errors. I don't think things could get much easier than actually pasting the entire listing straight into the emulator, although an even easier way - if you have no interest in actually typing in BASIC code - is to find disk images containing the software of interest and just run it?

 

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Whilst i accept their is gonna be a degree of some real typing into a emulator or real machine

I really do not want to type endless amounts of lines like back in day when magazines,books and listings and typos that was bad enough back then

Lost count of the amount time the Atari came close getting smashed 1000 bits just out of pure anger frustration for one stupid typo mistake

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