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Intelligentleman

List of ECS BASIC Commands?

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32 minutes ago, DZ-Jay said:

👍

 

Now (perhaps out of personal self-interest to expand the Intellivision programming community and see more games being made for the Intellivision), let me once again encourage you to take up IntyBASIC. :)

 

     -dZ.

Alright, I'll look into getting it set up. I might be more inclined to make "experiences" rather than traditional "games" however. No idea really.

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14 minutes ago, Intelligentleman said:

Alright, I'll look into getting it set up. I might be more inclined to make "experiences" rather than traditional "games" however. No idea really.

Sounds good, and the community is here to help.

 

Check out the IntyBASIC SDK, which may make it easier to set up.

 

    -dZ.

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4 hours ago, Intelligentleman said:

Man you guys really hate ECS BASIC. I guess I have the advantage(?) of discovering it without any pre-launch expectations. I'm not disappointed by it because I knew it was a wonky setup going in. Also, the ability to pull in graphic assets from the Mattel cartridges is rad - whether you can do anything remotely interesting with them in a program or not. I don't care what anybody says :P What media company today would openly invite you to mess around with their IP and, potentially, make an entertaining game out of it for you and your friends?

 

Aside from that, a person in this thread shared a link to some of his ECS programs, and just from reading through the code, they look awesomse!

I'm glad you enjoyed my better efforts.

 

ECS was all I had for a "computer" until the 12th grade, so I spent a lot of time making the most of it.  My family bought it because we accidentally bought The Jetsons' Ways With Words without knowing we needed the ECS to play.  Thank goodness it became available through the INTV catalogs shortly after.

 

Also, I had the brown ECS, which was intended for PAL televisions.  As a result of different timing, I could never save my programs to tape and never knew why, so I "saved" everything to a spiral-bound notebook with a pencil.  Very humble beginnings!

 

Not that all that time was in vain though.  Before getting a real computer, I went on to cracking passwords in a number of 8-bit and 16-bit games, in a heuristic method: just recording a bunch of passwords and solving the logic behind them.  That was how I taught myself binary arithmetic, and gained a rudimentary understanding of code validation schemes.

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58 minutes ago, Zendocon said:

I'm glad you enjoyed my better efforts.

 

ECS was all I had for a "computer" until the 12th grade, so I spent a lot of time making the most of it.  My family bought it because we accidentally bought The Jetsons' Ways With Words without knowing we needed the ECS to play.  Thank goodness it became available through the INTV catalogs shortly after.

 

Also, I had the brown ECS, which was intended for PAL televisions.  As a result of different timing, I could never save my programs to tape and never knew why, so I "saved" everything to a spiral-bound notebook with a pencil.  Very humble beginnings!

 

Not that all that time was in vain though.  Before getting a real computer, I went on to cracking passwords in a number of 8-bit and 16-bit games, in a heuristic method: just recording a bunch of passwords and solving the logic behind them.  That was how I taught myself binary arithmetic, and gained a rudimentary understanding of code validation schemes.

You mention you had the brown UK one as if it was unusual - which it would be if you lived in the US, I suppose. At any rate, I love your story, and I can relate to it if not directly. Here's my philosophy on development - and not just software dev; ALL development - do what you can with what you have. The true measure of your accomplishment is married to the conditions under which it was executed.

 

Here's another way to look at it - If we judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life thinking it is useless.

Edited by Intelligentleman
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Just now, Intelligentleman said:

You mention you had the brown UK one as if it was unusual - which it would be if you lived in the US, I suppose. At any rate, I love your story, and I can relate to it if not directly. Here's my philosophy on development - and not just software dev; ALL development - do what you can with what you have. The true measure of your accomplishment is married to the conditions under which it was executed.

Right.  I'm in the US, so I should have had a white ECS all along for NTSC televisions.  The brown ECS worked fine otherwise, and I had the original Intellivision all these years, so I prefer the brown ECS cosmetically.

 

Yes, to have done what I did with just the ECS is something I consider an accomplishment.  Those Bomb Run and Number Cruncher games are not too bad for ECS I think.  I had a couple of other series of games: one called Think Fast and another called Fall Of The Human Race.  Maybe I could revisit those and make them better, so I would feel good about making them readily available.

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5 minutes ago, Zendocon said:

Right.  I'm in the US, so I should have had a white ECS all along for NTSC televisions.  The brown ECS worked fine otherwise, and I had the original Intellivision all these years, so I prefer the brown ECS cosmetically.

 

Yes, to have done what I did with just the ECS is something I consider an accomplishment.  Those Bomb Run and Number Cruncher games are not too bad for ECS I think.  I had a couple of other series of games: one called Think Fast and another called Fall Of The Human Race.  Maybe I could revisit those and make them better, so I would feel good about making them readily available.

I suspect I'm not the only person like this, but to me, there is just something nostalgic and appealing about playing a game that - in theory - could have been made in 1983 by some dedicated, passionate person and shared among his/her nerdy friends on cassette tapes.

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1 hour ago, Zendocon said:

I'm glad you enjoyed my better efforts.

 

ECS was all I had for a "computer" until the 12th grade, so I spent a lot of time making the most of it.

My experience was similar, except that I go my "real" computer (C=64) on 7th grade.  I did my best with the ECS as well, and was fascinated by it.  However, that experience was tainted by what happened afterwards when learning to program the Commodore 64.  I guess I was childish and immature enough to regard the ECS as a waste of time, and then that stuck with me forevermore.  *shrug*

 

Quote

Also, I had the brown ECS, which was intended for PAL televisions.  As a result of different timing, I could never save my programs to tape and never knew why, so I "saved" everything to a spiral-bound notebook with a pencil.  Very humble beginnings!

I had that with my Commodore 64!  No floppy drive or datasette to record my programs on. 😱

 

I recall spending days on a single program and just leaving the computer on with the TV off and trying to finish it.  When it crashed or the power went off, I had to retype everything back in from my own memory.  I burnt out three C=64 (including my neighbor's who lent me his because mine burned out).  Back then I didn't know that the power supply brick tended to burn out and fail, and it just needed replacing, so I just chucked it out and begged for a new one.  At the time they ran for about $50 in K-Mart, so I convinced my mom to buy me another and she put it in lay-away.  I got it in a couple of months and it lasted just for a few more months again. LOL!

 

It was a struggle, but it was a learning experience, since every time I re-entered the program I had to re-process it in my mind and perhaps come up with different ways of solving the same problem.  A sort of baptism by fire.

 

With the ECS, I had a regular cassette player, and I went with my father to a local electronics shop to purchase a cable for it.  Not finding one, my father asked the store clerk if they could make one to the specifications in the manual (I think it said something like "mini-jack to phono-jack") and they had it ready by the afternoon.  So I was able to save and load programs, which was cool.

 

Quote

Not that all that time was in vain though.  Before getting a real computer, I went on to cracking passwords in a number of 8-bit and 16-bit games, in a heuristic method: just recording a bunch of passwords and solving the logic behind them.  That was how I taught myself binary arithmetic, and gained a rudimentary understanding of code validation schemes.

Haha that's cool!  I remember learning binary counting and arithmetic from a "Highlights for Children" (remember those?) article on "How Computers Work" or something like that.  It was very basic, and I think I was 8 years old or so, and absorbed it like a sponge.

 

I wasn't really all that good on the ECS BASIC, which perhaps added to my frustrations.  I mostly "dabbled" in it because it seemed to cumbersome to get anything done, and I am rather slow at anything I do.  It wasn't until I got the Commodore 64 that I got into real programming, first in BASIC, then machine language (because I had the Programmer's Reference Guide which included all the opcodes in Hexadecimal, but I really didn't even know about assemblers or monitors!), then assembly language.  I got into BBSs with a friend who ran a local one, then I wrote my own, then we got into cracking games and phreaking, but mostly playing games and downloading stuff from all over the world.

 

Fun times.  Hehehe.

 

And my Intellivision?  Well, the ECS my father sold to a neighbor with a 6 year-old daughter, whom he wanted to introduce to computers.  The Intellivision I kept, but stored in the closet  until ... one fateful day I lent it to a girlfriend back in the late 80s who wanted to play video games but didn't have a Nintendo, and when we broke up, I forgot to pick it up!

 

I've posted that story around here in the past several years ago.  To this day I still wonder if I should call her up and ask for it back.  I mean, it's mine.  And it's a classic and all that, so ... 😆

Edited by DZ-Jay
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6 minutes ago, Intelligentleman said:

I suspect I'm not the only person like this, but to me, there is just something nostalgic and appealing about playing a game that - in theory - could have been made in 1983 by some dedicated, passionate person and shared among his/her nerdy friends on cassette tapes.

Actually, I have a similar attitude.  Except that I was the only kid on the block with an Intellivision, so nobody else would have cared.  One person I know had an Odyssey2 and a couple people had a Commodore 64, but everybody else had Atari.

 

One thing I like to daydream about is going back in time to Christmas 1983, dressing up as Santa Claus, and presenting to my grandparents (so my aunt, uncle, and cousins could enjoy it as well) the Intellivision II, ECS, and all the peripherals and software, including the unreleased titles.  I can only imagine my 7-year-old self hitting the ceiling over Game Factory and a new Intellivision console integrated with a computer.  Included with all the hardware would be the extra controllers and Super Soccer for 4 player gaming, the System Changer, and even the Step-By-Step Guide To Home Computing book.

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8 minutes ago, DZ-Jay said:

With the ECS, I had a regular cassette player, and I went with my father to a local electronics shop to purchase a cable for it.  Not finding one, my father asked the store clerk if they could make one to the specifications in the manual (I think it said something like "mini-jack to phono-jack") and they had it ready by the afternoon.  So I was able to save and load programs, which was cool.

 

Haha that's cool!  I remember learning binary counting and arithmetic from a "Highlights for Children" (remember those?) article on "How Computers Work" or something like that.  It was very basic, and I think I was 8 years old or so, and absorbed it like a sponge.

I do remember getting the three cables, including the mini-jack for the "Remote" port to a standard tape player.  I didn't get my hopes up that it would actually work though.  At least now I know it never would.

 

Yes, Highlights for Children.  There was also a booklet I got around the same time as the ECS, called Magic Window (I think), which had a BASIC program in it for doing drawings.  It didn't say what computer to use it on, so of course I tried typing it into ECS BASIC, knowing full well it probably wouldn't work.  Imagine my surprise when it didn't.

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17 minutes ago, Zendocon said:

Actually, I have a similar attitude.  Except that I was the only kid on the block with an Intellivision, so nobody else would have cared.  One person I know had an Odyssey2 and a couple people had a Commodore 64, but everybody else had Atari.

Same with me!  I was the only kid in the neighborhood with an Intellivision.  There was one kid with an Odyssy2, and everybody else had Atari.  I was the "cool kid" for a while until that  snotty, spoiled kid Joey, who's parents got him one of everything, got a ColecoVision.  😡  Then nobody wanted to play crappy old Intellivision any more. 

 

I wanted an Atari, and begged my parents for it incessantly for several years, but never got one.  My father promised that he would get me one if I got good grades (I think it was 4th or 5th).  I didn't, I barely passed the grade! 😱

 

By then, my aunt had told my father how this new machine was coming out from Mattel and how it was a lot better and it can be turned into a computer, etc., etc.  So that summer, against any protestations from my parents about not getting good grades, my Grandfather took me to the local stereo and electronics store and bought me the Intellivision.  It wasn't an Atari, but it turned out to be a lot better!

 

I remember it came with Las Vegas Blackjack & Poker, and my Grandfather bought me Tennis and Star Strike.  Star Strike I begged for because it was displayed in the store, and Tennis ... because my Grandfather was a Tennis player and wanted to get me into it.

 

The rest is history:  the Intellivision became cemented in my mind as the console of my youth, even though I probably spent more time on the C=64 later on.  I have a soft spot for both, but the Intellivision burns in my memories even brighter.

 

   -dZ.

 

Edited by DZ-Jay
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So I owe my Intellivision affinity, and the nostalgia it brings, to my Grandfather, who passed away in 2011, a year before I released my first Intellivision game.

 

I dedicated the Christmas Carol to him, and wrote a commemoration at the back of the manual.

 

    dZ.

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42 minutes ago, Intelligentleman said:

Thanks for sharing this!

I posted a searchable text file version of it back a few pages ago:

 

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