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So, my hobby is actually typing in BASIC listings from books and magazines. I find it calming and meditative.

 

Obviously, I mostly do this on the 8-bits where resources are plenty. However, I recently picked up an 1040STf with ST BASIC.

 

I realized the best BASIC on the ST is GFA BASIC. But, for some reason I want to give ST BASIC a try. 

 

 The problem is, I'm having a hard time finding type-in programs for ST BASIC. All the usually Atari magazines, and even ST specific ones, don't seem to have much.

 

Is anyone familiar with any books or specific magazine issues out there that have ST BASIC type-in programs?   

 

Thanks in advance!

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26 minutes ago, project7800 said:

So, my hobby is actually typing in BASIC listings from books and magazines. I find it calming and meditative.

 

Obviously, I mostly do this on the 8-bits where resources are plenty. However, I recently picked up an 1040STf with ST BASIC.

 

I realized the best BASIC on the ST is GFA BASIC. But, for some reason I want to give ST BASIC a try. 

 

 The problem is, I'm having a hard time finding type-in programs for ST BASIC. All the usually Atari magazines, and even ST specific ones, don't seem to have much.

 

Is anyone familiar with any books or specific magazine issues out there that have ST BASIC type-in programs?   

 

Thanks in advance!

I think Compute! magazine published some, I think they also had a separate publication "Atari ST Gazette"

 

Atari ST Basic is just not very good for general purpose stuff, which I think is why you won't see a lot of listings for it.   I remember some magazine like Antic published type-ins in other languages instead, like C.

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Thanks, I'll try the Atari ST Gazette. If anyone comes across any books are specific issues, I would appreciate it. 

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I don't think that there was lot of Basic code, or whatever other language published in printed form, for 16-bit, floppy equipped Atari ST.

I saw plenty for 8-bitters, but they used tape storage in most cases, so typing in could be faster in some cases 🙂

Well, this reminds me that some SW was 'played' on radio, so people could record it and use with their Spectrums, for instance.

In case of ST we had diverse magazines for, and often there was floppy disk with them, and that was much-much better for SW, source code files and other things. Especially if it was little longer. Or even longer than capacity of floppy disk - then packing was used - try it with printing - hmm... that actually could work.

Giving ZIPped Basic source, and that can be well packed - like to 30% of original size - so less to type 🙂  Of course, idea is good only to get serious headache and wasting more time to find errors in typing in bunch of hex characters.

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There were a lot of game cheats in ST Basic (and fast basic) in the earlier issues (pre 1990) of ST Action. You typed these in and ran them before the game and they gave you infinite lives or whatnot (I vaguely remember there was a general bit you typed in that was printed every few issues and then a seconday bit for the game in question that you added on). These were the only examples I can think of, although perhaps early issues of Atari User (before it became Atari ST User and the ST section was a pull out) or early ST World might also have had some type in listings, the latter are hard to find online.

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Atari ST User , May 1987

 

Says it's Atari Basic listing.

 

3D Noughts and Crosses, I tried scanning, but the quality is too poor to read, but found this http://www.atarimania.com/mags/pdf/atari-st-user-vol-02-issue-03.pdf

it's 2 full pages of typing :) 

 

Might be worth checking through the others there too, maybe the earlier ones as the later ones I looked at

seem to be focused on Fast Basic

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2 hours ago, TGB1718 said:

Atari ST User , May 1987

 

Says it's Atari Basic listing.

 

3D Noughts and Crosses, I tried scanning, but the quality is too poor to read, but found this http://www.atarimania.com/mags/pdf/atari-st-user-vol-02-issue-03.pdf

it's 2 full pages of typing :) 

 

Might be worth checking through the others there too, maybe the earlier ones as the later ones I looked at

seem to be focused on Fast Basic

This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you, I really appreciate it! And thanks to everyone else for offering tips. 

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On 7/2/2021 at 3:00 AM, ParanoidLittleMan said:

I don't think that there was lot of Basic code, or whatever other language published in printed form, for 16-bit, floppy equipped Atari ST.

I saw plenty for 8-bitters, but they used tape storage in most cases, so typing in could be faster in some cases

True!  I think there was also a novelty to typing in programs when you got your first computer and didn't have much other software to run on it.  But how long before that novelty wears off and it becomes a chore?  It wouldn't surprise me if the demand for type-in programs fell by the 16-bit era.

 

Also 16-bit programs could be longer and more complex and take up more valuable space in the magazine.   Plus it seemed like there was no consensus of what language to use.   As I said, I've seen ST listings in C, but not everybody had a C compiler.  Personal Pascal was also a popular choice,  and GFA was fast becoming the preferred ST Basic dialect.

 

On 7/2/2021 at 3:00 AM, ParanoidLittleMan said:

In case of ST we had diverse magazines for, and often there was floppy disk with them, and that was much-much better for SW, source code files and other things. Especially if it was little longer. Or even longer than capacity of floppy disk - then packing was used - try it with printing - hmm... that actually could work.

I seem to remember some magazines started experimenting with barcodes down the margin of the page--  to allow you to scan in the listing if you had compatible HW/SW so you didn't have to type it!

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On 7/1/2021 at 9:43 PM, project7800 said:

 The problem is, I'm having a hard time finding type-in programs for ST BASIC. All the usually Atari magazines, and even ST specific ones, don't seem to have much.

 

Most ST specific magazines published their first issue in 1987 or even later. By that time, ST-Basic was very much dead.

 

One of the earliest (the earliest?) ST-only magazine, ST-Computer from Germany, did print listings in ST-Basic:

https://www.stcarchiv.de/stc1986/07/dateiverwaltung

 

Both GFA-Basic and Omikron Basic were released in 1986. ST-Computer magazine either didn't receive good submissions or they banned ST-Basic later. There were many type-in listings written in GFA, Pascal, C, Assembler, Modula-2 though. Here's another example for the "popularity" of ST-Basic: https://atariuptodate.de/en/proglang/ST-Basic/

 

On 7/2/2021 at 9:00 AM, ParanoidLittleMan said:

I don't think that there was lot of Basic code, or whatever other language published in printed form, for 16-bit, floppy equipped Atari ST.

No, there was plenty Basic code or other programming language published in printed form. There were fewer games as type-in listings though. Most German magazines didn't have cover disks and offered a "service disk" instead. Sometimes these would feature some games. I managed to get a few of these disks and the games were not great :( Back in the day, one service disk would cost as much as three public domain disks!

 

Happy Computer (German, multi platform mag) would publish type-in listings for the ST and other computers until 1990. For GFA-Basic they would usually switch from a two to a four column layout and a smaller font (GFA programs were "longer"). They also had these hex type listings for which you needed a helper application. Many of these games aren't available online.

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Bundled floppy disks were always going to kill this off but I vaguely remember an st magazine in the early days publishing a (very slow!) mandelbrot set generator in st basic. (can't remember the name of the mag though)

 

Did you type in the big machine code listings ifor the c64 , zx81 etc? Now that was tedious.

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On 7/1/2021 at 9:02 PM, project7800 said:

Thanks, I'll try the Atari ST Gazette. If anyone comes across any books are specific issues, I would appreciate it. 

I'm sure I have some. Try the Compute ST books. They were usually based around the Logo and Basic that came with early STs. 

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On 7/1/2021 at 3:43 PM, project7800 said:

So, my hobby is actually typing in BASIC listings from books and magazines. I find it calming and meditative.

 

Obviously, I mostly do this on the 8-bits where resources are plenty. However, I recently picked up an 1040STf with ST BASIC.

 

I realized the best BASIC on the ST is GFA BASIC. But, for some reason I want to give ST BASIC a try. 

 

 The problem is, I'm having a hard time finding type-in programs for ST BASIC. All the usually Atari magazines, and even ST specific ones, don't seem to have much.

 

Is anyone familiar with any books or specific magazine issues out there that have ST BASIC type-in programs?   

 

Thanks in advance!

Do you have a place on the Net where you post the listings you have typed in?

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Look for the"Making the Most of you ST" sections in early ST User Magazines. 
Issues 1 and 2 have some cool small stuff and starting in issue three they have an ST Basic series on Animation.
In vole 2 issue 2, when it starts to become a full magazine, not just a section on Atari User, you'll find that they have moved on to C, BUT there should be "5 liners" that can be used in various versions of basic.

I loved ther ST basic interface, and if the yhad just ironed out some of the bugs and supplied a compiler early on, it could hace been a nice way for A LOT of Gem programs and games to have been created in PD. 

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19 hours ago, kimchipenguin said:

Both GFA-Basic and Omikron Basic were released in 1986. ST-Computer magazine either didn't receive good submissions or they banned ST-Basic later. There were many type-in listings written in GFA, Pascal, C, Assembler, Modula-2 though. Here's another example for the "popularity" of ST-Basic: https://atariuptodate.de/en/proglang/ST-Basic/

I just found a listing written in Forth too.   Considering most of these languages were commercial products,  it would seem only a small percentage of readers would be able to use any giving program listing

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, prog99 said:

Bundled floppy disks were always going to kill this off but I vaguely remember an st magazine in the early days publishing a (very slow!) mandelbrot set generator in st basic. (can't remember the name of the mag though)

Ah, here we go.

 atari-st-user-vol-02-issue-03_47.jpg

Edited by prog99
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7 hours ago, jefffulton said:

I loved ther ST basic interface, and if the yhad just ironed out some of the bugs and supplied a compiler early on, it could hace been a nice way for A LOT of Gem programs and games to have been created in PD. 

From my own experience, by the end of the 8-bit era, moving away from a line number based language was a goal. Line numbers are messy and unwanted overhead. That's why I never used ST BASIC to do anything. There was a compiler, granted not free, but even that could not save ST BASIC.
https://www.atarimagazines.com/v5n7/LDWCompiledBASIC.html

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15 hours ago, lp060 said:

From my own experience, by the end of the 8-bit era, moving away from a line number based language was a goal. Line numbers are messy and unwanted overhead. That's why I never used ST BASIC to do anything. There was a compiler, granted not free, but even that could not save ST BASIC.

Line numbers in early BASIC were not overhead. They served as labels for jumps (GOTO), for instance. Surely simpler to implement and interpret.

And they were useful exactly in case of typing in - better overview, and easy to see if some line was skipped during type-in.

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7 hours ago, ParanoidLittleMan said:

Line numbers in early BASIC were not overhead. They served as labels for jumps (GOTO), for instance. Surely simpler to implement and interpret.

And they were useful exactly in case of typing in - better overview, and easy to see if some line was skipped during type-in.

Regardless if you "feel" they were necessary, line numbers are in fact overhead and less intuitive, it does not change the facts. I know how interpreters work internally, made a study of that on both platforms. The interpreter has to search for the line number and you are trying to tell me that is not overhead? Seriously? A couple of 8-bit basic interpreters use tricks to overcome this overhead by converting line numbers into pointers at run time.

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14 hours ago, lp060 said:

From my own experience, by the end of the 8-bit era, moving away from a line number based language was a goal. Line numbers are messy and unwanted overhead. That's why I never used ST BASIC to do anything. There was a compiler, granted not free, but even that could not save ST BASIC.
https://www.atarimagazines.com/v5n7/LDWCompiledBASIC.html

Line numbers are a relic from when computers did not have the memory/storage to do full-sceen editors,  instead you had line oriented editors, so you needed a way to edit a line you already entered.   Line 30 is wrong?   Type "30" and a new line, and it gets replaced.   Some computers like the Atari 8-bit would let you cursor up to an already displayed line 30 and change it,  but as long as 30 was there, your edits would replace the existing 30.

 

The 16-bit computers had enough memory that you could edit the entire program in a free-form text editor and you no longer needed the line numbers.

But for some people, line numbers were an integral feature of BASIC and had trouble shifting out of that paradigm.   Also a whole generation learned programming on a line-oriented BASIC on a home computer and became way too reliant on GOTOs as a result.

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9 hours ago, ParanoidLittleMan said:

And they were useful exactly in case of typing in - better overview, and easy to see if some line was skipped during type-in.

Magazines still used line numbers for any language that didn't have any. Never missed them when I switched from C64 BASIC V2 to GFA-Basic. But magazines frequently had to publish bugfixes in the next issue, because lines (or sometimes even a whole page) was missing from the print.

 

23 hours ago, jefffulton said:

I loved ther ST basic interface, and if the yhad just ironed out some of the bugs and supplied a compiler early on, it could hace been a nice way for A LOT of Gem programs and games to have been created in PD. 

It always seemed convoluted and made for a system with a higher screen res. Writing GEM programs was quite complicated in ST-Basic, or do you expect compiled programs to run in a GEM window that's magically supplied by the runtime library? GEM was long associated with being slow and both ST-Basic and Logo contributed to this impression.

 

23 hours ago, zzip said:

I just found a listing written in Forth too.   Considering most of these languages were commercial products,  it would seem only a small percentage of readers would be able to use any giving program listing

Some of the listings showed how to do solve certain problems in a programming language. There were also more languages that mattered on the ST. Forth listings were rare though, as were listings written in APL ;)

 

The third image shows a program written in machine language. It requires a program to type it in - the magazines frequently adjusted their font size.

gfa-line-numbers.png

machinelanguage.JPG

apl.jpg

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On 7/7/2021 at 10:28 AM, jefffulton said:

I'm sure I have some. Try the Compute ST books. They were usually based around the Logo and Basic that came with early STs. 

Thanks, I actually just found Compute!'s First Atari ST book. I review I read in STart said it had several ST BASIC type-ins. It's in the mail as we speak. Looks promising!

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On 7/7/2021 at 10:37 AM, jefffulton said:

The Early ST User,  ST Log and Start magazines had a lot of type-ins. 

ST User, as TGB1718 turned out to be a pretty decent resource for the early issues. The actual program that he recommend is really cool! Lots of short 5-liners that are impressive, as well.  

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Posted (edited)
On 7/7/2021 at 10:39 AM, Allan said:

Do you have a place on the Net where you post the listings you have typed in?

No. I hate to come out as a weirdo, but I just save everything to my program recorder. I'm obsessed with my 1010 and XC-12. I have all my cassettes in a shoe box! LOL The few ST BASIC type-ins I've done I've saved to diskette. 

Edited by project7800
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On 7/7/2021 at 10:52 AM, jefffulton said:

Look for the"Making the Most of you ST" sections in early ST User Magazines. 
Issues 1 and 2 have some cool small stuff and starting in issue three they have an ST Basic series on Animation.
In vole 2 issue 2, when it starts to become a full magazine, not just a section on Atari User, you'll find that they have moved on to C, BUT there should be "5 liners" that can be used in various versions of basic.

I loved ther ST basic interface, and if the yhad just ironed out some of the bugs and supplied a compiler early on, it could hace been a nice way for A LOT of Gem programs and games to have been created in PD. 

Very cool! Thanks!

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