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rocketmonkey101

Forgive my ignorance on this one

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2 hours ago, Pokeypy said:

I'm not sure about it. When you learn BASIC first, you'll go in Assembly "What? Why is this so complicated? I can't even print anything?" and won't get far. That's rather common, as common today as it was back then. And is also, what happened to me.

But when you start directly in Assembly, you may have a different experience, that could be interesting.

Can't say I agree, I never had any problems using BASIC and assembler on both my 8 Bit's and ST's, remember he also

has to learn the machine itself and using PEEK's and POKE's in BASIC is good way to see what happens when you do that

sort of thing, not so simple to do it in assembler.

 

I believe it's good to do both high and low level languages at the same time as it's highly likely programs

written in BASIC will have assembly routines soon enough.

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13 hours ago, bfollowell said:

Oh, I didn't think your post was serious. I only meant that the old system wars, and those that still feel that way are silly.

People form tribes around interests,  always have, always will. 

 

16 hours ago, Keatah said:

It's been said mostly by BASIC's detractors and dumbasses from dartmouth that learning it first hinders your ability to move into structured languages AND Assembly too. Ruins you for life they say.

Haha, too true!   But I assumed the OP has learned other programming languages already and won't be corrupted by BASIC :)

 

3 hours ago, Pokeypy said:

Today’s programmers can write in Python, which isn't much more difficult than BASIC, even easier in a sense, and can write code, that runs faster (on a modern PC) than Assembly on an 8-bit machine.

So the question is more, why do you want to bother with Assembly? It's tough as nails, and you won't use it on a modern PC. You just don't need to.

Which means: Unless you go retro, you won't need it in all your life.

IDK, I think Assembly is a very simple language to understand..   Move this, Push that. Jump!    It just forces you to think like a CPU rather than having all the niceties other languages give you that hide the details.   The hardest part is that it makes many tasks more tedious to code,  but macros can help with that.   On an 8-bit it is the way to go for fast, compact code.   I've tried other compilers but they always seem to make the code size much larger than it needs to be.   This really matters on systems with such low memory sizes.

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If you are learning programming from scratch, BASIC is probably a good way to start. If you have some background, you could consider Action! or Mad-pascal or C. If you plan to do anything that really needs all of the machine's power you will wind up in assembly at least partly anyway eventually.

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2 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

I'd suggest ACTION! as a step into programming and Assembly language. Learn them at the same time.

What is "ACTION!" ? Is that a book or ?  - oh. I see it's a language, right? 8bit support C as well? Looks like I have a lot to learn. Thanks for all the info guys.

Edited by rocketmonkey101

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15 minutes ago, rocketmonkey101 said:

What is "ACTION!" ? Is that a book or ?  - oh. I see it's a language, right? 8bit support C as well? Looks like I have a lot to learn. Thanks for all the info guys.

ACTION! is a proprietary language for the Atari 8-bit  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action!_(programming_language)

 

If you look at the Action! syntax in the sample code there, it should be familar enough to anyone who knows C or Pascal. 

 

There are C compilers available too, if you are familiar with that.

Edited by zzip
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4 hours ago, rocketmonkey101 said:

8bit support C as well?

Back then (in the 1980s), C support on 8bit wasn't that great. But today, there's a cross-compiler called "CC65" for the PC, with which you can write Atari 8bit programs in C on the PC alright.

Problem is, 1,79MHz on a 6502 is so slow, there's still a significant difference in speed between C and Assembly programs. So if you want the speed of the games back then on such a machine today, you still have to go for Assembly.

And as the others already said: There'd be still a lot to learn, about how the machine itself works, the ANTIC, the CTIA/GTIA chips for graphics, and the POKEY chip for sound. That's still not easier today as it has been back then. To get more speed in C, you'd have to write C-programs in a more Assembly-like way. That is, you'd have to check the Assembly code, the compiler produces from your C code, and optimize your C-program in a way, that the resulting Assembly code will run faster. That's also not easy to do without advanced knowledge of the subject.

I guess, there's a reason, why they put BASIC interpreters into these machines to enable ordinary users to take the first steps into programming.

And, actually, with all these complicated custom chips, graphics modes, player/missile graphics and sound filters, I'm not even sure, the Atari was intended to be programmed by the user at all. Just press "Option", and be happy with your games and applications, that were created and sold to you by professional companies. I think, that's more, what the designers thought about the user. :)

Edited by Pokeypy

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43 minutes ago, Pokeypy said:

That is, you'd have to check the Assembly code, the compiler produces from your C code, and optimize your C-program in a way, that the resulting Assembly code will run faster.

There is ca65 which is used by cc65, also you can have assembler modules as part of a "C" project in cc65, so you can

integrate the 2 and get the best of both worlds.

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On 9/28/2021 at 8:30 PM, xrbrevin said:

be careful mentioning that brand name on here - might cause some friction! 😄

 

post-13040-0-19413300-1555721128.png

I printed this on my Okimate 10 and had it hanging on the wall in my room BITD!

 

To this day, I still call them Commode Doors.

 

I'd love to know who originally did this graphic!

Edited by toddtmw
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On 9/29/2021 at 6:35 AM, Mclaneinc said:

Learn BASIC first, don't do what I did and go straight to assembly, BASIC gives you firm roots in understanding that you can then build on in assembly..

 

Too late for me :)

 

 

agreed. BASIC with mapping the Atari teaches a lot about how the Atari works, which sets you up nicely for Assembler.

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On 9/29/2021 at 8:48 AM, derSammler said:

Because Assembly is still faster. Also, learning Assembly means understanding the hardware. Being a programmer myself, I know quite a few peers who can code in modern scripting-like languages like Python, but are too dumb to even know how to upgrade RAM in their PCs.

 

I wish Assembly would still be heavily used on modern PCs, as it uses the hardware much better with less overhead. We could run the same software with the same speed on older, slower hardware.

I spent 20+ years programming in IBM 370 Assembler. My code ran rings around that COBOL crap!

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1 hour ago, toddtmw said:

I printed this on my Okimate 10 and had it hanging on the wall in my room BITD!

 

To this day, I still call them Commode Doors.

 

I'd love to know who originally did this graphic!

I had that BITD - it's amazing to think that my Daytona was fresh off the assembly line in 87 which is when I would have downloaded it and even cooler, that's when my house was built.

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10 hours ago, toddtmw said:

agreed. BASIC with mapping the Atari teaches a lot about how the Atari works, which sets you up nicely for Assembler.

Yes indeed, mapping the Atari is the bible / any revered book to own (I own my original one from back in the day, the only item of all my old gear I still have) and I own the revised edition as well...

 

Just a wonderful goldmine of info..

 

 

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