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David Brown

An idea to get BASIC to go faste

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An old idea to get BASIC to go faster

 

This idea I had is “instead of useing software to interpret BASIC use hardware.”

 

I do not have the skill to develop this idea but is seems a bit of a wast to let an idea go unused. I have even though of a name for it "HI BASIC" for Hardware Interpret. Does anyone want to use this idea.

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Old, unused ideas that seem good are old and unused for a reason. Basically your idea is on the right track, but its certainly something that very few if any hobbyists would have the skill or fabrication technology to accomplish. And anyway, its been done already in the form of faster processors.

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Just get a copy of Turbo Basic for the Atari 8-bit. it's compatible with Atari basic and runs Atari basic programs 3-5 times faster, some can be compiled to be even faster, and if you write a progeam in Turbo Basic it runs about 10 times faster without being compiled and faster still when cimpiled. All programs writen can be circulated with a 'run-time' package so the end user doesn't even have to have Turbo Basic themselves! It's been around for YEARS now, and is many more commands than Atari basic too. It's DA BOMB. Just do a google search or something for Atari Turbo Basic, you'll find it. Good stuff. Forget some "idea" to make basic faster, it has already been implemented VERY successfully with Turbo Basic. It's very much a standard language for the Atari's now too. use more widely by programmers than Standard Atari basic is anymore, when basic is the language of choice. Better yet, do a google search for 'happy computer turbo basic' maybe throw the atari name in too...

Edited by Gunstar

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That would be Frank Ostrowski -- and yes, TB (and GFA on the ST) is brilliant. I wrote a few small games in TB and loved it. I was actually drawn to GFA on the ST and became proficient with it before I'd even discovered Frank was behind the language.

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Turbobasic is great, but it does eat up a lot of RAM.

 

There is also Basic XL and Basic XE. I don't think they are as fast as TB but they do have more features than standard Basic.

 

There was also a compiler for AtariBasic. I think it was called the ABC Compiler. I don't know how much faster it made basic programs, though.

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Do you intend to impliment Atari BASIC in FPGA?

859379[/snapback]

A custom chip would be a dream. I do not think it will happen.

Edited by David Brown

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Turbobasic is great, but it does eat up a lot of RAM.

 

There is also Basic XL and Basic XE.  I don't think they are as fast as TB but they do have more features than standard Basic.

 

There was also a compiler for AtariBasic.  I think it was called the ABC Compiler.  I don't know how much faster it made basic programs, though.

859912[/snapback]

 

If my memory is correct Crumble's Crisis was written in Basic and complied

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Do you intend to impliment Atari BASIC in FPGA?

859379[/snapback]

A custom chip would be a dream. I do not think it will happen.

860177[/snapback]

 

Well there might be another, simpler approach to the problem.

 

I have read about chips celled BASIC Stamps. These chips contain a microproccessor with a BASIC ROM, and are mostly used for embedded applications like controlling machinery. I'm guessintg that they are quite a bit faster than the 25-year-old 6502 chips in Atari 8-bit computers.

 

A hobbyist might be able to build a similar device that would run atari compatable basic on a much faster CPU. I imagine such a device being plugged directly in to the Atari motherboard, possibly as a replacement for the actual 6502 chip. The Atari BASIC stamp (as I would call it) would have Atari basic on ROM inside of it, which would be a newly rewritten fully compatable Atari BASIC that runs native on whichever high speed proccessor is used in the Stamp.

 

The Basic Stamp would also be able to fully emulate a real 6502 to run all of your existing non-BASIC software, Atari DOS, BIOS ROMS, etc, so you would almost never have to remove the device. You could run the BASIC Stamp with the actual Atari BASIC cartridge plugged in, in case a peice of software needs to read something from the BASIC ROM.

 

Does this sound feasable?

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Do you intend to impliment Atari BASIC in FPGA?

859379[/snapback]

A custom chip would be a dream. I do not think it will happen.

860177[/snapback]

 

Well there might be another, simpler approach to the problem.

 

I have read about chips celled BASIC Stamps. These chips contain a microproccessor with a BASIC ROM, and are mostly used for embedded applications like controlling machinery. I'm guessintg that they are quite a bit faster than the 25-year-old 6502 chips in Atari 8-bit computers.

 

A hobbyist might be able to build a similar device that would run atari compatable basic on a much faster CPU. I imagine such a device being plugged directly in to the Atari motherboard, possibly as a replacement for the actual 6502 chip. The Atari BASIC stamp (as I would call it) would have Atari basic on ROM inside of it, which would be a newly rewritten fully compatable Atari BASIC that runs native on whichever high speed proccessor is used in the Stamp.

 

The Basic Stamp would also be able to fully emulate a real 6502 to run all of your existing non-BASIC software, Atari DOS, BIOS ROMS, etc, so you would almost never have to remove the device. You could run the BASIC Stamp with the actual Atari BASIC cartridge plugged in, in case a peice of software needs to read something from the BASIC ROM.

 

Does this sound feasable?

860384[/snapback]

 

If such a thing is possible, I'd suggest using Turbo Basic as it is compatible with Atari basic and already has advanced basic commands for better graphics and math routines, and much more, it's public donmain and widely available, plus, then anyone who does not have the Atari basic stamp, can still use the programs on a standard 8-bit with the progam compiled and/or using the runtime package so they don't even need Turbo basic at all. This is what makes Turbo basic so appealing and for all intents and purposes, an Atari standard, like original atari basic itself.

 

But I really don't see any use of such a "stamp" becoming widely accepted, nor any other hardware based upgrades that are similiar becuase not enough programmers would be attracted to such an upgrade for the simple fact that not enough users would be. The simple fact is we all still use 8-bits becuase of what they are NOW, and drastic upgrades besides more memory and I/O devices is pointless; why not just move to a more modern platform alltogether? We love it for what it is, not for some monstrousity we can create by ever adding new technologies and chips to it, it's not an Atari 8-bit anymore then, just some non-standard "cludge."

Edited by Gunstar

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Replacing the MATH-OS (2k: D800-DFFF) by a other routine

called FAST-MATH ROM speeds up standard BASIC too.

 

Perhaps there are more math-rom upgrades, I don't know.

This one was released to be exchanged with the separate 2k-IC

inside the 800-OS ROMcartridge.

 

But in a XL/XE-system this requires burning a new OS in EPROM

(2x8K pre-600XL/800XL, 16k XL/XE or 32k XEGAME) and soldering it in.

 

But could be a option.

 

If you need this FAST-MATH, I have a binairy image of it (somewere).

Drop me a mail on my page and come back to you.

 

Cheers,

Sijmen.

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I do not have the skill to develop this idea but is seems a bit of a wast to let an idea go unused.  I have even though of a name for it "HI BASIC" for Hardware Interpret.  Does anyone want to use this idea.

pakled.jpg

 

Separated at birth?

 

/we look for things to make BASIC go

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Aah, I have fond memories of Turbo Basic. It sped things up mightily when I was working on Mandelbrot Set generators back in the late 80s. Didn't know how to achieve same effect in Assembler, that's why.

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