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Programming Amiga OS X Operating Systems IT Technology

Scripting In Commodore BASIC For Windows & Linux 213

Posted by kdawson
from the nostalgia-isn't-what-it-used-to-be dept.
SomeoneGotMyNick writes "Someone more nostalgic than I am, and with a lot of time on their hands, had created a scripting language based on Commodore BASIC for Mac OS X. They recently finished a version that works on Windows and Linux. You can pass the text of a BASIC program as a parameter to the program. I found it odd that it took 1.8 MB of source code to compile to an interpreter that used to fit in 8K of ROM space. If this ever becomes popular, perhaps we'll see Obfuscated CBM BASIC contests." In a simliar vein, in the comments someone points out what is essentially an open source AmigaOS Classic.
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Scripting In Commodore BASIC For Windows & Linux

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  • Why it's 1.8MB (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04, 2008 @05:49PM (#25633273)

    It turns out that this is just a disassembly of the interpreter translated into C. The file is so large because it has lots of really long computer-generated symbols.

    It's a shame that this is not a reimplementation of BASIC in C.

    dom

  • Commodore BASIC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hpa (7948) on Tuesday November 04, 2008 @05:51PM (#25633305) Homepage

    I have to say, Commodore BASIC was one of the worst BASIC interpreters available in the "home computer" market. It's pretty clear the C64 was really a game console with a keyboard, so it could be (very successfully, and legitimately so) sold as a computer. If you actually wanted the C64 to do anything interesting, you had the choice of assembly, or BASIC that looked like assembly but ran like crap. As far as I can tell, the C64 BASIC didn't use any of the techniques used by other BASICs from the same era to not run like a total dog.

    Don't get me wrong, the C64 was a great machine. It just wasn't a great machine for BASIC programming.

  • Re:READY. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tom17 (659054) on Tuesday November 04, 2008 @06:01PM (#25633457) Homepage

    Surely

    10 PRINT "YAY!"
    20 GOTO 10

    RUN

  • by Simonetta (207550) on Tuesday November 04, 2008 @06:03PM (#25633483)

    But the real question is....Why would anybody do this?? Port Commodore64 BASIC to a PC?

        I used to have a Commodore64 and learned 6502 Assembler on it. When I got a PC (a 286) I felt nostalgic for the C64 and bought a cheap one. I used it about ten minutes and realized what a mistake it was. Fortunately I was able to sell it right away.

        Never look back. There is is nothing that was written for Commodore 64 that isn't 1000 times better on modern PCs. Nothing. Don't give me any BS about the wonderful SID chip and its KOOL mickey-mouse MOD files. They suck, really. Don't tell me about that fantastic game that you used to play on the C64 and have never been able to recreate the excitement on a PC. It's because you were a kid discovering video-games, not the Commode64.

        Are you going to tell me that you miss spending four minutes to load a 25K file from the excretable 1541 disk drive? Or spending 40 minutes to download a 25K file on a 300 baud modem from a long-distance BBS when you're paying the phone bill? Or the stupid PEEKs and POKEs. Do you miss typing in hundreds of numbers from Compute's Gazette because the program is written in super-fast 6502 1.2MHz machine code?

        The only good thing about the C64 was the keyboard. And once you start talking to your 3GigaHertz PC and having your words appear on the screen as you speak, you don't miss the keyboard. Regardless of how good it is.

        Commodore 64's rule!! But, really they suck. Never look back on trash.

  • Because it's there (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nimey (114278) on Tuesday November 04, 2008 @06:13PM (#25633599) Homepage Journal

    obviously.

  • by spaceyhackerlady (462530) on Tuesday November 04, 2008 @06:14PM (#25633611)

    But the real question is....Why would anybody do this?? Port Commodore64 BASIC to a PC?

    Three reasons come to mind:

    1. Because it's there.

    2. Because you can.

    3. Because it's cool. :-)

    ...laura

  • by Super Jamie (779597) on Tuesday November 04, 2008 @06:26PM (#25633769) Homepage
    I agree that there is nothing wonderful about C64 BASIC, and also wonder why someone would port an awful archaic language to modern PCs, when there are far better BASIC interpreters around already.

    However, hardware sound reproduction is something else. SID chips produce a noticeable sound, and sound decks with SIDs built in are worth several thousand dollars and used by many popular recording artists today.

    You'll also find the Gameboy has a popular sound production scene associated with it. Look on YouTube for "little gp tracker" or just "gameboy tracker" and you'll see what I mean.

    tl;dr - BASIC lame, SID good
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04, 2008 @06:45PM (#25634037)

    The only thing really great about the C64 is that it forces you to interact with computers on a very low level. Look at kids growing up with computers today: They have hard disk and networks, and never see a command line shell, let alone a programming language (and probably wonder why the "Save" icon in MS Word is a floppy disk - and why you would "save" anyway).

    A computer enthusiast today plays around with photo and music collections, a computer enthusiast back in the day found it exciting to discover new PEEKs and POKEs and actually learnt something about technology.

    The retro scene is very important. It reminds us what computers are made from, and that there is more to computing than watching Youtube.

        Michael

  • *whoosh* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by frieko (855745) on Tuesday November 04, 2008 @06:46PM (#25634041)
    Of course this is a useless project! Almost as useless as model airplanes and magic tricks and football and all of the other wonderfully useless things people do to amuse themselves. Don't care for it? Fine, but no need to insult it.
  • by khellendros1984 (792761) on Tuesday November 04, 2008 @09:50PM (#25635809) Journal
    Or static linking of libraries, of course...
  • I'll say. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by uhlume (597871) on Wednesday November 05, 2008 @12:14AM (#25636607) Homepage

    I found it odd that it took 1.8 MB of source code to compile to an interpreter that used to fit in 8K of ROM space.

    Especially when you consider that Farbrausch [farb-rausch.com] were able to create a near-complete c64 emulator [scene.org] for Windows in under 64K a couple of years ago.

    So what does that other 1.74M go to?

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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