Jump to content
IGNORED

Level I BASIC


Mr SQL
 Share

Level I or Level II?  

5 members have voted

  1. 1. Which was more fun, Level I BASIC or Level II?

    • Level I was more fun.
    • Level II was more fun.
    • Level I was so much fun I installed a I/II toggle switch.


Recommended Posts

IMO Level I BASIC with a tape deck and 4K or 16K inside the machine was more fun than Level II BASIC with the Expansion Interface and disk drives.

 

Disk Extended BASIC was the better option set for the CoCo a few years later but the model I built up a lot of momentum early on and tape decks and Level I BASIC initially far outnumbered disk users with Level II in the homebrew computer clubs.

 

I've written a Tiny BASIC for the VCS inspired by Level I BASIC with it's compact horizontal logic structures and three error messages.

 

Check it out if you enjoyed Level I!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't really say because I've only used Level II. What advantages would Level I have over Level II?

I think Level I was more fun for being a Tiny BASIC implementation - powerful but challenging.

 

Being the standard was probably the biggest advantage in the hombrew computer scene; imagine going down to the local programming club with your box of Disks and Level II deluxe BASIC when nearly everyone else is using Level I and trading programs on Tape?

 

The few users that did that couldn't collaborate properly on projects and some of them downgraded back to Level I and a cassette or installed the Level I/Level II toggle mod. Sneakernet networks; a different operating system and a different storage medium were obstacles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only ever used a Model III (in elementary/junior high school); there was no equivalent of Level I BASIC for that system, was there?

 

IIRC, we used whatever BASIC was included; there was very little third-party software available to us.

 

I do recall converting some simple published games from Level I/II BASIC to the Coco; the smaller screen size on the Coco was the biggest issue.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I want to say Model IIIs were available with Level I BASIC, but I could be mistaken. I seem to remember seeing it listed as an option in some of the old Radio Shack computer catalogs.

My TRS-80 is a Level II system but I don't have an expansion unit and therefore no disk system. 16K Level II tapes only for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I want to say Model IIIs were available with Level I BASIC, but I could be mistaken. I seem to remember seeing it listed as an option in some of the old Radio Shack computer catalogs.

 

They were.

 

I own a UK Model III, Level I with 4K. Tape-only for me.

post-25357-0-45194900-1438207633_thumb.jpg

Edited by UKRetrogamer
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had no idea that the Model III was available with only 4K. (It's kind of like an original IBM PC with only 16K!)

 

Can your UK machine read tapes produced in North America (and vice versa), or does the 50 hz. vs. 60 hz. power supply impact the tape speed enough to cause problems?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be honest, I've only ever "SAVE"d to tape. I have few tape programs for it (being 4K). Most of the cassettes I have, contain more areas without Ferric Oxide than with.

 

At the time I bought it (about 5 years ago), mine was only one of two known to exist and the only one known to be in working order by the users "in the know" within the TRS-80 Google newsgroup.

 

I was asked to create a dump of the ROMs in order to verify them against a set of ROMs dumped from the other machine. As mine still works and still has its original warranty seal intact, I was set against opening the machine and pulling the ROMs but was told that if I switched on from cold and then immediately typed "SAVE", the micro would dump its entire memory to tape. I recorded the dump as a WAV file; direct to a digital recorder and ran the resulting file through a program I'd been sent which extracted then CRC-checked the ROM from within the WAV file. This was then compared with the NTSC version of the ROM and verified as byte-for-byte identical. Apparently, there are no differences in the ROM code between NTSC and PAL machines.

 

As you mentioned, Operating at 50Hz may make a difference to its operation, but I've been unable to verify this.

Edited by UKRetrogamer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 4K Model III was $699.00. Even in '81 that was next to worthless and I'm surprised anyone would have bought one. The $999.00 16K Model III had "Model III BASIC" which is Level 2. The 16K/Model III Basic upgrade kit was $300.00 so at least it didn't cost any extra in the long run as long as you did the upgrade yourself.

 

Mine started off as the 16K cassette based system and I quickly outgrew it. I added the $100.00 RS232 board and was able to get online with CompuServe using Vidtex software on cassette. It worked well but there was no downloading capability. Eventually it got bumped to dual DSDD drives, 48K, DCM-II and an Orchestra 90 and a whole new world opened...of course it was a $3,000+ computer by TRS-80 standards. I saved a lot by going aftermarket on the drive kit and upping the memory to 48K by buying the RAMs off the shelf at Radio shack for $16 total instead of ordering the two kits (exact same thing) for $238.00.

Even cables cost a fortune back then. I remember paying $39.00 for one when I bought my DMP-110 (worst printer ever made) and $29.00 for the Modem cable.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had no idea that the Model III was available with only 4K. (It's kind of like an original IBM PC with only 16K!)

 

Can your UK machine read tapes produced in North America (and vice versa), or does the 50 hz. vs. 60 hz. power supply impact the tape speed enough to cause problems?

Wow that Model III was equipped like the original Model I. Maybe because it was sold in Europe?

 

I thought Ochestra 90 was a CoCo product, cool they have it for the Z-80 line. Seeing games produce multivoice music through the cassette DAC when the machine had no sound chip was pretty amazing. Here is Sega's 4k Frogger with great sound:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ai9jtJHYow

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Orchestra 80 came out in 1980 for the Model I and was mono. Later the stereo Orchestra 85 appeared and then the Orchestra 90 in 1982.

I don't know if the 80/85 sold in Radio Shack stores...the 90 definitely did. There were even predecessors to the 80 which appeared in '77.

 

BTW, I just looked at the original case to my disk based Frogger game and it requires the full 48K.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow 48K is alot for Frogger - I would have expected Sega to use 16K at most. Maybe the Tape version needs less memory, I remember disk versions of the same game often needing extra RAM to run.

 

I wonder if there were any software only music editor/player packages that utilized the cassete DAC like Musica II or Lyra for the CoCo?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a book of awesome BASIC games from bitd, I think most of these were level I:

post-30777-0-22325400-1438822879_thumb.jpg

I like that they fit 101 Tiny BASIC games in the book, these were a great way to learn. I think the 101 of them idea related with the 20 games/variations per cartridge mindset.

 

Ran accross this collection of tiny TRS-80 BASIC programs but I think they are level II despite being tiny; they are all BASIC 1 liners:

 

http://www.muppetlabs.com/~breadbox/software/trs80-oneliners.html

 

One liners were awesome examples of what BASIC can do being so dense, I wrote a couple of one liners in Level II BASIC (CoCo BASIC) for Rainbows programming contests, and another tiny program for their 10 liner contest. BASIC is fun :)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, I think it was purchased in 1980.

It's probably not that 70's book I was thinking of, they were all level II/Microsoft BASIC by 1980.

 

Here's a 1980 BASIC book I have with a mind boggling 1001 BASIC games and programs packed. The cover reveals more console oriented marketing with the cool screen shots - the author knew it was a sure bet if you had a micro computer you wanted to play games on it!

 

post-30777-0-81374600-1438889853_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's probably not that 70's book I was thinking of, they were all level II/Microsoft BASIC by 1980.

 

Here's a 1980 BASIC book I have with a mind boggling 1001 BASIC games and programs packed. The cover reveals more console oriented marketing with the cool screen shots - the author knew it was a sure bet if you had a micro computer you wanted to play games on it!

 

attachicon.gif1001programs.jpg

TAB Books? I had a bunch of their books. Most were garbage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TAB Books? I had a bunch of their books. Most were garbage.

This one was good, check out page 238 in jhd's soft copy; it doesn't include a Chess program, but the author has several quality pages describing the programming design of Chess including a cool flow chart. Lots of interesting programs in there even today, some one could turn some of these into phone apps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...