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1632 Atari podcaST


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I've just released the 1st episode of my new podcaST. This is a podcaST about the Atari ST. This project started as blog idea, and blossomed into this. It is the documentation of my journey of re-discovery of the Atari ST.

 

Episode 001: The One With The 520ST - https://1632podcast.info/2016/07/31/e001-the-one-with-the-520st/

 

Thanks for listening.

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Well I can't believe I neglected to post new episodes in this thread. Apologies. Already up to episode 6!

 

Here is 2, 3, 4, 5, and the latest 6.

 

Episode 002: The One With The 1040ST - https://1632podcast.info/2016/08/28/e002-the-one-with-the-1040st/

 

Episode 003: The One With The 520STM - https://1632podcast.info/2016/10/10/e003-the-one-with-the-520stm/

 

Episode 004: The One With The Disk Drives - https://1632podcast.info/2016/11/23/e004-the-one-with-the-disk-drives/

 

Episode 005: The One With The Monitors - https://1632podcast.info/2017/01/22/e005-the-one-with-the-monitors/

 

Episode 006: The One With The Chipset - https://1632podcast.info/2017/03/04/e006-the-one-with-the-chipset/

 

Thanks for following me on this journey.

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Hi Wade,

 

I just wanted to provide some feedback on the last episode of 1632, The One with the Programming. I really enjoyed your discussion at the end about the various BASICs available for the ST. 

 

For that reason, I wanted to share some observations about ST BASIC, in particular. I'm not on social media and I couldn't find an email on your website, so I hope this means of communicating is acceptable. 

 

I'm not trying to defend ST BASIC or say that it is better than any of the others like GFA or True BASIC. I have tremendous respect for Frank Ostrowski and obviously, Kemeny and Kurtz. 

 

Nor do I deny or ignore its obvious faults:

- The ridiculously buggy initial version

- Its lack of speed

- The useless LIST box

- The awkward use of boxes in general

- The weird ghost line in the EDITOR, etc. 

 

But, for some reason, I do enjoy using it.

 

For one thing, the second version by Metacomco (Rev. D) that came out in late 1987

- Corrects all the infamous bugs

- Increases the speed up to 3 times

- Comes with a simplified syntax for using the VDI and AES features

- Comes with a much better Sourcebook and Tutorial, about 70 pages longer than the original. (I think this only came out in England, however. I have never been able to find it in the US and I ordered my copy from eBay UK.)

 

All the other faults have easy solutions, I think. After loading the program into memory, I simply close the LIST box completely, make it disappear. I enlarge the COMMAND box to full screen, and the first time I use the EDITOR, I make that window full screen, as well. I'm not bothered by the ghost line in the EDITOR, but an easy POKE gets rid of it.  

 

People complain about the accessing the VDI and AES, but it seems that with the exception of the Alert Box, GFA BASIC handles things fairly similarly, requiring pokes, GINTIN, GINTOUT and all the GEMSYS stuff. I think as you found out with Personal PASCAL, GFA BASIC and True BASIC, GEM Programming is just more tedious in anything but C or Assembly. 

 

There are really excellent books for ST BASIC as well, for example,

 

Understanding Atari ST BASIC Programming by Tim Knight. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be on archive.org, but you can still purchase it. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-BASIC-Programming-Timothy-Knight/dp/0895883449

 

Plus, most of the ABACUS series are packed full of excellent and useful programs written in ST BASIC.

 

And, all the magazines did receive many good programs (along with the complaints) written in ST BASIC. 

 

The last thing I want to say is perhaps the most controversial. I don't agree with Dijkstra's criticism of BASIC. I think its BS. Just because you can write spaghetti code in a language doesn't mean that everything written in that language is spaghetti code. I've seen too many eloquent and elegant programs written in BASIC for this guy (regardless of his stature and influence) to sway my opinion simply because it doesn't conform to his conception of "structured" programming. 

 

I could say more, but I'll end my feedback there. 

 

Thanks for producing the podcast, I always look forward to new episodes. 

 

Gabriel Camacho 

 

 

Edited by project7800
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