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What is BASIC (although not an OS)?

BASIC (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) was more than a beginner's programming language. It was part of the instruction set (not quite an OS) for early home computers like the TRS-80 Model III running on TRS-DOS or NEWDOS and Commodore 64 (C64) running on the ROM-resident OS named KERNAL (misspelling of kernel).

I remember reading lots of books on BASIC and Byte Magazine and watching Bits and Bytes on channel 13 (1983-1984). My experience at school was on a TRS-80 Model III, on which I wrote (coded) several programs that no longer exist (saved on cassette tape, what an unreliable medium). At home, I spent many hours in front of my C64. This is why, on this page, I can only concentrate on my experience of BASIC on C64.

Commodore 64:

C64 was one of the first computer systems that I ever used and the first one I ever owned (1984). I quickly got up hooked into a whole new field and style of life — geekdom — while writing (coding) source code instead of sleeping. KERNAL and Commodore BASIC in its 8-bit glory for C64 boasting a 1.023 MHz microprocessor and 64 KB of RAM gave and experience was as close at it could be for any kid in the early 1980's (1984, in my case). To make things even more exciting and bringing more curious kids (like myself) to computer science, C64 was heavily used for games and even some music programs thanks to its ground-breaking technology based on two chipsets by MOS TechnologySIC 6581 and VIC II. Commodore International declared bankruptcy and closed shop in 1994. In 2011, a new reincarnation named Commodore USA released updated versions of C64 (C64x) with the same vintage (old, obsolete, ancient, historical, retro) exterior and VIC 20 (VIC Slim) with their own Linux distribution named Commodore OS. I had not been thrilled about any new system and/or other technologies for a long time. The whole idea of reviving the C64x had me like a little kid before Christmas, but I never bought one. Commodore USA closed shop a little after one of its owners died on 2012 or 2013.

Commodore 64

For those of us who want to relive the heyday ofC64 (1982-1985), the possibly defunct Manomio released a licensed emulator for iOSiPhone, iPod and iPad. This emulator is almost as good as the original. Unfortunately it has been almost thirty (30) years since I wrote (coded) my last program for the C64 and I do not remember how to code a quick and dirty (not to mention descent) program, but I consider it the geekiest purchase I have ever made. Of course, if you are merely interested in C64 games, you may simply get a ROM emulator and a handful of ROM images, which may be illegal in some areas and/or under special conditions (17 U.S.C. § 117(a)).

§ 117 . Limitations on exclusive rights: Computer programs
(a) Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner of Copy.—Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided:
(1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner, or
(2) that such new copy or adaptation is for archival purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful.

Other Versions of BASIC:

There are many versions (dialects) of BASIC. The following is a quick list of interpreters in chronological order.

Installing BASIC:

BASIC on i286 and prior machines came burnt to a ROM chip. There is no way users could install BASIC. On boot, it loads to RAM.

Later machines would run DOS and have BASIC as a stand-alone executable like QBASIC.EXE (Microsoft BASIC).

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On a side note, I never stop thinking and processing information all around me. As such, one of the subjects that attracts me most (aside from technology and music) is human behavior, not limited to psychology and ethos of the individual and masses. Hence I usually read, study and write essays of my own. From all possible authors in this field, some of my favorites are (in order of interest) Nietzsche, Levinas and Kant. As such, I have published two science fiction books, in which I include my opinion on religion, sociology, psychology, politics, manipulation of the masses, media, science and various technologies.

Under the Thelian Sky, ISBN
             9781494232283, ASIN B00GTQBY04

In Under the Thelian Sky, mankind did not originate on Earth, but rather on Mars. When Mars could no longer sustain life, mankind had to escape and colonized Earth. Many years later, a study was written about the survival of mankind in Mars and its struggle in Earth led by Doctor Ajidan Edejem. We proved to be a species that has survived wars, slavery and other forms of abuse. All the while, the government controlled by "them" wants to keep everything quiet and even kill him for telling others about the unavoidable doom. Years before the extinction of life in Mars, the Thelian society was perfect, yet corrupted. Life was easy, yet difficult if you were different. For every good person, like Ahila Keinj who found peace in The Faith, there were many willing to destroy it all for gain while "they" controlled the fate of many. At the end, an outsider simply known as Operative Logger 9C56 tries to fight "them" and stop "their" manipulation of history and mankind.

You can get Under the Thelian Sky exclusively at Amazon — available on print (ISBN 9781494232283) and e-book (ASIN B00GTQBY04).

In The Daydreamer, Robert James is a normal New Yorker who wakes up one morning unsure what had happened in his life. He is accused of killing the woman he has always loved, but he remembers three possible realities. Which reality could be true? Has he dreamed these realities, seen this events or taken part of these strange acts? Is he a killer or is he being framed? Perhaps he knows the killer better than anyone else without realizing it.


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page updated on 2017/06/15 18:35:17.