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38

These tricks are usually done to increase speed or reduce space. For most (especially Microsoft) BASIC, constants are stored within a tokenized line as ASCII (as entered), and converted to a floating point number every time they are evaluated. This is a time consuming process. Assigning the number once to a variable to be used thereafter will skip this part ...


37

Was not the "B = byte, b = bit" standard established even back in the day, in the 1970s/early 1980s? Not really. It existed (I think at least as far back as 1979's JEP100, but I don't have good sources), but even through the 90s I would say that it wasn't that strictly adhered to. There was a lot of variability all over the place, especially in consumer-...


17

The answer by Raffzahn is very good, except that I disagree that ZX80/81 background is all that important and I also feel he missed one important trick. I personally know most of these tricks from studying BASIC loaders for ZX Spectrum games. You see, yes, Spectrum has more memory, but when the machine code program is loaded, it was absolutely not uncommon ...


15

Many PC pinball games use Mode X, notably Pinball Fantasies, Pinball Illusions and Epic Pinball. Nerdly Pleasures also has a comprehensive post on games using “unofficial” resolutions, which includes a number of other games which support 320×240: Quake, Earthworm Jim, The Lost Vikings, Norse by Norse West, and Scorched Earth. On Moby Games, such games are ...


14

In his book The Silicon Jungle David Rothman mentions several times the term "modifying" or "customizing" a software program. Just like today, usage of generic products have always needed customisation to be used: forms in word processors, queries in DB products and so on. And then the consultant didn’t even supply instructions to operate and modify the ...


8

Was not the "B = byte, b = bit" standard established even back in the day, in the 1970s/early 1980s? Sure, it was, but magazines and the like were not only consumer publications, but as well made by only partially educated people. Everyone wrote like he thought it would fit. More so, I don't think any country ever invoked a spelling police for computer ...


8

Malvino's approach is pretty much a child of its time. I'm not aware of any modern textbook that will spend much time on 74xx / MSI logic, because anything more complicated than a gate or two will be synthesized into a CPLD / FPGA / ASIC these days. CPU design, too, has become a topic too specialised and complex to be treated in detail in an introductory ...


7

TL;DR; Where did this SELECT command come from? PC-DOS What did it do? Install DOS on a blank drive as a complete bootdrive including language/country specific files. Was this a real command at all? Yes. Long story: SELECT was essentially like a FORMAT /S, which also copies necessary files like KEYBGR for German keyboard or COUNTRY.SYS and creates ...


7

Could it be this one? Byte's Mac Programmer's Cookbook Paperback – May 1994 by Rob Terrell (Author) I once had (and enjoyed) it when I still had a Macintosh. Just like the Mac, my issue has unfortunately long gone the path of all obsolete. And, as an added service: Apple Rescue of Denver still seems to sell new copies for a whopping $15.


6

It’s available directly from the publisher (the author’s own publishing company), including in electronic format (e-pub and Mobi).


6

SELECT was introduced in IBM PC DOS 3.0, along with internationalisation support, and made available in MS-DOS starting with version 3.3. Its purpose is to create a bootable disk with support for a given country code and keyboard layout. The syntax, starting with version 3.2, is SELECT [[drive1:] drive2:[path]] country keyboard where drive1 is the source ...


5

Quoting the DEW Associates MS DOS support site from 1998: SELECT "formats a disk and installs country-specific information and keyboard codes." This is relevant only when you want to boot from a floppy disk. SYS would make this disk bootable, but not copy the configuration files, which you would then have to copy by hand. SELECT does this for you. ...


4

The document everything seems to refer back to is IBM's "Character Data Representation Architecture Reference and Registry" (SC09-2190-00). There is a copy here, in IBM's BookManager format: https://www-01.ibm.com/servers/resourcelink/svc00100.nsf/pages/zosv1r13-pdf-download?OpenDocument (search for SC09-2190, about three-quarters of the way down a long web ...


4

At least for console games, it was actually common to measure size in bits, not bytes. A reference can be found at https://atariage.com/forums/topic/167980-what-does-two-mega-cartridge-mean/


4

Not a book but a (relatively) current website, with lesson plans, in AppleSoft BASIC: 20 lessons to teach your 12-year old how to start programming


3

I will answer different question which is assumed by the original question; I am the author of the textbook in informatics, and think answering this way would be appropriate. It is not that BASIC was great language to program, or people were just writing great books in the past, but now having difficulties with that. Consider the following: BASIC was one ...


3

Couldn't find an errata either but you can download the code as a TZX file from World of Spectrum You can either load that into an emulator and look at the code there (if you want to continue to type it in yourself...best way to learn!) or you can get WinTZX2TAP from World of Spectrum Utilities to convert it to a TAP then get the basic listing using Tappeto ...


2

Found a direct quote and description from Arjan Brussee saying Jazz Jackrabbit was written for Mode X: Anyone know what res. Jazzy Jackrabbit is done in?? It pops my monitor into out-of-center display. Is it some ModeX mode?? [...] modex. wait for a fix which should be there soon, which has some settings for different videocards. arjan ...


2

WordStar for CP/M was extensively configurable by directly changing specific known locations in the executable (e.g. with the DDT tool and the SAVE command built into CP/M 2.2). As far as I know, at first this was supposed to be an in-house thing only; but end users, being ingenious, figured it out anyway. It was made official in later versions, and a ...


2

Since 1968 I was taught B = byte and b = bit. The confusion with kb = 1024 bits comes from the digital world using binary arithmetic: 10000000000 binary = 2^10 decimal = 1024 decimal. 1000 decimal = 1111101000 binary. I don't know about you but I prefer the standard cludge.


1

I've worked with computers since the beginning of the 80's, professionally since 1987. I was unaware that there was any kind of "official" convention on what "b" and "B" means and it has always been chaotic and confusing. I have always assumed a "b" in upper or lower case could either mean bits or bytes and I usually worked it out from context. In fact, when ...


1

Sun's SunOS kernel was customizable by the user because it could be built (linked) from a number of modules including kernel modules (both binary and in compilable source form) from an ISV The user could also choose if some type of modules should be included at all in the kernel image or how many serial line devices should be supported etc. Some types of ...


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