ZX81 BASIC (was Re: ZX-TEAM meeting and Webcam)

From: Glen Goodwin <acme_ent_at_bellsouth.net>
Date: Mon Mar 18 00:08:38 2002

> From: Ethan Dicks <erd_6502_at_yahoo.com>

> I never liked single-key-entry BASIC because you have to "know"
> what mysterious character they chose for keywords with the same
> initial letter. I mean is "S" STEP? STOP? How about "O"? ON?

Sure -- that's why the Sinclair-based systems had the keywords printed on
the keys. Those of us who use alternate keyboards either have
screen-printed keys, a chart glued to the keyboard, or, after 20 years of
squeezing the last living cpu stroke out of these things, have simply
learned them. To me, it's still easier than typing the whole keyword.

An additional benefit is that it made the built-in syntax-checker possible.
 You simply *can't* enter a syntactically incorrect line of BASIC into a
program using a ZX81.

Of course, serious ZX81 programmers use very little BASIC, same as with any
other machine. I'm NOT a proponent of BASIC on *any* platform, but ZX81
BASIC sure did get a lot of kids interested in computers.

Ever wonder why the UK leads the world in game programming? Answer: ZX81
and the Spectrum. These machines taught kids to make the most of the

The kids I know today think they're hot tuna because they can "build web
pages." They've never heard of machine code and haven't a clue what an
assembler or compiler is.

20 years ago, the inquisitive kids said "BASIC sucks, what's the next

Know what I mean?

Received on Mon Mar 18 2002 - 00:08:38 GMT

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