The Lost Ways of Programming: Commodore 64 BASIC

"When Commodore 64 starts, a welcome screen from BASIC awaits you. Even if you want to use it to just play games, you start with a programming environment. This tells you that you too can become a programmer and you certainly do not need to download gigabytes of tools and wait hours for your XCode or Visual Studio to install. "

@amatecha As a former C64 user, I found this article to be pretty fun. There are some notable differences between C64's BASIC and what was implemented in the website (e.g., GET vs GET$, and POKE addresses, etc.), but I believe it was really successful in capturing the feel of the machine.

Thanks for this link. I've bookmarked it, and I hope to study it further in the future.

@amatecha The commodore 64 BASIC ROM was where I first learned to code, it's legit

@amatecha IDEs are a newbie trap, like lycra. Real pros don't need the gear.
@amatecha It's a bit why I think it's great that TI/Casio calculators are probably still used in high-school and later and where some diplomas/exams require you to be able to program it.
Sadly it's quite a peripheral because you need another computer to use things other than BASIC like assembly or to just transfer files.

It's quite why to me the best computer would be something like a Sun workstation (because of OpenFirmware) running Plan9.
@amatecha the OS should function as the IDE and it should be painless to use

@amatecha Thanks so much for sharing this, very interesting #C64 nostalgia/history lesson!

@amatecha many thanks for sharing: as I grew up copying C64 BASIC programs from magazines, this definitely resonated with me 🙂

Commodore 64’s REPL was IMHO a great tool to get started with programming, and it is no wonder that systems like #pico8 provide such a similar experience.

Moreover, by resetting+poking to cheat games, I also learned that it is possible to have control over what is running on one’s computer… and that’s a powerful message too!

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Revel in the marvels of the universe. We are a collective of forward-thinking individuals who strive to better ourselves and our surroundings through constant creation. We express ourselves through music, art, games, and writing. We also put great value in play. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.