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Back To BASICs

Commodore 64Ho ho, you young whippersnappers!  Back in our day we didn't have no fancy Windows XP or OSX or even Linux!  We had Commodore 64 at home and Apple IIe at school, and we liked it that way!  Because at the time we didn't know anything better was out there!  We were seven years old at the time!  What do you expect from us?!  We didn't download fancy executable files from the Internet!  If we wanted to play a fancy new game, we had to code it into the computer by hand!  We had a lot of time to kill back then!  Today all we have a lot of are exclamation points!

The "Retro Scan of the Week" over at Vintage Computing takes me back to the days when I spent many a rainy afternoon typing complex statements in BASIC into my trusty Commodore 64 in the hopes that when I was finished with the madness, I'd have a really great new game to play.  The computer book section at my elementary school library was meager pickings (most books just explained that a computer is a nifty box that runs on magic), but one book was chock full of BASIC code that promised to become a radical spy adventure if I typed each and every line of code into my computer.  This ninety-page paperback book required about three months of typing time and I had to check the book out over and over again, saving my work to a floppy disk as I went.

Finally, the day came where I typed in the very last command, saved my progress, and entered the mythical RUN statement.  In hindsight I wish the librarian had told me the book was riddled with typos when I first checked it out.  Needless to say, my brief love affair with typing BASIC from books came to a swift end.