Debunking What next?
Over the last few weeks I’ve been hard at work on two different themes. These are completing and shortening the quite messy program I wrote to draw a line part of the way across the Commodore 64 graphics screen, as well as exploring my new/old Commodore 128 computer and finding out the differences and similarities between it and the Commodore 64. I’ve found out a lot about both these subjects, which has really amazed me!
It will be interesting to see what the author feels he’s learnt and indeed how that tallies with reality.
I’ve also managed to debug a program listing from 1984 to PLOT a point on the screen, turn it off when the user presses a key, then turn it back on when a key is pressed again, etc! I’ve even succeeded in taking the program further. I never thought I’d be able to do anything like this. Of course, most Commodore 64 owners never managed to.
Because most C64 owners didn’t want to program in the first place, just like most Spectrum, Amstrad, Acorn, Apple or Atari owners out there didn’t.
But it’s well worth noting that, ironically, by writing and modifying these programs the author is currently shooting down quite a few of his own arguments by demonstrating very clearly that it’s nowhere near as “impossible” as he’s previously tried to assert. Someone who despises the C64 so intensely can manage it so all those C64 owners who wanted to program and actually liked the machine can be expected to have got somewhere as well.
At the computer club I mentioned in an earlier post, games were discouraged, although even the organisers sometimes played games. There were usually just a handful of Commodore 64 owners there, totally outnumbered by Spectrum owners, as well as BBC owners and almost outnumbered by Apple II owners as well. This was in spite of the fact that the Commodore 64 was the second most popular computer in Britain at that time. I think this was probably because the Commodore 64 owners had realised that they couldn’t program it.
And the author cannot make that assumption purely based on what he personally witnessed at one computer club because there are other factors that could be in play that he was unaware of; there may have been another club locally that he simply wasn’t aware of for example that drew C64-owners away or perhaps they were all members of ICPUG and preferred to meet there instead.
And as the author notes, games were discouraged at the club he attended so, since the majority of kids with home computers back then who had an interest in programming wanted to write games, we could far more easily assume that they stayed away for that reason; this is a guess that is at least circumstantially backed up by the thousands upon thousands of user-developed programs we have archived now.