Squirrels galore

Debunking De de de debunking “Secret squirrels”

As I warned him before, TMR has dared to criticise my last DE DEBUNK, so now I have to DE DE DE DEBUNK him!

Except of course the author didn’t actually debunk anything previously and hasn’t managed it this time either – this isn’t the first time he’s struggled with understanding a basic concept of course dear reader and your correspondent does indeed dare to criticise what the author has written because it’s full of errors, flawed arguments, childishness and worthless self-opinionated rubbish.[1]

As I mentioned previously, lots of people were buying computers in 1984 and they expected documentation to be available for them!

In 1984 they had the documentation required; as repeatedly noted previously, the majority of computer owners didn’t want to program at all, so for them the part of the manual about plugging the computer in and a line of information in their software’s manual about loading the program was literally all the documentation they ever needed.

But for the minority who did want to program, the C64 had its manual from day one and the solid if somewhat dry Programmer’s Reference Guide soon after launch with at least reasonable third party books following rapdily afterwards, the author may have failed to learn from these sources but the vast quantities of user-written software we have archived on the internet are direct evidence that others didn’t struggle in the same way. The best third party books took longer to arrive yes, but the equivalents for the Atari 8-bit like De Re Atari and Atari Roots turned up four or five years after launch so Raeto West’s book appearing a shade over two years after the UK introduction of the C64 is remarkably good going by comparison.

The book “Progamming The Commodore 64: The Definitive Guide” came out in April 1985 […] This means it was simply TOO LATE for me!

That particular book may have arrived after the author personally threw in the towel, but for a significant number of people it was the tome they learnt the C64 from and its overall impact isn’t reduced by the author’s lack of ability.

Raeto West had previously written a book called “Programming the PET/CBM”, which came out in January 1982. Using his knowledge of the much more simple PET gained over God knows how long a period of time, he was able to find out how to program the Commodore 64, which used the 6502 CPU, compatible with the C64’s 6510 CPU, as well as a compatible ROM based OS called the “Kernal”. Most Commodore PET computers even had a Monitor built in.

Since Raeto West was, as the author has already mentioned previously, variously labelled as a “Commodore computer expert”, it logically follows that he knew his way around more than one Commodore computer so that shouldn’t come as any kind of surprise. And what the author describes as “God knows how long” is at the very most three years if we go to the extreme of assuming he started with the earliest 1979 model of PET.

And this is still a pointless “argument” on the author’s part of course, because knowing the PET or any other preceding computer isn’t a requirement to learn the C64 and there are far too many people out there who managed to start programming when the C64 was their first exposure to computers.

This means that if anyone was inspired to do translations from English or other western European languages into Japanese, Russian, or any other language using a different alphabet, then they’d have been totally let down by the Commodore PET.

And most of the 8-bits on the market at the time would have struggled for similar reasons, so trying to use this one very specific task to “beat down” one specific machine is idiotic at best.

The NEC PC-8000 could at least do graphics and use the BASIC commands GET and PUT to manipulate graphics on its screen. I’m not sure if it could redefine its characters. Atari computers COULD redefine their characters, though.

But they couldn’t provide an 80 column display and the 40 column display has issues which makes it unviable for this kind of task as well.

[1] Similar charges could probably be leveled at this blog as well of course dear reader but, unlike the author, your correspondent has no desperate need to “negate” his own past failings by trying to blame someone or in this case something else for them. He also happily admits to childishness, considering it to be something of a life choice…

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