About Introduction To BASIC – part 1

Debunking An Introduction To BASIC: Tramiel torture – part 1

The author has decided to whine once more about his own inability to learn BASIC, this time attempting to push the blame away from his own shortcomings and on to Commodore’s Introduction To BASIC series and, bizarrely since he didn’t actually write the books, Jack Tramiel:

This article is only Part 1, written entirely from my memories of this disgusting, obscene Commodore BASIC V2 programming course, but the following articles will be based on me re reading downloaded copies of it.

In other words dear reader, this is the same old bile-laden garbage we’ve come to expect from the author, based purely on his own memory rather than reality.

Some of the propaganda in “An Introduction to BASIC” said that the Commodore 64 used Microsoft BASIC, which Commodore thought was better than other versions of BASIC because it used colons to separate commands on the same line, while some other BASICs used backslashes. This is total crap, because I’ve never ever seen a BASIC which used backslashes to separate commands on the same line

We’ve noted before that, just because the author isn’t aware of something, it can’t be automatically assumed to not exist, but in this particular case we shall have to wait for him to actually return to the “propaganda” at hand to see if this claim is actually true (your correspondent would assume that the author will supply page numbers) since he’s already stated that this piece was written from memory rather than research.

I learnt from this course how to use commands such as LOAD, SAVE, PRINT, INPUT, READ, DATA, GOTO, GOSUB, IF…THEN, NOT, RETURN, RESTORE, GET, and PRINT TAB(n). As these commands were the ones which just popped into my head, they must be the most important ones.

The author’s arrogance in assuming that, because he personally remembers specific commands, they are guaranteed to be the most important is quite amusing in its own right, but the irony of him remembering what Introduction To BASIC part 1 taught him thirty years ago whilst simultaneously complaining about it is almost hysterically funny. It seems that, despite the author’s protestations, the book has least did some of its job.

During my time struggling with this totally f*cked up version of BASIC, my Dad with his I know best attitude, although he knew next to nothing about computers, made stupid, pathetic comments such as “You’re trying to run before you can even crawl!” and “Let me know when you get onto the maths”

The author has previously had a very childish go at redefining “pathetic” to mean “a person who cares and believes in getting satisfaction, justice or revenge after being conned, harassed or attacked or somehow slighted” and went on to happily described himself as pathetic which would put him in the same camp as his father so, as the saying goes, “like father, like son”.

We really have to question the validity of this anecdotal “evidence” to the supposed topic[1] of the author’s blog dear reader, for the tens if not hundreds of thousands of backroom C64 programmers in the 1980s these little glimpses into the life of one adolescent are completely and utterly irrelevant; your correspondent could similarly reminisce about how he personally learnt BASIC and then assembly language as part of a small, self-organised group of friends at school for example (and how a couple did some work in the games industry as teenagers) but that would be no more representative of what happened overall than the author’s self-centred ramblings.

but obviously if I’d had an Atari computer, or even the cheap Dragon which the conman in the shop had tried to sell us, then I COULD have run before I could even crawl, although my programs might have fallen over or crashed spectacularly in a sea of amazing multicolour graphics and a cacophony of sounds.

Which would, of course, be no better because the program had still fallen over. This is the most serious problem with the author’s “reasoning” to be honest, the first steps for a beginner shouldn’t be about flashing lights and crashing sounds because without a proper understanding of the logic behind the programs they will end up broken.

[1] Or indeed topics plural since he seems unsure.

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