Where to, guvnor?

Debunking Where to next?

I’m just posting this to let everyone know about the future or even the end of this blog.

Your correspondent will refrain from commenting on the personal aspects of the author’s post since he’s already said his piece on that front. Instead we’ll concentrate on the more programming-related parts of what has been written.

I’m currently finishing up another post in the series “Drawing The Line”, which is in Commodore BASIC V2 and includes what seems to be a bug with the technique used.

It’s amusing to watch the author floundering around with this topic as though anybody really cares as such; nobody will ever need to draw a line on the C64 in their everyday life and shouldn’t be persecuted if they can’t![1]

After this, I hope to make another post about how to draw a line on the C64 in 6502 Assembly Language/Machine Code, but it’s from a book which included a listing for its own Assembler. I couldn’t find a copy of this Assembler to download, so I spent a lot of time typing it in, then debugging it, because there were no checksums, but unfortunately I still haven’t managed to get it working. Due to this, I’ve been looking at how to get the code to run on another Assembler, but I haven’t succeeded yet.

And this, dear reader, has always been the problem; the author claims to be writing a blog about how people learnt to program the C64 when he quite patently doesn’t know how to himself. Your correspondent is a truly appalling cook and, although he’s just about capable of the basics, would expect anybody else to simply laugh at his opinion of what they’re doing in the kitchen; so why the author, as someone with no real programming knowedge, would expect to be taken seriously when writing about said subject is a mystery.

Translating assembly language source code from one format to another shouldn’t be particularly hard[2], but it does require at least a reasonable understanding of the formatting used by both or the process will be slow and quite painful.

I could also make a few changes in the program accompanying the series “Oh, That Would Be Very Difficult!”, so that the path of the sprite is different, the missile actually hits the sprite, and the advanced MSX BASIC sprite collision detection and interrupt commands are used, but that requires more work than the “Drawing The Line” posts.

Surely the process making some relatively small modifications to a program in the feature-laden MSX BASIC should be far easier than drawing lines on a bitmapped display with the more sparse dialect on theC64, dear reader?

I was just thinking what David Bowie (RIP) would have done if he’d started out in recent years. He might have been told to “stop dreaming”, adopt a “smart appearance” and get a “proper job”.

Some people would probably have said that to him yes, but society tends towards “the norm” generally so there will have been people in the 1960s and 1970s including influential people in the music industry saying it when Bowie’s musical odyssey began as well; geniuses have never needed to listen to the opinions of others of course and the internet makes it possible for anybody with talent starting out now to shine without having to appease record label executives in order to be heard.

But staying with the subject of the late and very much lamented David Bowie, there was a nice tribute demo for the C64 to mark his passing released a few days ago by Polish group Elysium called Starman. The author really really won’t like this demo however, because it uses a sine curve to govern how the picture moves vertically and he’s been rather irrationally vocal about his personal dislike for those quite recently…

Of course, if the author were to stop posting to his blog that will also leave your correspondent at something of a loose end and the obvious question does arise; does your correspondent claim the somewhat childish victory of having “the last word” here or instead continue with the Code Notes series and their associated releases? Even if we were bound to only working through the C64 demos from within the author’s extremely limited 1984 to 1985 window at the current rate there’s still material for a few years worth of posts.

This requires some further consideration on your correspondent’s part and he would welcome feedback from readers; don’t forget that it’s possible to get in touch via various means listed on the contact page so please feel free to use whichever is preferable.

[1] Yes dear reader, that was indeed sarcasm; the author felt said “logic” to be a valid “argument” for writing off sine curves and your correspondent simply couldn’t resist amusing himself by applying the same “logic” in return.

[2] Your correspondent has converted his own and other people’s source code between different assemblers quite frequently over the years; sometimes there are quirks in how specific opcodes are handled (for example, ASL on one assembler might be ASL @ or ASL A on another) but most of the donkey work is reformatting assembler-specific pseudo commands.

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