Lost lessons from the 8-bit BASIC era

by
in code on (#2S0G)
Call it wistful nostalgia, perhaps, but this guy isn't alone in recalling fondly how much you could do with so little on 8 bit BASIC machines.
The little language that fueled the home computer revolution has been long buried beneath an avalanche of derision, or at least disregarded as a relic from primitive times. That's too bad, because while the language itself has serious shortcomings, the overall 8-bit BASIC experience has high points that are worth remembering.

It's hard to separate the language and the computers it ran it on; flipping the power switch, even without a disk drive attached, resulted in a BASIC prompt. ... There's a small detail that I skipped over: entering a multi-line program on a computer in a department store. Without starting an external editor. Without creating a file to be later loaded into the BASIC interpreter (which wasn't possible without a floppy drive).
Yes, what we do with computers is so much more complex now. But I do miss getting a working machine less than 1 second after turning on the on switch. I suspect I'm not alone.

Re: Nice toys (Score: 1)

by vanderhoth@pipedot.org on 2014-09-03 13:52 (#2S0S)

What I'd like to see in my life time is the return of cartridges.
Isn't that basically what USB thumb drives are? A little stick you can carry around and plug into a terminal. You can even store a whole OS on one and boot right from USB if you want to take your whole PC with you. The limit seems to be drive size (I have a 128 GB drive, which is pretty nice) rather than heat.
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