Lost lessons from the 8-bit BASIC era

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: Thanks (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-03 14:05 (#2S0X)

Fuck, I feel more ancient now, having worked on a PDP-8. I pity any poor bastard here who worked on a PDP-1 or an IBM 70xx. He or she must be feeling like they're ready for the dirt nap after reading this article.

On the other hand, it was pretty cool working in the industry back in 1960-1990 or so, when there was such an amazing cornucopia of processor architectures and OSes, back before computing became standardized, commoditized, shrink-wrapped, and (above all) an industry that made enough progress that the exploitation of that work could be left to dullards.
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One plus two is what?