A while back on a forum long long ago (ok… a few months and the RealStudio forum). There was a topic about 1980’s era BASIC and how far things have come, yet we miss the “good ole days” … yada yada yada. At that time I was bored… and started and mostly completed an operational BASIC interpeter written completely in RealStudio/Xojo with no special funky API’s or declares. It is line number based, contains its own editor (emulates 64x16 and 80x25 terminal screens)… Has TRS-80 style graphics (those 2x3 cells… remember those?). I extended the TRS-80 syntax to include many features from Basic-80 and MBasic (the PDF manuals are in the ZIP file, along with a TRS-80 Model 3 manual). This code is being offered to the public domain AS-IS with no expectations on your part. It is purely for educational purposes, as it illustrates many concepts and techniques used in more complex compilers and interpeters (and yeah some of it is brute force code). Probably the most interesting part of the code for most will be the section that parses and solves equations.

You will also notice this project has a grand total of ONE Xojo control… a single canvas which is used to present the “terminal display”

RetroBasic ZIP File

Note : this has only been run under OSX… but I see no reason it won’t work with Windows or Linux.

If I remember correctly the rules, this conversation should be moved to the Off-Topic Channel.

Oops. You are right. Xojo control, sorry. I’ve read too fast. I wrote many TRS-80 programs those days and Z-80 Assembly too.

Amazing and fun hobby project, from someone who knew the amazing TRS-80 (those days). Thanks for sharing.

My father thought I was crazy when I took the money I had been saving to buy a car when I turned 16 and instead purchased a microcomputer (those were the days before “personal computers”).

I remember the agonizing days between the first TRS-80s (4K RAM, 4K BASIC in ROM) shipping and the upgraded machines (16K RAM, Microsoft 12K BASIC in ROM) months later. I knew I NEEDED the bigger machine, but the wait was excruciating.

I’ll never forget unpacking it, plugging it all in, turning it on and typing in my first program. And saving it at 500 baud to cassette. I was a serious bad ass with that monster of a machine. :o)

Thanks for the memories. (pun intended)

When the TRS-80 first hit the market I was working for Radio Shack… So I got to play with all the new stuff as soon as the store got a display version. I was a bit older than 16… I was 21 or 22 at the time… bought the 4k Level I … and over the years begged, borrowed, traded what ever it took and finally ended up with a 48K machine with TWO :slight_smile: 5 inch floppy disk drives…

There was a magazine at the time … “Kilobaud” I believe it was called, that promised up and coming TRS-80 developers worlds of riches if they produced tape based programs for sale. So a friend and I did… “Lunar Lander”… it took all but 16 bytes of a 4k machine… and we made a fortune! (if you call $36.00 a fortune). But hey 38 years later… and I still have a copy of that orignial tape in my desk drawer.

and a computer on my desk that has 177,000 times more memory, and is probably 6,000 to 10,000 times faster…

But that original computer is what helped start it all… I’ve been a professional computer software developer since 1981.

I remember those days! I had an old Imsai 8080-based system with a whopping 8K of RAM and a boot loader entered via toggle switches on the front. I was elated with the Apple // I got when I started at Apple in 1978. It had a built-in integer BASIC - wow! And it loaded programs from cassette tape (don’t use a high quality player - the cheaper the better). By the time ProDOS rolled around I was working on expanding and implementing features for the Apple BASIC interpreter before moving to the Business BASIC team for the Apple ///.

If I never write another BASIC interpreter, it’ll be too soon!

LOL… seems we followed much the same path. at one point a friend of mine and I built a unit similar to the IMSAI… but I don’t recall the name (it had NO switches that I recall… you HAD to boot via paper-tape)… but mine had 48K of memory!!! and literally dimmed the lights when you turned in on (25 amp service was required… no kidding)

Oh I doubt that Dale or I are representative of the majority of XOJO users… but I doubt we are the only ones :slight_smile:

[quote=24684:@dave duke]So does that mean XOJO attracts 80’s ,micocomputer junkies? (vic20 guy here)
Um, yeah. 8080, 6052, z80, pdp-11, to name a few. Got started after playing Towers of Hanoi on the brand new Apple II in the High School Library. Was surreptitiously granted (I will not admit to hacking) access to the School District mainframe and wrote a basketball simulation game. "You are 43 ft from the basket. Dribble/Pass/Shoot: " Those were the days! TRS-80, Apple II, Commedore 64, Cassette tape storage, 4K RAM. All night coding sessions. Memories.

CP-500 the Brazilian TRS-80. I found this video of a guy that buys and restores old computers and shows it working.

I have a VIC-20 with the tape drive, a Tandy COCO3 w/ the External 5.25 and a TRS80 with the monochrome screen and a 8 in floppy they all work to the best of my knowledge. Cut my teeth on tandy basic when I was 9 years old. The good old days… :slight_smile:

don’t know the english brand but in Germany it was a commodore VC20, predecessor of the more famous C64 in the 80ies. This was my dawn in computers. After that I’ve made a jump to 8088 PC with incredible 9.54 MHz, MSDOS 3.3 and MS Works 1.0 and insane 10 MB HDD. All My friends have had Amigas and Atari TT wih nice graphics, Icons and lots of games to play, but I choosed this monochrome Hercules (with emulated CGA) driven PC beast for starting developing software.

Do any one remember Borland Turbo Basic? It was a great IDE similar to Pascal and much more better than MS GW or Quick Basic. It was followed by Power BASIC, a real fast compiler I really loved.

I’ve done all incarnations of MS DOS and later Windows versions and switched to Visual Studio 98 in the late 90ies with all those bloaty runtime DLL, COM traps and MDAC database issues before I finally made my final switch to Mac and Realbasic 2008.

Seriously 80s, atari 800… It had instant on!

8080 based open university experimental PC with only a hex keyboard. Took ages to write anything in hex machine code, but at aged 10 it was a marvel to behold! Then a ZX80->Uk101->Commadore PET->BBC-B (where I fell in love with 6502), …etc…etc… :slight_smile:

I used Borland Turbo C which was my first ever IDE (ASCii based) on a 286. That was my fave, though I still think I made more money with VB6 than anything else :slight_smile:

Missed the “on-topic” bit -
CP/M BASIC running on an old BT custom built and quickly abandoned system installed in some exchanges (can’t remember its name - MUMP? I know that’s an acronym as well but BT weren’t very creative in those days…). Wrote my first ever proper program used by other people in that. If you don’t count a game I had published in some magazine written in BBC BASIC (one of those ones you had to type in yourself - wish I could remember the name).

My 1980’s microcomputer of choice was the (Texas Instruments) TI-99/4A.

At the end of 1982 the TI-99/4A was the number one home computer in America, with approximately 35% of the market share, and producing 150,000 consoles a month.

The TI had (and even today still has) a cult following. Why? What’s special about the TI? Lots of things. Here are a few:

According to Wikipedia, the TI-99/4A was "the first domestic computer with a 16-bit processor." (The Apple II of the time was only 8-bit).

" In the early 1980s, the TI was known as a pioneer in speech synthesis, and a highly popular plug-in speech synthesizer module was available for the TI-99/4A… In many games (mostly those produced by TI), the speech synthesizer had relatively realistic voices…"

Before Texas Instruments discontinued production of the TI-99/4A, the computer included not only speech synthesis capabilities, but also (working with Milton Bradley) speech recognition.

Although other computers were able to put 16 colors on the screen, the TI tile screen showed that the TI-99/4A was capable of 16 colors on the screen at the same time.

The TI-99/4A made use of the 9900 cpu. The Patriot missile also (with slightly different packaging) made use of the 9900 cpu, testimony to the TI’s mathematical precision.

The TI-99A had relocatable registers, one of many reasons why assembly language on the TI-99/4A was easier and enjoyable in which to program (even I could do it!). Other available languages include cobol, forth, pascal, and various versions of BASIC.

And so on, and so on.

Feel free to skip the following unless you are masochistic, but here is a mostly accurate description of me as a typical TI’er:

Barry Traver

Ahhh…the TI-99/4A - I loved that machine! It was amazing with the expansion chassis I think I was able to trick mine out to a whopping 48K and add the optional floppy drive instead of saving to cassette. Bought the assembler cartridge and learned it from reading the command reference.

If only computers were that much fun today…

That was my first computer. Saved all my programs on a cassette tape I rigged up. My monitor was a crappy little television.

The TI-99/4A was also my first computer, and learned BASIC on it. I had a bunch of tapes too. Then it was on to the original Mac in '84 which brought some interesting journeys into Pascal on both the Mac and DOS. I remember patching some of the Turbo Pascal runtime back in the day. Ah, memories… :slight_smile: