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Another 4K TRS-80 guy

by BorgCopyeditor (Friar)
on Jul 10, 2003 at 20:08 UTC ( #273120=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Re: My first computer was...
in thread My first computer was...

Adjusting the volume control was very tricky. Often after nearly 5 minutes loading-time of a bigger programm the display signaled wrong parity.

That was the worst. I remember staring at the two blinking asterisks at the top of the screen, hoping like hell that I wouldn't have to try again. Mostly I was waiting for "Pyramid 2000" to load.

My first project (after typing in 100s of lines of BASIC code from the back of magazines so I could play, for example, a text-based racing game) was a simple drawing program using the number pad to move a cursor around. The '5' key turned the 'pen' on and off. What I couldn't manage was a blinking cursor. I was but a wee lad (8 years old).

For what it's worth, I think I may have gotten a computer too soon, both in terms of my age, and in terms of the computer's capacities. I had a lot of drive, and even tried to learn Z-80 assembler, but I couldn't hack it and found no support for my desire to learn more. I drooled over the pages of BYTE for a few years more, praying for a computer with a color display and something better than the crippled BASIC that came with the first TRS-80. But my family didn't have the money to spend on another computer, and I couldn't do enough on mine to keep me interested.

As a result, computing has for me only ever been a hobby. I wonder if it would have been different if I had had a C64, for example.

--Your punctuation skills are insufficient!

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Re: Another 4K TRS-80 guy
by mildside (Friar) on Jul 10, 2003 at 23:06 UTC
    ...praying for a computer with a color display and something better than the crippled BASIC that came with the first TRS-80.

    I too started with a 16K TRS-80 (It had Level II Basic!). I got a job at a Tandy store during my school vacation in order to pay for it myself. I too very quickly became aware of it's limitations. Then I read about the Acorn Proton (which became the Acorn BBC) and I knew I had to have one. So I saved again, sold the TRS-80 and got one of the first Beebs to get to my hometown. That was cool - It had colour graphics, BBC Basic and 32K of RAM. I learned 6502 assembler on it. It still used cassette tape though, so then I had to save for a disk drive, and then... and then... and then... ...and here I am today learning Perl.

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