[Coco] Re: Coco Digest, Vol 8, Issue 30

farna at att.net farna at att.net
Wed Jun 16 23:17:03 EDT 2004

While lack of integer variables could be a problem with some programming, it could be simulated. There were some BASIC enhancements available, but they were mostly for the 1.0 ROM BASIC, the later version obsoleted most of the enhancement programs by adding them to the ROM. Compatibility was then an issue as well. I seem to recall a couple re-writes, but Art Flexsor's "ADOS" was by far the most common and compatible. It had a few enhancements, but still no integer variables. Art streamlined a lot of the commands and found room for further enhancements while maintaining 90% compatibility with older programs. 

What I thought was the most powerful feature of the CoCo BASIC was actually Disk BASIC itself. Accessing the drives directly from BASIC without having to make DOS calls was convenient and fast. PEEKing and POKEing directly to memory was also a big advantage. I used a PC BASIC genealogy program as the basis for one of my own for the CoCo (should be available from Glenside). To make database access fast, records were preformatted. This limited the number of records to what you decided to start with, but many people thought the program was written in machine code because it was faster than other CoCo database programs. I took advantage of the CoCos double speed mode and streamlined the BASIC code as much as possible. When in double speed mode you can't have disk access. I simply slowed the computer back down for disk access then immediately sped it back up when access was complete. 

Frank Swygert 
Publisher, "American Independent 
Magazine" (AIM) 
*Elite* publication for those 
interested in all 
aspects of AMC 
(free download available!) 

-------------- Original message from coco-request at maltedmedia.com: -------------- 
> There was a thread a week or so back that discussed the 
> quality of the basic in this beast. Was it really better than its 
> contemporaries? I have NO experience with any other similar beast. 
> But I personally consider coco basic to be ... bad. The lack of 
> integer variables on a .89 MHz computer was, in my opinion, a big 
> gaffe. Did any other similar machine have integer variables? 
> Anyone know anthing about the TI 99/4a? This was a 64k 
> REAL 16-bit system. There are a bunch of them on EBay. 
> kevin 
> P.S.: Did anyone ever rewrite rom basic for this thing? 

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