[Coco] rom basics

Frederick D Provoncha elderpav at juno.com
Wed Jun 16 21:12:23 EDT 2004

On Wed, 16 Jun 2004 09:58:21 -0700 Kevin Diggs <kevdig at hypersurf.com>
> Hi,
>         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?

In my opinion one of the STRONGEST qualities of the Color Computer when
you compare it to other 8-bitters was it's version of BASIC. I dabbled in
programming BASIC on the Commodore PET, C-64, Apple ][e, and the TI
99/4a. The Coco's version of BASIC was better than all of them. C-64's
and the Apple's in particular were terrible. It was even better than the
IBM PCjr's. A friend of mine once wrote a short program on his PCjr and
shared the code with me. I took it and wrote the same program on my Coco2
in about half as many program lines.

Though it deviated substantially from standard BASIC though, I do recall
the TI 99/4a's BASIC being pretty good and powerful. The Coco's was still
better though. To clear the screen in TI BASIC you used the command 'CALL
CLEAR'. In Coco ECB it's simply 'CLS'.

Graphics commands, such as 'PAINT', 'LINE', 'CIRCLE', and especially
'DRAW', were way ahead of their time.

Fred Provoncha

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