[Coco] rom basics

Arthur Flexser flexser at fiu.edu
Thu Jun 17 02:17:18 EDT 2004

On Wed, 16 Jun 2004, Frederick D Provoncha wrote:

> 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.

The similarity between the CoCo's Basic and GWBASIC for the PC, and
the fact that both came from Microsoft, leads me to speculate that
they were written by the same author, Mark Chamberlin, and that CoCo Basic
may have been stronger than it otherwise would have been because it was
seen as a sort of preliminary version of a Basic that was forseen for the
PC.  The similarities are particularly apparent with respect to the
graphics commands you mention.


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