[Coco] rom basics

Frederick D Provoncha elderpav at juno.com
Thu Jun 17 21:49:50 EDT 2004

On Thu, 17 Jun 2004 02:17:18 -0400 (EDT) Arthur Flexser <flexser at fiu.edu>
> 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.
> Art

I don't recall, it's been too long. Was the version of BASIC in the IBM
PCjr called GWBASIC? I did notice strong similarities between the code my
friend shared with me and the Coco's ECB. He used a lot of LINE commands,
which were very similar in syntax to the Coco's LINE command. Did GWBASIC
have the 'DRAW' command. My friend certainly didn't use it in his code.

Fred Provoncha

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