User:QB99er Andy

From Rosetta Code
My Favorite Languages
Language Proficiency
8080 Assembly novice
8086 Assembly novice
9900 Assembly novice
Computer/zero Assembly novice
BASIC-80 better
Minimal BASIC best
QBasic good
Sinclair ZX81 BASIC okay
TI Extended BASIC best
Tiny BASIC better
TRS-80 BASIC good
C okay
Forth novice
Fortran novice
Little Man Computer okay
PL/M novice
Turbo Pascal okay
UCSD Pascal okay
Python novice
VTL-2 novice

Hi, I'm Andy. I first learned to use a computer in school about 1977. We learned to program in BASIC. There were two printing terminals in the back of the classroom. One was a DECWriter and the other was a teletype. We saved our programs on paper tape which was punched on the teletype machine. The next year we had some Radio Shack TRS-80 Model I computers with Level II BASIC. We had cassette tapes to save programs. I remember writing a small database program to record and search some data about cars.

When I was in college I learned to program in Fortran. I don't remember much about it now. My father bought a pair of TI-99/4A computers at the end of 1983 for the bargain price of $50 each. Then he bought most of the available peripheral equipment for it. I joined the QB99ers computer club for users of the TI-99/4A. It was in Queens, New York. I wrote a program to help my father create exams for his students. I also wrote one that changed the font of the characters on the screen. Later I wrote a program to use with Microsoft BASIC for the Macintosh. I called it RENUM. This version of BASIC didn't require line numbers and it didn't include a RENUM command to reset the line numbers so I figured out how to do it in BASIC. I did that on a 512 KB "Fat Mac" that belonged to a relative. I also tried making several sorting programs in BASIC.

I acquired used computers to try, including Apple II, Apple Macintosh, Atari 800XL, Atari 520ST, Xerox 820-II, Ibex 7150, Kaypro 1, Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 4, Commodore 64, Commodore 128, Commodore Amiga 1000, DEC Rainbow 100 and a PC/XT clone with CGA compatible display. Later I installed a 40 MHz 386 motherboard, VGA video card and monitor, hard disk drive, 3.5 inch high density disk drive, CD-ROM, and a mouse. Unfortunately most of the computers are gone now. They disappeared from their storage places. I still have a Macintosh iBook G3, some Windows laptops and my Chromebook.

I've been browsing Rosetta Code for a few months to learn some new programming languages. They include Tiny BASIC, VTL-2, Python, Little Man Computer, Computer/zero Assembly and PL/M. The languages I've used earlier include DEC BASIC, TRS-80 BASIC, TI BASIC, Microsoft BASIC, CBASIC, Fortran, UCSD Pascal, Turbo Pascal, BDS C, TI Forth, 9900 Assembly, 8080 Assembly, and 8086 Assembly. I feel like I know what I'm doing when I use BASIC. For the others, I like to have the manual or some source code to guide me. I'm thinking about learning COBOL because I heard on the news that more programmers are needed to maintain old COBOL programs.

I have some experience in moving data from one computer to another. I have often connected one computer to another using RS232 serial ports and then used a system command like PIP (for CP/M) or a terminal emulation program like ProComm (for MS-DOS) to transfer files. I also tried reading floppy disks from other computers with a PC running MS-DOS. I helped a guy named Paolo Bagnaresi create a program called TI99-PC. He was in Italy so we traded files by email. The program would read and write a TI-99/4A floppy disk in a PC disk drive. It was written mostly in 8086 Assembly language.

I usually use a Chromebook computer. I like to use emulators on the web such as PCJS and JS99'er when I want to do some programming. I also have some emulator apps installed on the computer, including Infinite Mac, Frodo 64, fMSX, Speccy, Unreal Speccy, and Spectacol. I haven't used them much. I tried writing a BASIC program with fMSX.

I installed some language apps on the Chromebook. They include Coding with Chrome, Basic -F, GForth, Mintoris BASIC and Frink.