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Amiga BASIC

Spent hours watching these demos.
One of the cool things about my Amiga 1000 when I got it was that it included Amiga BASIC and a number of demo programs. When I first got the computer one of the first things I did was to fire up BASIC and watch the demos. I would eventually try my hand at programming after a bit. This was before I bought any games for the machine.

Getting used to Amiga BASIC took a bit of time as I was used to 8-bit Commodore BASIC and the reliance on line numbers. Also, I was a horrible spaghetti programmer and made judicious use of the GOTO command. It took a bit of time to grow out of that. The other thing I needed to get used to was the fact that there was a bunch more memory to do stuff in. Making big programs was, at least a bit, more feasible. I did take advantage of that.


Of course I tried to program games using the BASIC. Since the Amiga was a 16 bit machine with advanced graphics capabilities I wanted to make graphic games. That was hard but that didn’t stop me from trying. I also created a number of text adventure RPG style games that were actually pretty fun to play. For some reason it was really neat to see your game come up in its own window. Of course, like the programs I made for my TRS-80 CoCo and my C64, I really, really wish that I was able to save those programs so I could look at them and play with them now.

AREXX scripting soon came to replace Amiga BASIC when version 2.0 of Amiga OS came out and I was sad by that. For some reason I never really glommed onto AREXX like I did with BASIC. That was okay because I soon discovered PASCAL and it soon became one of my favorite languages to do stuff in. Even today it’s still one of my favorite languages.

Looking back at it all I really wish I’d taken advantage of Amiga BASIC a lot more when I had access to it.

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