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Author Topic: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer) (Read 56939 times)

Offline Tuby128

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #120 on: 2013.February.21. 00:06:54 »
Interesting thing about the EP keyboard: As you know there were two types of keyboard, the English and the German. I had a German version. During the years I got used to the positon of the buttons like semicolon, exclamation mark or dollar sign. More than 10 years later I got a Pentium I PC with a Hungarian keyboard, which has another order of keys (for example the number ZERO is before the number ONE). The Windows 95 system was so new to me, that I gave up programming (The reason for this, there was nobody in my environment, who could programm a PC). And that time I didn't have any opportunity to get a book about that. (I lived in a small town, and haven't got internet connection). Thus, it wasn't important to me, to use these special keys. About 5 years later, when I started learning C, I noticed, that I typing so slow, later I understand that's because I don't get used to the Hungarian keyboard.
 So I switched the Windows's "Regional Settings" to German, and I grinded the old labels on the keyboard keys and wrote the new, and I sticked down, to avoid rubbing down. Thus I made a German keyboard from a Hungarian one. (you have to know, that a German keyboard was impossible to get where I lived at that time.)
 When I compared the recently German keyboard with the EP keyboard, I barely find a difference. But this wasn't true with the English variation. Or is there in the UK another keyboard as in the US?
 So now I am using a German keyboard, because of the Enterprise computer :) Fortunately till now, I always worked at German-backgrounded companies, so my wish to get a german keyboard, wasn't unfeasible.
« Last Edit: 2013.February.21. 00:12:02 by tubybb »

Offline Bagpuss22

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #121 on: 2013.February.21. 00:11:25 »
I wondered who won that enterprise! :smt023

When I am programming I tend to listen to Jean Michel Jarre or Mike Oldfield.
I have to admit that I am a Tangerine Dream fan too..

Russ

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #122 on: 2013.February.21. 00:19:46 »
Quote from: Tuby128
Interesting thing about the EP keyboard: As you know there were two types of keyboard, the English and the German. I had a German version. During the years I got used to the positon of the buttons like semicolon, exclamation mark or dollar sign. More than 10 years later I got a Pentium I PC with a Hungarian keyboard, which has another order of keys (for example the number ZERO is before the number ONE). The Windows 95 system was so new to me, that I gave up programming (The reason for this, there was nobody in my environment, who could programm a PC). And that time I didn't have any opportunity to get a book about that. (I lived in a small town, and haven't got internet connection). Thus, it wasn't important to me, to use these special keys. About 5 years later, when I started learning C, I noticed, that I typing so slow, later I understand that's because I don't get used to the Hungarian keyboard.
 So I switched the Windows's "Regional Settings" to German, and I grinded the old labels on the keyboard keys and wrote the new, and I sticked down, to avoid rubbing down. Thus I made a German keyboard from a Hungarian one. (you have to know, that a German keyboard was impossible to get where I lived at that time.)
 When I compared the recently German keyboard with the EP keyboard, I barely find a difference. But this wasn't true with the English variation. Or is there in the UK another keyboard as in the US?
 So now I am using a German keyboard, because of the Enterprise computer :) Fortunately till now, I always worked at German-backgrounded companies, so my wish to get a german keyboard, wasn't unfeasible.
Ha ha you are stuck with it now :lol: The Enterprise legacy lives on!

I'm not sure if there is more than one standard UK keyboard layout - it used to be common to find minor differences whenever you used a new keyboard with characters like \ and |. And the US is slightly different too - there's always confusion between # (hash) and £ (pound) - even that might not display correctly on your computer! It seems better these days though.

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #123 on: 2013.February.21. 12:56:54 »
About the special characters:
Our friend lgb started a project for converting IS-BASIC programs to text or html files.
For this we searched the unicode representations of the special characters.
There is the original UK charset.
Most of solved, but we absolutely not have any idea what is the chr 127? It is a special UK character?
8674-0
« Last Edit: 2013.February.21. 13:22:05 by Zozosoft »

Offline Tuby128

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #124 on: 2013.February.21. 13:15:19 »
Since I can programming in C, I understand the power of string operation, and I am amazed, how you implemented built-in string operations in IS-BASIC.
 In the standard C library there is such things like, determine how long a string, or what position begins a given text pattern. And IS-BASIC contains these essential functions (LEN(A$)) or POS(X$,Y$,n).

 Maybe I could be 10-12 years old, when I started to write a "Wheel of Fortune" like game (in hungarian called: "Szerencsekerék") in IS-BASIC, and I remember, invested a lot of time in it. I divided the game in two major parts, the rotating wheel, and the table with the text.
 After a lot of work, I was done with the wheel. It was awesome, because I used a graphical solution. Later I made the table, and the problems had just begun. Namely I experienced, that if a program is exceed a certain size (I mean in lines) the string operations, didn't provide proper return value. It took me a lot of time to find out why it is not working.
 I extracted my string operation routine (with the built-in functions), and analysed itself. I realised, it worked properly alone. Only in the long code didn't do that.
 I was confused, because there wasn't other alternative to inspect a string, and I didn't know assembly, to replace the built-in function. Thus I gave up writing this game.

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #125 on: 2013.February.21. 13:33:16 »
Quote from: Tuby128
Thus I gave up writing this game.
Do you have the unfinished game? It would be nice to see what could be the problem!

Offline Tuby128

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #126 on: 2013.February.21. 13:38:56 »
No, unfortunately I haven't. It was long time ago, and some tapes of mine are lost.

Offline lgb

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #127 on: 2013.February.21. 21:26:37 »
Quote from: Zozosoft
Our friend lgb started a project for converting IS-BASIC programs to text or html files.
For this we searched the unicode representations of the special characters.
There is the original UK charset.
Most of solved, but we absolutely not have any idea what is the chr 127? It is a special UK character?

Hmm, yes, that's an odd character. I've tried to summarize the "common" EP charsets (and some more or less correct unicode positions for some usable mapping ...) here. By the way, I've started to encode links and anchors into HTML mode, so GOTOs etc will be clickable.

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #128 on: 2013.February.21. 23:28:56 »
Quote from: Zozosoft
About the special characters:
Our friend lgb started a project for converting IS-BASIC programs to text or html files.
For this we searched the unicode representations of the special characters.
There is the original UK charset.
Most of solved, but we absolutely not have any idea what is the chr 127? It is a special UK character?
(Attachment Link)
Unfortunately I cannot remember how the character set was arrived at, or what that one means! It's certainly not a standard UK character. My only guess is that might have something to do with backspace as 127 was sometimes used for that.

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #129 on: 2013.February.21. 23:41:05 »
Quote from: Tuby128
Since I can programming in C, I understand the power of string operation, and I am amazed, how you implemented built-in string operations in IS-BASIC.
 In the standard C library there is such things like, determine how long a string, or what position begins a given text pattern. And IS-BASIC contains these essential functions (LEN(A$)) or POS(X$,Y$,n).

 Maybe I could be 10-12 years old, when I started to write a "Wheel of Fortune" like game (in hungarian called: "Szerencsekerék") in IS-BASIC, and I remember, invested a lot of time in it. I divided the game in two major parts, the rotating wheel, and the table with the text.
 After a lot of work, I was done with the wheel. It was awesome, because I used a graphical solution. Later I made the table, and the problems had just begun. Namely I experienced, that if a program is exceed a certain size (I mean in lines) the string operations, didn't provide proper return value. It took me a lot of time to find out why it is not working.
 I extracted my string operation routine (with the built-in functions), and analysed itself. I realised, it worked properly alone. Only in the long code didn't do that.
 I was confused, because there wasn't other alternative to inspect a string, and I didn't know assembly, to replace the built-in function. Thus I gave up writing this game.
I am sorry your program didn't work! String operations are tricky...it's very easy to write something simple like A$=B$+C$ but that can cause a lot of memory copying, which is slow. I can't remember the details of how IS-BASIC deals with strings but I guess something had to be copied eg the rest of the variable table being moved up in memory to make room, so big variable table = more copying, or something like that. Sorry I can't remember more:smt017

Offline Tuby128

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #130 on: 2013.February.22. 00:56:34 »
You don't have to sorry. I just wanted tell an interesting story about my old IS-BASIC era.

 I have an anoter queston about your colleagues Nick and Dave. You wrote in your memo, that this two men worked in the same building as you. Did you have any opporunity to look into their work? Did you see schematics or hardware descripion sourcecode in their hand, or were you in their room?
 I am a very curious man, everything is interesing me.

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #131 on: 2013.February.22. 02:45:19 »
Quote from: Tuby128
You don't have to sorry. I just wanted tell an interesting story about my old IS-BASIC era.

 I have an anoter queston about your colleagues Nick and Dave. You wrote in your memo, that this two men worked in the same building as you. Did you have any opporunity to look into their work? Did you see schematics or hardware descripion sourcecode in their hand, or were you in their room?
 I am a very curious man, everything is interesing me.
There were schematic drawings around but I never got to study them in detail. I think it was too early for hw description source code if u mean things like VHDL, but I might b wrong. I'm pretty sure it wasn't used in Nick or Dave. I didn't have much to do with the hw as IS-BASICs interaction with the hw is all through EXOS.

Offline Tuby128

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #132 on: 2013.February.22. 07:30:28 »
Mr Tanner, you're still a night owl. :D

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #133 on: 2013.February.22. 08:06:04 »
Quote from: BruceTanner
 I guess something had to be copied eg the rest of the variable table being moved up in memory to make room, so big variable table = more copying, or something like that.
If the variables are predefined at the beginning of the program then this avoid the variable table moving at the operations?
And for strings the length also can be defined, for example:
10 STRING A$*20

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #134 on: 2013.February.22. 09:25:41 »
Quote from: Zozosoft
If the variables are predefined at the beginning of the program then this avoid the variable table moving at the operations?
And for strings the length also can be defined, for example:
10 STRING A$*20
Yes agreed - it was meant as an example of the sort of things that might go on in a BASIC with strings that would explain problems with large programs. I was not saying that it does necessarily in IS-BASIC - unfortunately I cannot remember enough details of the internal workings. Sorry if that subtlety got lost in translation! But re-reading your previous message, if you actually got incorrect results,  that is a bug. I would guess related to segment paging but I'm prepared to be proved wrong!