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Author Topic: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer) (Read 47634 times)

Offline lgb

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #300 on: 2014.June.28. 18:24:19 »
Quote from: BruceTanner
Yes but I don't think it was a big deal - MSX-DOS was based on the CP/M function interface too. I expect there were some extra function calls but I can't remember the details. (Now we're on the subject MS-DOS was pretty similar too even though it's on a different processor!)

Well yeah, (PC) DOS still continued to use some of the CP/M stuffs even later with windows, eg: 8+3 file names with three letters extension, the notion of drive letters (A:, B:, etc), and DOS still provides file operations with FCBs too (though there are other, more "modern" solutions as well). As far as I know, many of the DOS' additions over CP/M is from UNIX: eg the directory structure is from UNIX (or even MULTICS? the direct predecessor of UNIX), the file descriptors, etc. MS-DOS even provided (as far as I remember) a way to interpret the \DEV\ directory for devices, which is similar to the /dev/... stuff of UNIX systems (just in DOS it's optional).

Offline lgb

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #301 on: 2014.November.26. 18:50:22 »
It stems from Enterprise's ANSI-spec BASIC where the programmer has to be able to specify the channel number

Interesting, so designing EXOS was also affected by the to-be-written IS-BASIC for EXOS? Or were they parallel projects, and one of the "main users" of EXOS would be IS-BASIC from the very first moment of software development for EP? I had the idea that first EXOS was designed, created as a multi-purpose OS, and then only IS-BASIC is written.

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #302 on: 2014.November.26. 22:49:50 »
Interesting, so designing EXOS was also affected by the to-be-written IS-BASIC for EXOS? Or were they parallel projects, and one of the "main users" of EXOS would be IS-BASIC from the very first moment of software development for EP? I had the idea that first EXOS was designed, created as a multi-purpose OS, and then only IS-BASIC is written.

They were parallel projects, in fact I already had BASIC running on an IBM-PC with Z80 card (minus Enterprise-specific things of course) before EXOS was even started. And at that stage it was intended to be purely internal rather than in a cartridge so most users wouldn't even think about BASIC and the OS being separate. Of course EXOS could have returned handles, as is more usual, and BASIC could have had a lookup table to convert channels to handles but we just chose not to do it that way at the time.

Oops sorry to hijack this discussion, now back to SymbOS...

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #303 on: 2014.November.26. 22:53:13 »
Oops sorry to hijack this discussion, now back to SymbOS...
I moved it to the right topic :-)
« Last Edit: 2014.December.16. 14:04:21 by szipucsu »

Offline lgb

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #304 on: 2014.November.27. 08:57:08 »
Well sorry, it's my bad habit to ask anywhere regardless of the topic otherwise :(

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #305 on: 2015.May.19. 21:29:39 »
Bruce! I hope you are enjoyed the visit in Hungary and the party!

In the party you asked something about the TVC BASIC version. Can you remember what is your question?
The TVC what you see are the first model (TVC 32K) with BASIC version 1.2

And question from Tuby128: is any easter egg in the TVC like the "SET STATUS 42" on the EP?

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #306 on: 2015.May.20. 10:14:15 »
Bruce! I hope you are enjoyed the visit in Hungary and the party!
Yes, and home ok now. Thank you for organising the party zozo and thank you to everyone else for their part - too many people to mention individually and if I tried I would forget someone and cause offence. :smt113

In the party you asked something about the TVC BASIC version. Can you remember what is your question?
The TVC what you see are the first model (TVC 32K) with BASIC version 1.2
It was not so much a question as an observation: I noticed the version is only 1.2. Videoton had the source code and I was wondering how much they had changed it over years. Answer: not much if it is only 1.2! (I cannot remember what version we delivered but it would have been 1.0, 1.1 or 1.2.)

And question from Tuby128: is any easter egg in the TVC like the "SET STATUS 42" on the EP?
I don't remember one, but I had forgotten about SET STATUS 42 until you told me about it! :smt017

Offline Tuby128

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #307 on: 2015.May.20. 13:05:05 »
Can it be, that the set status 42 is not your work. There is a lot of monogram, maybe it was made by an another developer.

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #308 on: 2015.May.20. 14:57:42 »
Can it be, that the set status 42 is not your work. There is a lot of monogram, maybe it was made by an another developer.
Well you are correct, it is part of EXOS not BASIC (any EXOS application could set the status EXOS variable to 42 and get the same result) so it was not created by me, but I did know about it deep down, my memory just needed prompting. It was done 30 years ago, and you have to realise after May 1986 I had no more involvement with the Enterprise until fairly recently!

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #309 on: 2015.May.20. 16:33:56 »
I noticed the version is only 1.2. Videoton had the source code and I was wondering how much they had changed it over years. Answer: not much if it is only 1.2! (I cannot remember what version we delivered but it would have been 1.0, 1.1 or 1.2.)
For the next party I will bring the 64K+ version which has a 2.2 version :-D
TVC 32K and 64K were sold with version 1.2
We also have a ROM image of 1.1 and 2.1 versions, probably these from prerelease machines.

The book of the 64K+ tells about the BASIC versions:
Version 1.3: some bugs of 1.2 were fixed:
- at string comparision the length byte is not compared (in 1.2 space needed to be added for the shorter string)
- at INPUT the maximum string length is now really 254 chars (previously only max 251 worked)
- using user defined functions in PRINT USING does not cause any more errors
- ELSE <number> type instructions do not make stack garbage anymore
- fixed the problem when pressed more than two keys make a wrong characters
- video driver now rounding the coordinates instead of truncating
- new PROGID system variable, it is used by VTDOS for check BASIC is running when the DOS called?
- character set compressed: characters under 80h use only 9 rows of 10. Now only 9 rows stored in the ROM, and the video driver adds the plus empty row

BASIC 2.0 includes everything from 1.3, and two more bug fixes:
- PRINT USING now with rounding values
- SOUND doesn't destroy the EXT5 and EXT6 vectors

New commands:
- AUTO
- RENUMBER
- FKEY, for this also add function keys function to the OS. The TVC has no fkeys, LOCK+number can be used as function keys
- ON EXCEPTION GOTO
- EXCEPTION

New functions:
- ERRNUM
- ERRLIN
- HEX$
- DEC

Extended commands:
- CONTINUE, now can be used in program for exception handling (like in the IS-BASIC)
- PLOT:
  - relative coordinates with +/- sign
  - RECTANGLE, for this added function to the video driver
  - POLYGON, for this added function to the video driver
  - ELLIPSE, for this added function to the video driver

BASIC now has expansion capability.

Most of them already existed in the IS-BASIC 2.x (the RECTANGLE and POLYGON are missing :oops: )

I'm sure, the 2.0 are from you, Bruce! :-)
Especially because there is an English document about these :-)
« Last Edit: 2015.May.20. 18:13:19 by szipucsu »

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #310 on: 2015.May.20. 17:22:54 »
Ah yes, thanks zozo, more memory jogging! And yes you are correct that is my document (and my code), written after Intelligent Software, in fact a year afterwards if the date in the document is correct. I vaguely remember some of those ossues. Clearly Videoton made more ROM available for 2.x but I didn't remember that bit!

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #311 on: 2016.December.12. 11:34:48 »
Question about the TVC from Gflorez: Made for the Hungarian market, why the error mesages of the TVC are in English?
It is ok Bruce, you don't speak Hungarian :-) But the Videoton never wanted it "please put these translated messages"?
And the Videoton don't got the sources, then can't do the own translations?

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #312 on: 2016.December.12. 12:09:38 »
Hmm...very good question...I don't know! :oops: And yes they had all the source and could assemble it themselves so they could have done it easily (well maybe not that easily, I expect there are text compression routines that would not handle the extra Hungarian characters, but it should still have been possible). My only thought would be ROM space - if they felt it would be necessary to have both English and Hungarian messages there wouldn't have been enough.

I do have a vague memory of typing in German text for the EP but I don't remember ever typing in Hungarian.

B.

Offline SlashNet

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #313 on: 2017.October.29. 11:34:27 »
In some early articles about EP in old magazines I saw that journalists writes about IS-Basic sound commands "SPLAT" and "BOOM".

Quote from: Compute! #47 (1984 april)
Are you into graphics? The Enterprise has a hi-res mode of 672 by 512 screen dots, more than twice the resolution of an Atari or Commodore 64. Like the Atari, the Enterprise has 256 colors, but unlike the Atari, all 256 colors can be displayed at once. And the BASIC includes graphics commands like PLOT, CIRCLE, PAINT, DESK, PAPER, INK, and PALETTE – plus turtle graphics. There are sound commands like PITCH, PLAY, TUNE, RELEASE, BEEP, BOOM, and SPLAT. And how about these examples of fascinating BASIC commands: CAUSE EXCEPTION, CHAIN, HELP, IMAGE, LOOP, MERGE, TOGGLE, TRACE, FKEY, TAPE SOUND, CHARSET FROM, CAPTURE, ECHO, XOR, TRUNCATE, and ZAP.

Quote from: Micro 7 & Video 7 special 1984 christmas (France)
Ainsi un effet de stéréo sera réalisable, à condition de connecter l'Élan à une chaîne hifi. Bien sûr l'enveloppe du son peut être contrôlée en Basic à l'aide d'un macro-langage. Pour la sonorisation de logiciels ludiques vous disposerez de commandes préprogrammées tels que « Splat » et « Boom ».

Theese commands was deleted from final product?
Press ENTER to exit BASIC

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #314 on: 2017.October.29. 11:44:52 »
:shock:

I don't remember those! :lol: :lol: :lol:

But yes, if they ever existed they would have been prime targets for being removed to save ROM space (not really essential!). I don't remember them at all though so possibly just a dream of a marketing person! :mrgreen: