Saturday, December 27, 2008

COMPUTE! Magazine

Computer magazines used to be so much fun. First of all most of them had a very strong focus on programming and they would have articles about how to make electronic hardware to plug into your computer. Very much fun indeed.

Since I was the owner of a Commodore VIC-20 I would buy issues of COMPUTE's Gazette which catered specifically to Commodore 8-bit computers.

I remember one issue which included a machine code monitor listing. The program was in BASIC and it would POKE a machine code monitor (in machine code of course) into memory and then it would start up. I experimented with 6502 assembler using this monitor. I would write the assembly code down and then I would translate it myself to hexadecimal numbers and type them carefully in.

This was one of the great things about the computers of those days. A fifteen year old kid could figure this stuff out by reading magazine articles. There's probably no reason why it can't be made relevant to young people today. Why not make a cool and easy game programming tool for the Nintendo DS for example?