Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rumblings of the Future

One formative project I started but never finished on my VIC-20 was a programmable calculator program. I got my start programming the HP-67 calculator, and I've always been fond of these little pocket sized computers so this was my inspiration for this project. This was going to be the simplest interpreter you could write in BASIC. I didn't bother to sit down and design it on paper first. I just starting coding it. Really, I can't remember much about it except that I was motivated to give it a try. I didn't get very far.

Another idea I've always been very interested in pursuing is to create a robot battle programming system like Robot Wars on the Apple II. This is similar to CRobots for the PC. It's a very simple real-time simulation of two or more robots duking it out in an arena. The robots search and destroy each other by executing battle programs written by a human user.

I never finished my programmable calculator. Years later on I would go on to write different kinds of interpreters and some similar things in connection with paid work, and ultimately Liberty BASIC and Run BASIC.

Programming languages have always fascinated me, and I enjoy reading books and articles by other programming language implementors to improve my understanding of the field.

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