I Rock at BASIC

How in the world wide web did I not know about the "I Rock at BASIC" t-shirt?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2006/09/i-rock-at-basic.html

In high school I ported old BASIC games to the TI-85 calculator and distributed them. Our english teacher was very confused when everyone pulled out their calculators in english class.

Gosh, my first Basic programs were done using a Teletype connected to a remote time-sharing system via a modem at 110bps. You coded on paper, then transferred that (offline) to paper tape. Only then did you consume expensive online time reading in that paper tape and subsequently editing your hopefully few typos.

If you had a lot of errors you corrected them on your paper session log and made a “patch” tape offline prior to another online session.

Of course that was 1972 too.

My friend did that in high school w-a-y back in '75.
Actually his said "This is a waste of paper and added about 10-20 blank lines (while loop) on an old DEC computer the size of three American refrigerators.


Look Around You uses this great example of rockin’ programming as part of it’s introduction.

My favourite program was always:
20 GOTO 10

That was awesome.

Man, I remember learning Basic on a sinclair ZX-81 (no relation :smiley: )

That was an interesting beastie. It predates the spectrum… It had the most awful keyboard imaginable (worse than most cellphones these days) and it had a massive 1 kb of ram. Of course, I had the 16k ram extenstion module, which hung out the back of the machine.
The slightest knock on the rampack would normally result in a reboot…

I remember coding “Flight of the Bumblebee” in basic years ago. The chords hung me up for a while …

Man, I totally rocked at BASIC.


They are totally missing some spaces at the end of the line and a semicolon so that it makes a cool diagonal pattern as it scrolls. Amateurs!

So, Jeff, are you selling these T’s?

No, I have no connection with these T-shirts… the only stuff I sell is the Coding Horror shirts and stickers:


Wow!!! That really doesn’t seem like all that long ago. My first pc that I recall running basic on (GW-Basic) was my dad’s IBM XT. That and the Comodore. But even new programmers starting out today begin with a repeating “I ROCK BASIC” command, or more appropriately a “Oh crap, I forgot my .MoveNext”

on the old original IBM PC which came with no hard drive, and would boot to a BASIC programming environment if booted with no floppy in the A: drive

That’s how all the old-school computers worked… Commodore, Apple //, PC XT, you name it… no hard drives, and BASIC in ROM.

more appropriately a “Oh crap, I forgot my .MoveNext”

LOL, if I only had a quarter for every time I’ve done that. :wink:

Oh, it’s a running shirt.

Seeing this suddenly jolted a memory in my brain of the smell of my old MSX home computer. Wonderful.

I remember programming basic on an old ADAM computer. Half colecovision game system, half computer with tape-deck memory!

I got my programming start with QBasic that came with the family 486/25. I programed games that mimmicked the BBS games my friends and I played. Granted, my games weren’t multiplayer - but it looked and worked like them – and they were free!

I also took the Nibbles program that came with QBasic and turned it into a two-player Tron light-cycle game. Now that was boss!

30 PRINT "HI, ", A$

Ah, artificial intelligence.

We had no disks in the computer lab; we honed the art of concisely coded computer games, because you’d have to type it in from your printout before you could play.

Belive it or not but I actually wrote a function drawing calculator in BASIC on my Spectravideo.

It was pretty cool, took like three minutes to load from a cassette and could draw most “normal” functions (highschool level).

Unfortunately I never got a printout of that program since I didnt have a printer :frowning:

Anyway, I DO ROCK at Basic (at least back then).