Teaching kids about computers...

Roy J. Tellason rtellason at verizon.net
Mon Nov 26 12:11:46 CST 2007

On Saturday 24 November 2007 12:39, dwight elvey wrote:
> > From: rtellason at verizon.net
> >
> >
> > Speaking of which, I have a vague recollection of "Tiny BASIC". Never did
> > actually use it, though. Any of you guys familiar with it? Is it all that
> > usable? At all extensible? I can see where it might be handy for some
> > stuff...
> Hi
>  A search on the web will show a couple of listing of a version of Palo
> Alto Tiny BASIC that I posted years ago. It was slighly modified from the
> original to allow on to expand it. It had I/O for the Poly88 but it could
> be easily connected to any serial streams terminal.
>  It fit in 2 2708s which was great for the Poly88.

Which works out just fine for the 2716s being the smallest part my programmer 
can handle.  :-)

> I wrote 3 extentions that I used. These could be loaded on the fly from the
> cassette tape, with the BASIC program that that used them.  I added PEEK,
> POKE and SAVE. PEEK and POKE were useful with the Poly88's video. SAVE made
> it simple to save any new programs that also need these extras. The bad part
> was that the extended code had to be done in assembly code and required a
> reasonable understanding of how Tiny BASIC worked inside.

I guess that could be expected.

> If one wanted to work with an extensible language, Forth is the most
> flexible. It is also one of the best for understanding more complex 
> programming concepts. It isn't that it has them built in, it is that it
> contains all the building blocks needed to create them. 

Forth is definitely one of the other things that I'm looking at,  but it's 
style is rather putting me off.  I have a 68HC11-based board that comes up in 
it,  and should probably hook it up and play with it one of these days,  or 
get an emulator going,  or something,  just to try and get a handle on it.  
If you know of any online resources for that language I'd sure like to hear 
about them.  I did snag two of Leo Brodie's books,  for starters,  but not a 
whole lot else.

Member of the toughest, meanest, deadliest, most unrelenting -- and
ablest -- form of life in this section of space,  a critter that can
be killed but can't be tamed.  --Robert A. Heinlein, "The Puppet Masters"
Information is more dangerous than cannon to a society ruled by lies. --James 
M Dakin

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