Happy new year!
Traditionally, we use the new year to look back and reflect. I’d rather not, given the past few years we’ve all had to deal with.
Instead, let’s go back much, much further… Recently, I found myself wondering what Jeff Atwood was up to. Jeff is someone who always has something to say, and I used to quote his posts regularly on this site. Happily, on new year’s eve, he posted for the first time in months and months, and it’s a corker: he’s looking to his roots in 1980s BASIC programming!
I think we owe it to the world to bring this book up to date using modern, memory safe languages that embody the original spirit of BASIC, and modern programming practices including subroutines.
So let’s do this. Please join us on GitHub, where we’re updating those original 101 BASIC games in memory safe, general purpose scripting language…
Jeff is talking about the BASIC Computer Games books that David H. Ahl compiled in the early 1970s and 1980s. Whilst these books were less well known here in the UK, they echo the times well enough! Painstakingly keying in lines and lines of BASIC, frustration at random shut-downs and typo-driven bugs… heady days.
These books, and the programs therein, are important milestones in computing history, so it’s fantastic that Jeff and others are looking to preserve the ethos behind them with a Github repo dedicated to the code in these old games.