I drug out my old magazines a week or two ago for a thread on AA, and I've started flipping through them again. Then I came across COMPUTE! June 1985 Issue 61, Vol. 7. No. 6 (specific weren't they?)
This issue had an article just for Atari 8-bits entitled 'Page Flipping On The Atari', which included a 3 column, less than one page type-in program which displayed a spinning globe, (like 3-5 frames). There were two versions, for 16K and 48K machines, medium resolution or High. The shorter, medium resolution version was the first program I ever typed in. Even though I had a brand-spanking-new 128K 130XE computer, because I didn't even have a storage device like a tape recorder yet. A week or two later I bought my first Tape recorder, called the Taihaho. Then my second ever type-in program was the high res version of this page-flipping globe. I even tore the page out that had the listing on it, I recall I did this because the magazine kept flipping pages on me while I tried to type it in, even with weights set on it; the paper was so slick! That page is still here, just stuffed inside the pages.
This was also the very first Compute! or computer magazine related to or including Atari I ever purchased, exactly two months before I bought my 130XE! There is some serious irony as well, as I bought the magazine to take it home and show my Father in a final last ditch effort, in a vain attempt of financial support (50/50) to get the Apple IIc computer in the ad below! The angle being we share the computer and he could do the house hold bills on it and his writing, and I would use it for school and learning to program. NO. (a year or two later a friend of my dad's talked him into a PC clone.) After that, I learned of the new 128K Atari 130XE that I could afford on my own, and the rest is history. One of the best decisions of my life. Thanks Dad! R.I.P.
I can't recall the first Atari program I typed in, ever, but I am pretty sure it was from Compute! magazine, as that was the only Atari magazine I could find anywhere by the time I came into the Atari home computer scene. Before that, I was cutting my teeth on a TI-99/4a and data recorder.
I typed in everything I could get my hands on from Compute! and recollect planning to go back and make all those other systems' programs converted to Atari, too. Just one of my numerous pie-in-the-sky ambitions, of course.
I think ANTIC was the next magazine I found, but ANALOG stole my heart when I started finding old issues in a small computer shop's markdown bin (they were already moving to ST and Amiga by that point, and today are heavy into networking and are a pretty decent ISP provider, too). The games in ANALOG were QUALITY as far as I was concerned, and the payoff of typing pages of ML always paid off from that publication. Tom Hunt was a programming god to me back then, I admit!
ANTIC was fantastic for utilitarian programs, though. The article you mentioned being a great example of acquainting the home programmer with the concept of page flipping on the Atari.
Compute!'s books are an amazing resource for diving into programming, as well. My first copy of Ian Chadwick's Mapping the Atari (Revised Edition) was and still is the meat-and-potatoes of my Atari reference library and although I've forgotten nearly everything that book educated me about when it comes to the internal workings of the Atari 8-bit system, I can and do still pick up that venerable, careworn book and lose myself in it every time.
Type-in program listings were an essential element in my learning to program on the Atari, although I barely scratched the surface in Machine Language by the time the IBM XT entered my computing life, initiating the gradual abandonment of my Atari-centric ambitions. BASIC (and later, BASIC XL and finally BASIC XE), up to the very end, seemed to do everything I needed. Still, the attraction of being able to speak to the system in ML never really left, and here I am now, back but not quite... with pie-in-the-sky ambitions both new and old, eager to see what kind of trouble I can get myself into as I plunge into the waters of 8-bit programming.
PS. I spent a few months over the past year going through every page of my collections of Compute! and ANTIC, noting every article I could find that I expect will play a role in my programming goals. ANALOG still needs to be sifted through, as well, as I remember there being some well-written coverage on certain OS and system aspects that I need to refresh in my head.
======== "The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned so very very brightly Roy."— Tyrell, Blade Runner ======== Atari on, everyone, and tarry not. ======== For long you live and high you fly And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry And all you touch and all you see Is all your life will ever be... —Breathe, Pink Floyd
It just occurred to me that that 'Webster dines out' game program that they talk about on the front cover of that Compute! magazine was like the second Type in listings I ever did. Obviously out of that one magazine I started with...
I'm going to type in this globe and 'Webster dines out' type-ins out of this compute magazine again Just for kicks. One of those "come full circle" type of things...I will, of course, have to save them to cassette.
I stopped typing stuff in after that, it took longer to debug my terrible typing than it did to type them in in the first place, so the next thing I typed in was a version of TYPO from Antic that Atari User reprinted and started listing the tables for. After that I must have typed in every listing they printed.
I remember a section where they would print 5 line programs (all ridiculously long lines) and I would really enjoy typing those ones in.
cant remember all the titles, but i typed in a game where you had to build walls around a ball, an agonising type in was 'munchy madness' as it was just endless lines of code instead of the usual basic commands. then the ones where you had to type in the graphics for the different screens were rather a sod to type in, but i used to love doing it anyway!