Author: James Jones

Programmer since 1971. First heard of a Unix-like OS for 6809-based computers called OS-9 in the early 1980s, and went to work for a fellow so I could use his Smoke Signal Broadcasting Chieftain and learn more about OS-9. Eventually Microware Systems Corporation, the creators of OS-9, offered me a job, and I spent fifteen years mostly working on compilers. In passing got a Tandy CoCo 3, and an MM/1 , a MM/1a, and a VME-bus box to run OS-9/68000. After a brief flirtation with OS/2 Warp, I switched to Linux and haven't looked back--much--though I will use Windows under duress--er, when necessary. Now I enjoy this era in which skilled hobbyists can do things we'd have killed for back in the day for insanely little money (even ignoring how little dollars are worth now)--I hope that now we will get the kind of computer the CoCo could have become

Old Code and Benchmarks and BASIC09

BASIC09 source of Ahl benchmark

(Apologies to Tom T. Hall; I couldn’t resist, and it leaves room for a followup.) Recently a gentleman asked me whether I have a CoCo 3 (more formally, a TRS-80 Color Computer 3). He was curious about whether I could run a couple of benchmarks both in Color BASIC and in BASIC09. I do have a CoCo 3, but I…

BASIC09 I-code: what it is, and why

I’ve repeatedly referred to I-code in previous articles. Let’s go into some more detail, and in passing correct a mistaken impression I may have given. What distinguishes I-code from other virtual machine code As you enter, edit, or load source code with basic09, it is converted to I-code. I-code is commonly likened to code for virtual machines, like the JVM…

BASIC09 Control Structures

What programmers debated in the old days Nowadays people argue about object-oriented versus functional programming or dynamic versus static typing. But back in the day, it was all about┬ástructured programming. The brouhaha started with a letter E.W. Dijkstra wrote and which was published in Communications of the ACM in March of 1968 under the title “Go To Statement Considered Harmful“….

Want Fast BASIC? Try BASIC09

listing of BASIC09 test procedure

Allen Huffman is graciously sharing ways to speed up programs written for the family of Microsoft BASIC interpreters common on personal computers of the time that interests us, including the various flavors of Color BASIC. These ways all boil down to Modify your code to work around the limitations the BASIC interpreter inherited from its origins on systems with extremely…