Saturday, August 9, 2014

recreational programming

there is no finer satisfaction in the world of recreational programming than banging out a shoot em up

home computers in my day may have had a joystick but there was no carpal tunnel solitaire controller, oh no

and after 6 months the space bar had lost it's bounce... but as long as the shift keys were in good working order, for code compile play cycles, the hands didn't need to go anywhere but the good old keyboard

the act of plugging in a raspberry pi seems to have provoked a search for my inner 13 year old,

back then the apple ][ assembler source was readable in the red book of woz and the 6502 instruction set had been reduced to a single photo copyable cheat sheet of hex codes and operand logic

my mate mark sibly had written a david bowie loader routine that instead of reading binary files from the tape backup system in apple ][ allowed you to listen to digitised music for the very first time, ever. bowie is so cool he survived conversion to square waves remarkably well

we also churned out a lot of shooters.

you could walk into the selwyn computer room some afternoons and everyone would be playing sibly's latest, first text based trs-80 inspired shooters, then williams inspired pixel based shooters

skool was apples, while at home was vic 20.

two friends sell bike, slotcars and get brand new $230 home computer system with games from place called England, games that broke all rules in recreational video game design. Similar to the invention of very loud rock music, the english had a talent for fostering genius in recreational software design.

and so, my young friends behaving so well, a slightly nostalgic adventure with Raspberry PI home computer begins...