Microsoft open sources GWBASIC

Tony Duell ard.p850ug1 at
Tue May 26 11:25:11 CDT 2020

On Tue, May 26, 2020 at 12:44 PM Liam Proven via cctalk
<cctalk at> wrote:

> And whereas it's easy to forget now, I think the roles of colour and
> sound in gaining the attention of children is underestimated.
> I look at the specs and capabilities of something like the Acorn Atom
> in 1980 -- _way_ ahead of a ZX80 or ZX81, and to me now, looking back,
> far more desirable (and far more expensive, of course). But to me at
> 12? Black and white, silent? REPEAT...UNTIL loops? *BOOOORING!*

Err, the Acorn Atom could do colour at least in some graphics modes.
It used the 6847 video chip that turned up in the Tandy Color
Computer/Dragon. Maybe the base machine was monochrome video only, but
there was a PAL encoder board available (offically from Acorn) that
fitted inside.

> > ham radio shack was slang for wherever a amateur radio hobbyist set up.
> > Other than that, "shack" referred to an improvised/impromptu dwelling,

FWIW, 'Shack' is a commonly used in the UK in the amateur radio sense.
When I was at university (late 1980s) the amateur radio club had a
litteral wooden shed on a nearby farm containing the transmitters and
receivers. It was always called the 'shack'

> > such as ones made of tar paper, so it had similar negative connotations to
> > everybody but amateur radio.  When they wanted to move upscale, they set
> > up "Tandy Computer Centers/Stores" to start to get away from the "Radio
> > Shack name.  It was ABOUT 1983 that they discontinued using the "Radio
> > Shack" name.  Transition is apparent betwen models of the Model 100 and
> > the "Color Computer".
> Aha!
> Bear in mind, as I said, we didn't have most TRS-80 models here. The

Yes we did!. The only TRS-80 that I know not to have been officially
sold in the UK was the Color Computer 3 (the one with the MMU, up to
512K RAM, 80 column screen etc). I had to have mine sent from a dealer
in the States. The Model 1, Model 3, Model 4 family were all sold over
here in Tandy shops. So were the 'business' machines with 8" drives --
the Model 2, Model 12 and Model 16. And the laptops, Model 100 and
Model 200 at least. I _think_ the Tandy 2000 IBM-incompatible was sold
over here too. The Tandy 1000 series and later PC compatibles were
certainly sold in Tandy shops (but I wasn't interested in those).

> CoCo was the 6809 one, right? The underlying reference design was put
> in a different case and sold as the Dragon 32 here.

There were a few changes (the most annoying one being that the basic
tokens were in a different order so a tokenised program saved on a
Dragon would not load into a Color Computer or vice versa). But yes,
both based on the Motorola application notes for the 6883 SAM chip.

Was OS-9 ever officially sold for the Dragon? It was for the Color
Computer range (and was sold in the UK in Tandy shops, along with
BASIC-09, Pascal, C compiler, etc)

>  > I never got an Amstrad, but I was impressed with the 3" disk design, and
> > had some 3" drives.
> Hitachi designed I believe.

Hitachi certainly made 3" drives (I have some), they may well have
been the originators of that disk. I don't think the Amstrad drives
were Hitachi though, the ones I saw were nowhere near as well made as
the Hitachi drives I have


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