mikerr
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Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:46 am

Many of us learned programming from these books,
nice to see them made free and downloadable:

Image

http://www.usborne.com/catalogue/featur ... books.aspx
Android app - Raspi Card Imager - download and image SD cards - No PC required !

TheGuyUk
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:50 am

Interesting to know, wonder how many will be starting up the old classic computer emulators..

skspurling
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:36 pm

I can see a new topic... how to build an ms basic bootable os/image for the pi zero! I have more than a couple of those books in my library.

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helpful
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:09 pm

TheGuyUk wrote:Interesting to know, wonder how many will be starting up the old classic computer emulators..
Or simply download RISC OS and run them naitively on your Pi!

Use RISC OS Pico for the full retro BBC Micro style experience :-)

https://www.riscosopen.org/content/down ... spberry-pi

Bryan.

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r3d4
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:08 pm

helpful wrote: Or simply download RISC OS and run them naitively on your Pi!

Use RISC OS Pico for the full retro BBC Micro style experience :-)
Some one should let them know this is possible :roll: "on modern computers"
usborne.com wrote:These books were written for 1980s computers such as the ZX Spectrum and BBC Micro.
The programs will not run on modern computers.
also they say
If you'd like to download a free copy of any of these books, just click on a cover.
&
You can provide a link to the pdfs from your website, but you may not host or distribute the original files.

Code: Select all

http://www.usborne.com/downloads/books/1980s-computer-books/programming-tricks-and-skills.pdf
http://www.usborne.com/downloads/books/1980s-computer-books/machine-code-for-beginners.pdf
http://www.usborne.com/downloads/books/1980s-computer-books/computer-programming.pdf
http://www.usborne.com/downloads/books/1980s-computer-books/practical-things-to-do-with-a-microcomputer.pdf
:twisted: "just click" ...

Code: Select all

#!/usr/bin/env bash
# thanks usborne ! xD
tdir=~/Desktop/1980s-computer-books
mkdir $tdir
cd $tdir
wget http://www.usborne.com/downloads/books/1980s-computer-books/{programming-tricks-and-skills.pdf,machine-code-for-beginners.pdf,computer-programming.pdf,practical-things-to-do-with-a-microcomputer.pdf}

mikerr
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:42 pm

skspurling wrote:I can see a new topic... how to build an ms basic bootable os/image for the pi zero! I have more than a couple of those books in my library.
A while back I made a minibian image that boots into RTB Basic:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/rtbbasicbootablepi/
Android app - Raspi Card Imager - download and image SD cards - No PC required !

Navyscourge
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:40 pm

There are 15 books to download from that site. I have looked at some of them and I think that those programs should be quite easy to recreate on the Pi using one of the several versions of BASIC that are available. I don't know how good any of these programs are

(Just going to get my tin hat for when the "BASIC is a horrid language" posts start appearing :) )

Heater
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:31 pm

"BASIC is a horrid language"

Glad you said it first :)
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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DougieLawson
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:04 pm

Heater wrote:"BASIC is a horrid language"
No it isn't, if you want to start the language wars I'll put it forward that "python is a horrid language", at least BASIC has nice sensible line numbers and doesn't rely on stupid left hand white space.

The problem with the Usbourne books is that you need a Z80 emulator (with the right flavour of BASIC) and a BBC Micro 6502 emulator. I had a quick skim of the machine code book (and it's full of PEEK and POKE done in BASIC).

There's a CPC464 emulator which runs on the RPi, there's a Tangerine Microtan 65 emulator (not sure if it includes the BASIC ROMS) but those both have alien flavours of BASIC compared to the BBC Micro.
Note: Having anything humorous in your signature is completely banned on this forum. Wear a tin-foil hat and you'll get a ban.

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PeterO
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:15 pm

Some where I have MBASIC on 8" floppies for CP/M 2.2 :-)
PeterO
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Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

Heater
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:17 pm

Yes, Python is horrid. As is Perl, Pascal, PHP, PL/M, Postscript and Prolog. See pattern here? Stay away from any language that starts with a "P". There are many more.

(Python does have this neat trick of being able to work with gigantically huge integers without flinching though)

BASIC is also horrid. But at least it is dead simple. Perfect for an intro to the concepts of programming.

Modern "BASICs" with no line numbers and proper structured programming concepts built in of course have no reason to exist. They are not really BASIC at all. We have C, Pascal, JS and many others to do that with proper standardization and cross platform support.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

TheGuyUk
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:59 pm

Being a old ZX Spectrum user I have no clue on Rasp Pi programming but a internet search did pop this Tiny article up.


https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/tinyba ... pberry-pi/

R37R0
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:29 pm

Cheers for the link, i remember playing with basic and logo at school. Great first languages to introduce the ideas.
I think pascal is another important language because it encourages structured programming, it was a good introduction to C..

I guess pascal is not fasionable enough any more...

TheGuyUk
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:30 am

For those wanting Sinclair basic

A internet search found this.

https://sites.google.com/site/pauldunn/home

TheGuyUk
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:43 am

Old history link
http://www.ittybittycomputers.com/IttyBitty/TinyBasic/

And someone running microcontrollers with basic
http://www.tinybasic.de

jahboater
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:03 am

Heater wrote:Yes, Python is horrid. As is Perl, Pascal, PHP, PL/M, Postscript and Prolog. See pattern here? Stay away from any language that starts with a "P". There are many more.
PL/1 is a fine language! As for BASIC (Baby's All-purpose Simple Instruction Code), like assembler on old 8-bit micros, proper basic (Dartmouth Basic) is a real mental challenge to write anything useful of any size.

I applied for a job as a systems programmer once (a long time ago). Prior to the interview was a programming test, you could write it in any language you liked. Many people chose BASIC for some reason, and none of those completed the program in the allotted time, most got in a hopeless mess. (I used Algol 68 and got the job).

Heater
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:59 am

jahboater,

I have never used PL/1, it was an IBM main frame thing if I recall correctly. I have read many complaints about it though.

I said PL/M, specifically PL/M 86. A C/Pascal like language from Intel. Created by Gary Kildall of CP/M fame.

Algol 68 was my first high level language. I don't count BASIC as HLL. It was a wonderful thing. Algol is basically the mother of all modern programming languages.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

jahboater
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:21 am

Heater wrote:I have never used PL/1, it was an IBM main frame thing if I recall correctly. I have read many complaints about it though.
I mentioned it merely as a possible exception to your list of languages starting with P. I didn't know it well, but it was very powerful. It made the mistake of having everything as a feature of the language, unlike C, say, which is a simple language with a very powerful run time library (and therefore much easier to write compilers for). I think PL/1 is still available on IBM mainframes and probably AIX.

Yes, the silver "Algol 68 Revised Report" - you must have understood it!
I think CPL, BCPL, B, C etc got their "assignment is just an operator" thing from Algol 68.

Perhaps an aversion to 'P' is why the successor to C was named C++, not P (next letter after B and C in BCPL).

Pithagoros
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:26 am

R37R0 wrote:Cheers for the link, i remember playing with basic and logo at school. Great first languages to introduce the ideas.
I think pascal is another important language because it encourages structured programming, it was a good introduction to C..

I guess pascal is not fasionable enough any more...
Borland took the Pascal baton and ran with it with Delphi and could have done a lot better than they did, I guess those days are what taught us about the problems of fragmentation. Modula 2 and Oberon both still have a bit if a following.

My first taste of computing was with basic, and dubious practices such as using single character variable names to try and squeeze into the sparse RAM that was available then (I still used "I" for integer in a loop counter in C nowadays :) . That is what forced me into Assembler, so it had at least one beneficial effect.

Have a look at the Tiobe Index for programming languages, which measures internet buzz and chatter. Pascal still weighs in at 10th place.:

http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/ ... index.html
Last edited by Pithagoros on Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:30 am, edited 3 times in total.

TheGuyUk
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:28 am

Seems Basic was born out of need and the availably computer features at the time.


http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?DartmouthBasic

Heater
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:28 am

jahboater,
Perhaps an aversion to 'P' is why the successor to C was named C++, not P (next letter after B and C in BCPL).
Interesting concept, that P should come after C because of BCPL.

Thinking about it...Perhaps C++ should have been called P. It is a pretty disgusting mess of a language after all. Like all the other "P" languages :)
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

jahboater
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:33 am

Heater wrote:jahboater,
Perhaps an aversion to 'P' is why the successor to C was named C++, not P (next letter after B and C in BCPL).
Interesting concept, that P should come after C because of BCPL.
I have a vague memory that after B and C, they couldn't decide between D as in abcD, or P as in bcPL and so avoided the issue, choosing C++ instead. I'm sure a C++ expert will correct me.

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Jednorozec
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:06 pm

Pithagoros wrote:I still used "I" for integer in a loop counter in C nowadays :)
I learned C from the 1st edition of K&R and they used i and j for loop counters. If it was good enough for K&R ...
The most important leg of a three legged stool is the one that's missing.
It's called thinking. Why don't you try it sometime?

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Jednorozec
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Re: Usbourne - 80s learn programming books now free

Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:11 pm

Heater wrote:I have never used PL/1, it was an IBM main frame thing if I recall correctly. I have read many complaints about it though.
I was writing Fortran code on IBM mainframes in the mid 60's and took a look at PL/1. It seemed like a Perfectly Ludicrous combination of Fortran and Cobol.
The most important leg of a three legged stool is the one that's missing.
It's called thinking. Why don't you try it sometime?

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