talkgroup

BASICODE: the 8-bit programming API that crossed the Berlin Wall

I found myself VERY interested in this talk, I tripped over it early in the schedule this year and I went back several times early this week waiting for video to land.

This talk goes into how a few players in the 8 bit basic software market in europe found a common interoperability standard built to interop with all the various basic formats; as well as a common standard for radio transmission of said software, and how it was shared across the berlin wall.

Page has a github repo with documentation and modern browser based interpreters for the basicode standard.

https://fosdem.org/2020/schedule/event/retro_basicode_8_bit_programming_api/

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I’d heard about the radio transmissions before, but not the BASICODE concept. I like this example of people being inventive, taking what limited technology was available to them, and still figuring out a way to share their knowledge and programs with each other.

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Very much so! I almost wish the common basicode concept had more legs outside of the corners of europe it was in. I had on occasion touched basic on a couple of sub models of Apple II s I scrounged up when I was young, and a lot of the basic books on Archive.org have on occasion stirred a lot of nostalgia in me. I’ve also on occasion thought RiscOS with it’s BBC Basic looked neat.

Just seems like being able to share code even more easily across the basic dialects would be a good idea. ( Not that it cant usually be cludged out between them all anyway. )

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