Back to BASIC

I fancied doing some BASIC programming yesterday and wrote a prime sieve in PC-BASIC. It can list primes up to about 10,000 at a decent speed but struggles with larger numbers because of memory and data type limitations in BASIC. Here is a screenshot showing the program and its output.

Besides BASIC, other old computer tech has occupied my time lately. I run a VM with Red Hat Linux 4.2, which I first used in 1997, and code in C and C++ inside the VM. I also switched from the feature-rich GNOME desktop environment to the rudimentary Fvwm window manager.

My explanation for this trend is that I am rediscovering computers as a hobby, now that my new job does not require me to learn about them as an occupational necessity. I can enjoy using old operating systems and programming languages that I could not explore to sufficient depth as I speed-learnt to my present level. Take programming for example— I barely spent time coding in BASIC once I was comfortable with it and instead quickly moved on to Pascal, Clipper[1], Visual Basic, Java, and so on.

I suppose I am in a similar situation with my photography. From lusting for the latest digital cameras, I now take more pleasure from the slow and intentional motions involved in operating old film cameras.

Either it is that, or it is simply nostalgia showing my age.

[1] Clipper is the first language that I used for serious programming. I did my project for GCE O-Level Computer Studies with Clipper.

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