Advanced BASIC ROM User Guide

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Advanced BASIC ROM User Guide

Post by dv8 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:03 am

Attached is an OCRed and re-typeset copy of The Advanced BASIC ROM User Guide by Colin Pharo.

The zip file also includes an SSD containing all the listings in the book.
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Re: Advanced BASIC ROM User Guide

Post by lurkio » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:05 pm

Great book, outstanding digitisation!

=D> =D> =D>

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Re: Advanced BASIC ROM User Guide

Post by sweh » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:24 am

I learned so much from this book! I'm pretty sure it almost cost me an "A" in Computer Studies at O Level.

See, there was a section on how floating point numbers were stored. And after the teacher went through the lesson I said "this is wrong; what you've described is _fixed point_ numbers. There's always 3dp in your examples". Next week she came back and said "yes, you're right".

Roll forward... and the o-level exam had a question on floating point numbers. And so, of course, I used exactly how the Beeb stored numbers (based on this book) and not the incorrect lesson.

Final grade was a "B". Huh. So we paid to get the exam re-marked. I got an "A" with the comment "The student provided an alternate but correct answer to the question".

30+ years later and I'm still convinced the official exam was wrong on floating point numbers!

And much kudos for the excellent quality PDF.

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Re: Advanced BASIC ROM User Guide

Post by Coeus » Tue May 15, 2018 4:58 pm

Indeed, thanks dv8.

On the question of the floating point numbers it reminds me that when we did computer studies at school a few of us in the class were familiar with microprocessors and microprocessor assembly language whereas the course was probably based on mainframe computing. The one I remember was an example assembly language for some fictional computer which had a multiply instruction and I remember thinking "not on anything I've seen - usually you have to write a subroutine for that".

I wonder how much floating point was used on mainframes. Probably not at all in most COBOL programs. Maybe in FORTRAN. I also wonder if there was confusion by assuming that real numbers were held in floating point form. Of course they could be, a microprocessor BASICs generally did, but fixed point (scaled) representations would have also been practical for some applications.

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