[ubuntu-uk] A-levels (was Royal Society)

Sean Miller sean at seanmiller.net
Fri Aug 27 12:00:14 BST 2010

I can't answer your question, Mark, as we're peers, but I think that
the BBC Micro was a great teaching tool because it allowed structured
programming in BASIC which most of the other home PCs did not.

Sinclair, and Commodore, both used a lot of GOTO and GOSUB statements.
 They were "strictly banned" at my school... DEFPROC and DEFFN were
encouraged, and that meant we had to think out the structure of our
programs before we wrote them, which was important when we moved on to
"more grown up" languages such as 'C'... also, using memory...

I recall writing a "Prestel clone" at school where the "pages" (if you
recall in Prestel you had a page and then you had 'a-z' sub-pages
within it) were loaded into memory rather than each being read from
disk which not only gave incredible performance improvement but also
made us think about memory management, something I doubt anybody gives
a thought to these days.  So, for instance, you'd go to page (say) 800
and it'd load a-z in at the same time from one file.  Then copied
using the hex memory locations byte to byte to the "mode 7 screen
area" when switching from a->b, b->c etc.

Like you, I don't think there was ever a "credible" 'A' Level
Computing offered to me... most of my programming happened at home, or
in lunch breaks.  Ah, the freedom of a 5.25" floppy ;-)


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