My First BASIC Program
In 1977, at Boronia High School, our Maths teacher Mrs Taggart ran a computer programming class as a minor elective. Having been fascinated by computers since I was a small child, this was an obvious choice for me. Mrs Taggart brought a Texas Instruments thermal printing terminal to class, and, using the accoustic coupler modem on the back, connected us to a timesharing system running BASIC at Monash University. Each student took turns at typing in and running their programs. Nearly three decades later, I still have the printout of my very first session in front of a computer. In it, I successfully enter and run my program to convert centimetres to inches, and then get hopelessly confused and frustrated by an error, before, I suspect, the teacher came over and sorted it out for me.
NEW SUM2 READY 10 INPUT C 20 LET I\I T\ ILLEGAL VERB AT LINE 20 READY 20 LET I=C*2.55 30 PRINT "INCHES="I 40 EN$ ILLEGAL VERB AT LINE 40 READY 40 END REPLACE READY RUN SUM2 02:09 PM 26-OCT-77 ? 10 INCHES= 25.5 READY 1.5 ILLEGAL VERB AT LINE 1 READY $_\_\ WHERE WHAT? CFIQPAVC!A WHERE WHAT? READY WHERE IS ILLEGAL VERB WHAT? READY 10 INPUT C RUN SUM2 02:13 PM 26-OCT-77 ILLEGAL STATEMENT AT LINE 1 READY WHERE IS ILLEGAL STATEMENT AT LINE 1 WHAT? READY HALLO WHAT? READY 10 INPUT C RU\U\ WHAT? READY RUN SUM2 02:17 PM 26-OCT-77 ILLEGAL STATEMENT AT LINE 1 READY $ON\NO\ RUN SUM2 02:17 PM 26-OCT-77 ILLEGAL STATEMENT AT LINE 1 READY 1 \ \A=8 RUN SUM2 02:18 PM 26-OCT-77 ? 1.5 INCHES= 3.825 READY RUN SUM2 02:18 PM 26-OCT-77 ? 6 INCHES= 15.3 READY
What's vaguely disturbing is that I just noticed the program itself has a bug - it's converting from inches to cm, not the other way as intended.... Doh!
Anyway, that's my first ten minutes in front of a real live computer. Thus began a life of programming...
Patrick Jordan - email@example.com - 2005-03-31