Enforcers — 3 Comments

  1. FWWI, I’d have just written “Atari ST” — which model isn’t that relevant and if you write “Atari 1040”, I (who owned a 1040ST in 1989) will start out assuming it’s one of the early Atari 8 bit machines that were basically general purpose versions of the game machines (or just game machines).

    The ST never had the traction of the Amiga, PC, or Mac, but it wasn’t that dire, overall. The performance was similar to an Amiga and it was popular enough to have many/most Amiga games also get made for it as well. I still wouldn’t have released a game with that as the sole character spreadsheet, but then, electronic supplements were rare in 1985.

  2. It’s more the “type it in” part I find amusing. I know from painful experience in the days of Creative Computing that when a program you need to type in exceeds a very low minimum size, you will enter in bugs, and tracking them can be very difficult as you flip from the paper listing to the code listing and back.

    A few years later, you’d have a BBS number to DL the sheet from, a few years after that, an FTP site.

    • What’s weird to me is that the ST didn’t have a standard computing language! It’s part of the 16 bit generation, not the 8 bit which usually had basic and magazines of type-in-able programs available designed to leverage this (before, but continuing througgh the period where there were plenty of programs you could buy on disc as well, to the point where Compute etc started shipping with a disc themselves so you didn’t actually have to type the code in).

      The ST, by contrast, is a full GUI OS. Of course, you could still have people type in a binary program. And, I suppose, “St Basic” ws technically bundled with the machines, but in all the years I used it, I don’t think I ever started that up; I went from a pile of pirated games that were my main incentive to buy that system rather than an Amiga, to downloading and installing gcc and much of the rest of the Gnu uitlities (in which case I’d expect to compile programs in C, not Basic — I knoew I had it spend hours recompiling emacs for the ST at more than one point).

      So yeah, having a program you type in for a 16 bit computer, while common for the 8 bit ones (I’m not convinced I ever did type an 8 bit program in either, but then my typing didn’t take a massive speed upgrade (and accuracy, despite still making plenty of typos) up until I had a modem and then Internet connection and was chatting with people online every day) was a super rare thing in the late ’80s, when I the ST was even available.

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