Reissued: David Ahl's BASIC Computer Games
By James Grahame
Here's exciting news for anyone who learned BASIC programming in the late 1970s and early 1980s -- Philip Conrod has republished David H. Ahl's classic Basic Computer Games book.
I learned a lot from the dog-eared copy in my local library, especially since one has lots of time to think while laboriously keying in a program line-by-line. The modern e-book edition has been updated to work perfectly with the new Microsoft Small Basic compiler. And, unlike days of yore, the e-book allows you to cut and paste code directly into Small Basic.
Conrod tells us, "You can now relive all those classic games like Super Star Trek, MUGWUMP and Lunar LEM Rocket. The 2010 Small Basic Edition includes almost all the classic BASIC games that inspired a generation of programmers but now in Microsoft Small Basic for a new generation of kids."
Basic Computer Games SBE ($14.95 / $17.50) is available in several versions. The least expensive doesn't include the whimsical George Beker robot illustrations that made the original so much fun to browse. My advice? Spend the extra couple of bucks for the full visual experience.
Microsoft Small Basic is a free download (XP, Vista and Win 7), making this an ideal platform for educators, parents, nostalgic senior business analysts and tenured professors who wish to relive their long-haired youth.
It's great to see this classic coding book back in print, especially for under $20. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some typing to do...