1. Not old. Vintage. :)

Atari Turbo Basic?

Discussion in 'SIG: Atari 8-Bit Software' started by AlexDrito, Dec 15, 2021.

  1. by AlexDrito

    AlexDrito Deckhand

    Blog Posts:

    recently I started a new section on RetroMagazine World (www.retromagazine.net) about fractals drawn with the limited capabilities of our beloved 8-bit microcomputers. You can find the 1st part on issue #11-EN. In the 2nd part, I'm to publish a listing for the Atari 8-bit machines which features the use of Atari Turbo Basic and draws the Lorenz attractor curve using the high-resolution screen. Here is the listing:


    10 GRAPHICS 8+16:SETCOLOR 1,1,14:COLOR 1
    20 R=10:S=28:B=8/3: D=2.0E-03
    30 X=0.1:Y=0:Z=0
    40 FOR I=1 TO 16000
    50 XP=160+5.7*X:YP=96-3*Y
    60 IF XP>0 AND XP<319 AND YP>0 AND YP<192
    70 PLOT XP,YP
    80 ENDIF
    90 XX=X+D*R*(Y-X)
    100 YY=Y+D*(X*(S-Z)-Y)
    110 Z=Z+D*(X*Y-B*Z)
    120 X=XX:Y=YY
    130 NEXT I
    150 IF PEEK($D01F)<>6 THEN 150

    Now my question to you: is the Turbo Basic any different from the default BASIC of a standard XL/XE machine? I mean, does this listing need a special version of the Atari Basic? Maybe some graphical commands need an advanced implementation (i.e. SETCOLOR, PLOT)? I've found this listing in an obscure website without comments or instructions.

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2021
  2. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
    Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine

    Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine Captain

    Blog Posts:
    I have never programmed in BASIC (well so few times it almost counts) as I went straight to 6502 machine language. Just as a point of reference, Altirra's own Basic is an incredible update from Phaeron, it's basically turbo'ed compared to the old one, it has the odd deviant, I think there may be issues with the CONT command.

    But it does run that code..
    AlexDrito likes this.
  3. by AlexDrito

    AlexDrito Deckhand

    Blog Posts:
    So actually they are two different objects with some differences in their commands and syntax? And Turbo Basic is completely backward-compatible with the standard Basic of the old Atari 400/800.
  4. by M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

    Blog Posts:
    Turbo Basic, OSS BASIC A+/XL/XE variants, as far as vintage BASIC's from the 80's go, are all 100% backward compatible with Atari Basic. In fact, the three OSS variants are Atari Basic improved and improved again, as OSS was the company that wrote the original BASIC Rev. A (Atari programmers made B and C revisions). Atari chose not to keep using OSS's latest revisions so OSS sold them on their own. But, all these BASIC's have extended commands so if you use any of them, the program won't run on Atari BASIC.

    Modern BASIC's including Altirra and FASTbasic, from what I understand, are also backward compatible with Atari BASIC. Every alternate version mentioned is also slightly faster than the one before the latest ones at least 10 times as fast as Atari Basic.

    I use OSS's BASIC XE myself, because it is compatible with SDX and you can move freely back and forth between them, while with Turbo BASIC, it can be launched from SDX, but you have to save your work from inside BASIC before you return to SDX. I can also use SDX's 65 and 80 column software text modes with BASIC XE, which makes it so much better than 40 columns of TB. Though I think you can use TB with other 80 column software drivers and custom roms like Omniview with 80 column support. Plus with OSS's BASIC XE I get very simple to use extra memory, upto 128K for BASIC XE and also along with SDX using extra banks for it and ramdisks on top, I can actually put to use all my 576K or 1088K on my two Atari's to full use while in the BASIC XE/SDX environments.

    Though IIRC, Turbo BASIC is faster than BASIC XE, especially if compiled. Probably about 10-15% faster, but BASIC XE already runs ATARI BASIC programs 5-10 times faster! And of course Altirra and FastBASIC are even faster,marginally.
    AlexDrito likes this.

Share This Page