BBC Acorn Electron

After a couple of years I sold the VIC 20 and bought a BBC Acorn Electron. This machine boasted an impressive (at the time) 32k of RAM and used Basic as it’s main programming language. With this I further enhanced my skills as a developer. The other advantage of the Electron was that it allowed for the writing of assembly language programs. Does anyone else remember this?

20 GOTO 10

Another staple of early 80s Basic programming was the GOTO statement. Does anyone remember the following starter program that every child knew in the 80s :


20 GOTO 10


This standard ìnfinite loop could provide hours of fun.

VIC 20 Gaming

After learning to program in Basic I was then drawn into the world of games programming. This was using some of the Usborne books where you would type in hundreds  (sometimes thousands) of lines of Basic code in order to develop a very limited Space Invaders type game. Please feel free to comment on your experiences from the early 1980s era of programming and games development.

ZX81 to VIC20

At the same time as I was enjoying the Atari 2600 console the first home computers for mass market were appearing. The ZX81 had only 1Kb of Ram with tape storage. The keys were touch pad keys (not to be confused with touchscreens nowadays) and the display was black and white. To obtain my first home computer I sold my Atari and received a Commodore VIC20 for Christmas. This had 3.5Kb of Ram and a colour display. It came with a book and cassette tapes called Teach Yourself Basic. Please feel free to share your early coding experiences on this site.

In the Beginning

My journey started back in the early 80s when I first gained an interest in electronic gaming. This was in the days of the Atari 2600 console. The first game I had with it was Combat which was a 2 player game. I immediately became hooked. At the back of my mind was a curiosity about how the game was constructed. I also started gaming in arcades and again the fascination remained about game development. It was shortly afterwards that my enjoyment of programming began.