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Subject: Fast (Cartridge) BASIC by Computer Concepts
This is the only article in this thread
View: Original Format
Date: 1987-06-24 08:46:01 PST
Some additional comments on Fast (Cartridge) BASIC (original comments in
Info-Atari16 Digest Vol 87 Issue 196, review in May 87 Antic):
1. Fast BASIC will not operate properly with a RAM-disk installed. This
is annoying but understandable: Fast BASIC addresses all of memory and
allows up to 10 programs to be resident in memory simultaneously. To give
Fast BASIC a fair test get rid of your RAM-disk or you will see bombs at
every opportunity.
2. Fast BASIC allows you to dimension large arrays but it has a serious
error in its memory allocation algorithm. Memory is allocated to arrays
modulo 131072 bytes, so an array needing this number of bytes will have
no memory reserved for it. The algorithm which locates array elements
works properly, but other arrays and multi-symbol variables will over-
write the array elements. We solve the problem of working with 360k
arrays by dimensioning to just over 393216 bytes (which reserves no
memory) and letting BASIC have the bottom 32k to store smaller arrays.
We then have no trouble BLOADing and BSAVing 360k data blocks directly
into the dimensioned array. (This isn't a pretty fix, but it works.)
3. Given Fast BASIC's problems is it worth using? - We certainly think
so. Three of the four 1040ST's in the lab have Fast BASIC cartridges
installed permanently, and the fourth would have if it were not for the
process control interface installed in the cartridge slot. A 1040ST with
Fast BASIC is a generation more advanced than the same computer with
ST BASIC, so we would probably scrap the 1040ST in favor of a more
advanced computer rather than go back to ST BASIC.
Jack Ord, Physics Department
University of Waterloo

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