BASIC Programming

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BASIC Programming attempted to teach simple computer programming on the Atari 2600.

BASIC Programming was released for the Atari 2600 console in 1979. One of only a few non-gaming cartridges, this program allowed consumers to create some simple programs using its own unique programming language, which was superficially similar to dialects of BASIC, but differed in many important respects. The extremely small RAM memory size of the Atari 2600, 128 bytes, severely restricted the possibilities of this cartridge.

The BASIC Programming display is divided into six regions:

  • "Program" - where instructions are written (maximum of nine lines of code).
  • "Stack" - shows temporary results of what your program does.
  • "Variables" - displays the values of any variables your program is using.
  • "Output" - displays any output values your program is creating.
  • "Status" - displays the amount of available memory remaining
  • "Graphics" - contains two colored squares that can be manipulated by your program.

BASIC Programming requires two Atari keyboard controllers, and came with special overlays to show how to type the different commands and letters. The cartridge was programmed by Warren Robinett.

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