Introducing DiscoRunner BASIC Interpreter

I’m proud to announce the preview release of a project I’ve been working on (with my partner April) called DiscoRunner.

DiscoRunner is a multi-dialect BASIC interpreter intended to help people (kids, mainly) learn how to code. Our ‘preview’ release implements Applesoft and Integer BASIC from the Apple II, and comes with source code (or ‘listings’ as they’re known in BASIC) for close to a thousand programs.

screenshot7Because we’ve re-implemented the environment rather than ’emulate’ the original computer, we can do fun stuff like render the two dimensional pixels as three-dimensional cubes. In later versions, this will extend to allowing true three-dimensional graphics, along with all sorts of other modern graphics and sounds capabilities.

There will be compatibility with other classic BASIC environments as well (such as the Atari and Commodore 8-bit computers) and an ‘evolved’ BASIC (DiscoBASIIC) that uses functions instead of line numbers, etc. Also, we’re developing a virtual world where kids can solve challenges using BASIC in a quest to save the world.

Fun and exciting times =)

Check it out at http://discorunner.com

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Introducing DiscoRunner BASIC Interpreter

tapDancer

Got a Commodore 64 and an Android-powered device? Check out our first Android utility, tapDancer, a free Google Play download.

tapDancer allows you to use your Android-powered device to render and play back .TAP archive files of Commodore tape images to your real Commodore computer (VIC20 / C64 / C128 etc.) All you need is a common ‘CD to Cassette’ adapter, your Commodore and a Datasette.

Simply copy your .TAP archive files (of tapes you own, of course!) to your Android device’s SDCard, connect your Android device to the mini-jack leading from the ‘CD to Cassette’ adapter placed inside your Datasette, press ‘Play’ on the Datasette, power on your Commodore, press Shift-Run/Stop, press the ‘Eject’ button inside tapDancer, navigate to and choose your desired .TAP file.

After the audio renders (anywhere up to two minutes, longer on slower devices), press the ‘Play’ button. Adjust your volume to around 10 (for starters). With luck, in a few moments your C64 will recognise the file, press SPACE on your C64 as soon as it says ‘FOUND *GAME*’. If it doesn’t, try adjusting the volume up or down, press ‘Stop’ in tapDancer to reset the audio playback, reset your C64, press Shift-Run/Stop and try again.

Unfortunately, not all Android devices provide audio output at a quality necessary for your computer to read it, but in our tests the majority of devices did successfully load games. Also, tapDancer doesn’t know when the tape motor is stopped, so loading so-called ‘multi-load’ games can be tricky. Try to find ‘single-load’ versions of games, where the entire game loads at once. As with most things, your mileage may vary.

For more detailed usage information and a user forum, see the tapDancer website a thttp://tapDancer.info or by tapping the WWW icon on the main tapDancer application screen.

Later versions plan to add support for Acorn, Sinclair, MSX and Atari.

tapDancer