Python programming

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Wed Feb 12 22:34:00 CET 2014

On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 8:02 AM, Tim Delaney
<timothy.c.delaney at> wrote:
> I received a copy of "The Beginners Computer Handbook: Understanding &
> programming the micro" (Judy Tatchell and Bill Bennet, edited by Lisa Watts
> - ISBN 0860206947) for Christmas of 1985 (I think - I would have been 11
> years old). As you may be able to tell from that detail, I have it sitting
> in front of me right now - other books have come and gone, but I've kept
> that one with me. It appears to have been published elsewhere under a
> slightly different name with a very different (and much more boring) cover -
> I can't find any links to my edition.

Heh. I wonder if I could still find back the copy of "Bible BASIC"
that I learned from.

And yes, I learned BASIC first. Moved on from there to 8086 assembly
language, using DEBUG.EXE as my assembler, and proceeded through a
variety of setups with crazy restrictions on them. Let's see... I
wrote non-TSR interrupt handlers that executed a subprocess and
cleaned up when that process finished; used BASIC with CALL ABSOLUTE
to handle a mouse pointer; got onto OS/2 but didn't have a C compiler,
ergo wrote OS/2 code in Pascal; wanted to write a device driver but
lacked both C compiler and assembler, ergo wrote a two-pass assembler
in REXX that piped everything through DEBUG.EXE running in a virtual
86 session; couldn't get hold of a copy of the no-longer-supported
VX-REXX, and so wielded a demo version with a weird system of creating
executables... you know, getting onto a Linux system with a real
toolchain was quite the luxury. (Okay, okay, I did have some slightly
more normal experiences in amongst the weird ones. But it sounds more
insane to pretend that the above was how _all_ my programming went.)


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