Sonntag, 4. September 2016

Basic and Pascal

When I grew up there was a rivalry between Basic and Pascal programmers. Most people who started programming in the 1990s either started with Basic or Pascal. Those who used Pascal often conceived themselves as being superior to Basic programmers. That was mainly because it was so easy to program in Basic. You did not even have to define variables. Thus you were not forced to keep the number of variables low and your program might become bloated - bad coding style. However, some of the resentments were based on misconceptions. For instance, Pascal programmers who had no experience with then modern Basic dialects thought Basic meant that you had to use line numbers and write spaghetti code. That was not the case with dialects such as Quick Basic - you did not have to use line numbers and there were control structures such as do/loop which made the usage of the goto statement obsolete.

I was one of those who started with Basic and I do not regret it. In fact I have decided that I will use Basic in my sparetime again since it is far easier to get something to work in Basic than in any other programming language. Professionally I use C#, and I like this language, but Basic by far beats it as regards to its easiness of use.

Freitag, 2. September 2016

The German PC Diskmag Scene

The Internet enables every user to express their views and ideas and get them published. In the years prior to the advent of Internet access for the general population, it was almost impossible to get heard unless you were a professional journalist. Diskmags were a way to get published - almost the only way. While nowadays this aspect of diskmags is obsolete, nothing beats the charm of a good diskmag. Yet nobody really cares about releasing new diskmags.

In the years 1992 to 1995, there were several diskmags for IBM-compatible PC that issued in the German language. Six of them were pretty good, the others are not worth mentioning. The six decent diskmags were: Blackmail, Platinum, Skyline, MicroCode, HotMag and Suicide. All of these mags ceased to issue in 1996 or 1997. In 1996, two new mags were founded, Hugi and Cream. Cream stopped issuing after two years and Hugi became an English-language magazine in 1998. After 1998, there were only two short-lived German diskmags, WildMag and Image.

I feel sad that there is nothing comparable to a good diskmag these days. The forums with their rude participants are not a decent substitute.