Texas Instruments SR-52 Programmable Calculator, 1975

As the microchip revolution took root in the late 1960s, one of the most obvious uses for the new miniaturization was in the field of mathematics. Digital computers’ original tasks had, of course, been related to calculating much faster than deskbound human beings. The power of a once-massive digital computer transferred to a handheld device would allow for a revolution in calculation, allowing mathematicians of all stripes, from accountants to engineers, to free themselves from lengthy and difficult slide rule calculating…

Adventures in Atari BASIC: Lesson Five – Take Aim and Fire

By Mikey Walters

In Lesson Four, we experienced a crash course in manipulating Atari computer memory, specifically to initialize and control Player/Missile Graphics, and we learned how to move our players across the playfield. With those powerful techniques under our belt, this lesson is action-packed! Not only will we cover joystick control, but also how to fire the mighty Fission Gun Tower…

Adventures in Atari BASIC: Lesson One – Programmer Kids and Plotting Stars

By Mikey Walters

When someone chooses a computer to purchase today, they usually consider only what the computer can do based on available software. They’re thinking about what games they can play, what kinds of entertainment media they can enjoy, and how fast they can access the web. But in the 8-bit home computer boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s, choosing a new computer was based largely on what kind of software you wanted to create yourself…