December 6, 2020

Amazing Quest Q&A

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by @ 9:30 am

Amazing Quest should be completely open to the interpretation of players, to their appreciation of it, and, if they choose, to their rejection of it.

I refrained from discussing anything about the game during the IF Comp. Now that it’s over, I am glad to answer some questions that have arisen—with the earnest hope that my answers don’t preclude people from coming up with their own interpretations and responses.

These aren’t really frequently asked questions, but they are all actually questions that have been asked at least once. When I quote directly, the quotations are from anonymous feedback from IF Comp players. Whether quoted or in paraphrase, all of these are real questions or responses that I’ve gotten.

January 15, 2019

A Bit about Alphabit

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by @ 9:38 am

During Synchrony 2019, on the train from New York City to Montreal, two of us (nom de nom and shifty) wrote a 64 byte Commodore 64 program which ended up in the Old School competition. (It could have also gone into the Nano competition for <=256 byte productions.) Our Alphabit edged out the one other fine entry in Old School,a Sega Genesis production by ModeDude also written on the train.

August 11, 2015

Running All Night

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by @ 8:39 pm

A recent production of mine, Running All Night, was shown at Babycastles in New York recently during the Playdate, July 23-August 7, 2015.

The piece is a 128-byte Commodore 64 program that functions as a clock or timer. It was executing during the whole show and presented a different image every moment of the day. Here’s once glance as what it looked like as it ran on a TV turned to face the window.

Running All NIght at Babycastles

There was also a TV inside and a single page (dot-matrix printed) of the assembly source code.

June 21, 2015

@Party 2015 Productions

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by @ 3:38 pm

I had five productions (one of them a collaboration) this time around at @Party, the Boston-area demoparty.

Browser demo: “More Tongue.” This was, well, not really a standard demo, even for a browser demo, that generates nonsense poems with compact code. Like everything at demoparties, it’s been released, but I’m going to work on a post-party version, so I’m leaving the party version out of this list.

Wild: “Shortcat.”

Shortcat is a very simple encoding scheme to make bytes (thus computer programs) into pleasing Unicode tweets, IMs, etc. #demoscene

Encoder: cat x.prg | perl -pe ‘binmode STDOUT,”:utf8″;tr/x00-xff/x{2500}-x{25ff}/;’ > x.txt #demoscene

June 11, 2015

“Apple II vs. Commodore 64″ Trope Tank Video

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by @ 11:33 am

Apple Commodore videoErik Stayton’s 12-minute video “Apple II vs. Commodore 64″ is now up on YouTube. It’s shot in the Trope Tank with him in conversation with me there. We discuss several of the things you’d experience in emulation, but also make reference to material specifics of these systems and the two specific computers and controllers that were used.

Erik played three quite different games that we had on hand, on disk, for both systems: Skyfox, World Karate Championship, and Hacker. Besides discussing graphics and sound quality, we also talk about the playability of these games with the controllers we have and issues such as loading times.

January 5, 2015

“The Era Canto,” a Poem for 2015

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by @ 10:34 am

Happy New Year! My New Year’s poem for 2015 is a one-line BASIC program for the Commodore 64: “The Era Canto.”

The Era Canto

November 13, 2014

Indeed

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by @ 9:14 pm

Nick Montfort discusses 10 PRINT etc.

September 5, 2014

NYPL Builds Book Covers from PETSCII

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by @ 8:52 am

GOTO80 tipped me off that the NYPL is experimenting with using PETSCII (the character set used on the Commodore 64 and other Commodore computers) to generate covers for e-books that don’t have them. There is also a cover generator under development that uses illustrations.

Generated covers (from the New York Public Library Labs)

The PETSCII generator is specificaly inspired by 10 PRINT, and of course, it leads leads me to ask … will they use this system to generate a cover for the e-book version of 10 PRINT?

June 30, 2014

A Companion Disk for 10 PRINT

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by @ 7:43 pm

A C64 Running the 10 PRINT DiskMartin Schemitsch (a.k.a. Martinland) has compiled and released a disk to accompany our book 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10, one that’s full of BASIC and assembly programs. These include the programs in the book and the later, more compact versions of our demo thread. The disk was just released at Commodore-Treffen Graz $14, and of course the disk image is available for download. It’s a nice companion to the 10 PRINT book and a Commodore 64 emulator, although, as you can see, it also works perfectly well on a vintage Commodore 64.

April 29, 2014

Happy 50th to BASIC

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by @ 1:42 pm

Dartmouth is celebrating the 50th anniversary of BASIC tomorrow with several events, including the premiere of a documentary on BASIC that I hope to see soon. I teach two classes tomorrow; those and my other meetings will make it impossible for me to stop by, even though Dartmouth is not very far away.

There’s also a celebratory Time article about BASIC, one that is packed with nice photos, scans, and GIFs showing how programs were listed and how they ran. The GIFs include a sped-up one of 10 PRINT running in an emulator, and there’s a link to 10 PRINT CHR$ (205.5 + RND (1)); : GOTO 10, our book (by Nick Montfort, Patsy Baudoin, John Bell, Ian Bogost, Jeremy Douglass, Mark C. Marino, Michael Mateas, Casey Reas, Mark Sample, and Noah Vawter).

March 19, 2014

A “Programs” Writeup

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by @ 8:37 pm

Matthew Battles has a nice post about the “Programs at an Exhibition” show, up now on the metaLAB blog.

A “Programs” Writeup

from Post Position
by @ 8:37 pm

Matthew Battles has a nice post about the “Programs at an Exhibition” show, up now on the metaLAB blog.

March 11, 2014

“Programs at an Exhibition” Cards

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by @ 7:46 pm

From the “Programs at an Exhibition” exhibit, the C64 BASIC (Montfort) card, and the Perl (Thayer) card – both are being offered for visitors to take.

Photos from “Programs at an Exhibition”

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by @ 12:57 pm

Here’s some documentation of “Programs at an Exhibition” by Nick Montfort & Páll Thayer, an exhibit of five Commodore 64 BASIC programs and five Perl programs at the Boston Cyberarts Gallery, March 6-16, 2014.

Exterior

The front of the gallery hosts a Commodore 64 running Nick Montfort’s “After Jasper Johns” (left) and an Intel/Ubuntu computer running Páll Thayer’s “Flag” (right). These two pieces respond to and rework the famous 1954 painting, Flag, which is in the collection of the MoMA. Jasper Johns, we salute you.

Take some code

February 27, 2014

10 PRINT Gets 10 SUNG

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by @ 6:38 pm

Or at least inspires a song and video…

Confounded to Corruption

The musical group Bedford Level Experiment writes of their song “Confounded to Corruption” and of the video for it:

We’ve been reading the book 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 and became very inspired by the section on procedurally generated art. All the footage in this video was generated by Commodore 64 programs written by us, including a 6502 assembly version of 10 PRINT. The lyrics were also generated algorithmically; Sonnet 64 and some commentary on it from Wikipedia were fed into an old Amiga program called NIALL, and the output was edited together into something resembling lyrics. The corruption the sonnet underwent became the theme of the song and video.

February 25, 2014

“Programs at an Exhibition” March 6-16

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by @ 4:18 pm

Nick Montfort & Páll Thayer

Programs at an Exhibition

At the Boston Cyberarts Gallery
141 Green Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Located in the Green Street T Station on the Orange Line
Phone number: 617-522-6710

The exhibit runs March 6 through March 16.

Opening: 6pm-9pm, Thursday March 6.

A snapshot of 'After Jasper Johns,' Nick Montfort, installed at the Boston Cyberarts Gallery

February 22, 2014

The C64 in the NYT

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by @ 8:46 pm

My colleague Myke pointed out this New York Times column about the Commodore 64, which waxes nostalgic and also points out how the computer opened up possibilities for new programmers to explore and learn. Myke also pointed out, quite aptly, that the photo, which is supposed to be of a Commodore 64, is actually of a 1541 disk drive. Alas, the Grey Lady, in reference to the rainbow-logoed computer, nods…

February 19, 2014

“Programs at an Exhibition” Opens March 6

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by @ 1:57 pm

I’ll post more on this soon, but for now, let me invite you to the opening of my & Páll Thayer’s show at the Boston Cyberarts Gallery: 141 Green Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130, located in the Green Street T Station on the Orange Line, 617-522-6710.

The opening is 6pm-9pm on Thursday March 6.

January 8, 2014

C64 BASIC Workshop at MIT, January 29, 2-5pm

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by @ 5:19 pm

I am moved by the holiday spirit of MIT’s Independent Activities Period (IAP) to announce a Commodore 64 BASIC programming workshop using original hardware.

[Update: The workshop is now fully subscribed, but I will try to arrange for spectators who would like to join us around 4:30pm to see the results of our work.]

C64 BASIC Code running in the Trope Tank

November 18, 2013

It’s a Good Word. Maine.

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by @ 9:03 pm

Just back from several travels, I’ve found that there’s a video record online of me, Patsy Baudoin, and John Bell presenting 10 PRINT at the University of Maine way back in April of this year. In our presentation, we answer questions and discuss the origin of the 10 PRINT project and the nature of our collaboration. And I do some livecoding. Pretty often, actually.

Please note that 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 is available as a beautiful MIT Press book, designed by our co-author Casey Reas, ans also as a free PDF.

January 25, 2013

A Commodore 64 at Airport Security

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by @ 5:28 pm

Boston: No reaction.

Seattle: “No, for real?” “Yes, for real.” “That was my first computer!” “How old is that thing?” “It’s from 1982.” “Hey, that used to be state of the art! But now -” [TSA agent takes phone out of pocket, points to it.] “This has got more processing power!”

Los Angeles: “Sir, please come with me.” [TSA agent swabs power supply for explosives.] “Can you tell me what this is for?” “It’s a computer.” [Older TSA agent arrives.] “Hey! A Commodore 64! That’s a classic!”

October 18, 2012

10 PRINT Reading / Release Party

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by @ 1:04 pm

10 PRINT cover

Our first event for 10 PRINT is scheduled for:

Monday
November 12, 2012
7pm

at the

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA.

This means, of course, that the book will be printed and available for sale by then, which is less than a month from now.

The Harvard Book Store is an independent book store in Harvard Square, founded in 1932.

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