August 14 2013

About

Okies, where I start…

Puts on a Michael Caine voice… ‘My name is Paul, and not a lot of people know that.’

Ok, enough of the voice. So I’m a 44 yr old, who has been into computers since the tender age of 12, in one way or another. I started on a c16, that I managed to get my mum to buy for “educational” reasons. I also managed to obtain the full set of “INPUT“, if you remember that. INPUT was a magazine that was issued fortnightly, if I remember correctly. It contained basic source code for various machines, Electron, BBC B, C64, Spectrum 16 & 48K, and I think Dragon 32, but anyway, I started to type some of that stuff into the c16, and wondered why some worked and some didn’t. So I looked into it, and a couple of months later, and a walk around “Littlewoods” stores, who at the time sold computer related things, had a book on the “C16” and I managed to convince my mum to buy me it, and after convincing her to give it to me then, and not wait until a special occasion, I set myself down and started to read, and read, and read, and eventually learnt why the programs were working, so with the exception of the really heavy programs (sprite based, etc) I managed to get a lot of the programs to do at least something. So I started.

So what happened next.
Ok, I had been messing around with this machine now for a while, and learnt sort of what I could, and what I couldn’t, and the main thing that I found out was the whole “run/stop & reset button” trick, which used to reset ya machine, into a “monitor”, ooooohhhh, what was this I though, so I looked into it, and saw all these things I could do, but I didn’t  know what I was doing, then I started buying some monthly magazines, and my world was starting to open. I started  finding out about “G” commands as in “G 2000” or “G 4000”, and soooo it was born, the assembly language learning experience

The Assembly Language Learning Experience.
Right, I had opened the door the assembly language, well, I say opened, I merely nudged the door open, and peeked inside,  and I started to play, I loaded up games, and after finding the cheats, and restart command from a magazine, set about trying other things, and one of my first all time games I decided to rip into was “Gullwing Falcon/Gremlin Graphics”  ok, all I did was change text and stuff, but it was a start. Then (‘Hears Drum Roll’) I actually, one day, fired it up  without a game, and decided to go into the “Monitor” and mess around (using my C16 book for reference) and I got a  scroller born, so technically that was my break into “Assembly Language”.

What happened next.

So, a few years passed, and I mainly used the C16 for games playing, many a £1.99 was spend on the “Firebird Silver Range”, but one Christmas morning, I was totally shocked my mum had gone out and bought me a C64c, and I mean I was shocked, normally when your a kid, you have an inkling on what your getting, but this, nope well shocked, I think I spent the next few days up in my bedroom, playing the games I got with it. Then I managed to save up some money, and got some of my mum, and bought myself a 1541 disk drive (as i was finding Tape loading far too slow, although I likes the “Ocean” loading music, and many a time I would load up “Parallax/Ocean” just for the music on the title page), anyway, I digress,  so I bought myself a 1541, and at the time I had started a Saturday job working with my Uncle, delivering bread (yeah I know, boring you may say, but I was 14 I think, and it was way cool then), but there is a reason for the bread delivery tale, we used to delivery to a sweetshop, and whilst my Uncle was doing the business (so to speak) I used to look at the magazines, and one that caught my eye (and because I just had bought a 1541) was “Commodore Disk User”, so the venture began.

The Letter.
Ok, the heading might confuse a bit, but I will try to explain. After buying a few editions of “Commodore Disk User” and loading a few things off them, I came across a demo by a guy with the nicname of “TLH”, was impressed at this and stated to read the ‘scroller’, and at the end of the demo, was his ‘then’ name and address, and I thought, lets write to him. Anyway a week or two later, I got a phone call from TLH, and started to chat to him, and our friendship was born (passes the bucket). It started off with me ringing him here, and there, wondering what he was up to, etc,  as he was in the ‘industry’ and I was a mere mortal, but evertually over there years, the c64 talk slowed down, as  I was getting more and more proficient on my own, and the calls with TLH just were ya normal “Hey, hows tricks,  how ya been?” etc

The PDS Setup.

Well, this was my first break into serious (non-profit making) programming, I had a nice little setup. A C128 on  one side, and a C64 on the other, connected via a cable, TV for the C64, and a green screen monitor for the C128. Simply the C128 had a program called Zeus128 assembler, and the C64 had something called ‘recieve’ software, and  all you did was code on the C128, and send it to the C64 to be excecuted, it was great. If you got an error, or an lockup, all you had to do was reset the C64, and load up the small ‘recieve’ software again. Off I went into  6502 seriously.

The Years.
Right, another confusing heading, but in a nutshell, there were a few years that were blank, well not really blank, just no 6502, I got myself a girl, who wasn’t into computers, and you can work out the rest.

Ok, around Dec 2000, I met up with a young lady who wasn’t Cyberphobic, and enjoyed using computers, just like me.  Instant messaging, games, even managed at one point to try to learn “C++” together, but hey, we didn’t get anywhere. So now, whilst I’m on the computer, the lady of the house doesn’t mind, well providing she has control of the “TV Remote”. So I can pretty much do what I want, I still code on the c64, admitadly I isn’t on the C64 direct, but still in a PDS enviornment, I code all my c64 stuff on “Crimson Editor”, and compile using “c64asm1a”, and run my compiled program on “Winvice”. Also I started to use Visual Basic, Blitz Basic and Dark Basic. Notice the similarity there, yeah Basic but hey, it works…

So as you can see, I was there, then I wasn’t, and now I’m back again. I am very, very rusty, but slowly I am getting back into what I enjoy, and thankfully I have a missus that understand, and a few friends out there who are helping me along. I would like to do like I used to on my C64 stuff, and have a scroller, but hey it would be too lame.

May 2009

Ok, so 9 years on, that relationship decided to take another turn and we decided to part our ways and ended as friends.

So on Mothers Day (in the US) I decided to go online and ended up in a chat room and met with a person under the handle of ‘lovesweets1970’ and we started chatting.

The chatting continued for about 6 months until I plucked up the courage to suggest that we meet… now here is the problem, you notice above I said it was Mothers Day in the US, well, yeah, she was from the USA. So I booked a flight and went to visit.

Long story short (and this text will be updated soon, but I wanted to get the main bit down) we had a long distance relationship for just over 1 year, and we decided to get married…

I am now living in the USA, I am a Permanent Resident and all that Jazz.

‘It may be continued, but who knows? Do I need to? {Comments on a postcard please}’