How can I a be a bandwagoner, when I was already here?

Unlike Doron, I've been using Visual Studio exclusively since I first started working here (many, many years ago...), I've experienced the bumps, bangs and sometimes dead thuds along the way, but I've never used anything else for my code creation.   I was ridiculed and mocked during the early days, but I never gave up.  I was part of the throngs of employees providing feedback to the Visual Studio team(s), running all the betas, betas of betas and alphas of betas along the way, all trying to make Visual Studio the best of the best.

But I have also yet to integrate the full build process into my Visual Studio environment.  I've got my source control integrated in to VS 2k5.  I'm using Intellisense, Outlining and Parameter / Word Completion, I even have the registry key for setting a reminder line at the 80, but for some strange reason I cannot get out of that primal need to build in a command window.  There's just something visceral to me about that command line interface of razzle.  I think it's a connection to my past, a thread back to using the IBM PC XT 5160 and ATARI 800XL (with Microsoft BASIC II Cartridge!) I had when I was a kid.   I just remember spending summers writing thousands of lines of code, then debugging why my "Space Docker" game wouldn't work.  Or why the joystick button, this is back when we had one button, failed to register.  Or just messing about and showing off to my friends about how I could make my little Atari 800XL computer do stuff at my command (and after 15 minutes of loading a program from a cassette tape in to memory).

20 POKE 704,0
30 POKE 705, 12
40 POKE 706, 3*16+4
50 POKE 707,12
55 POKE 708,12
60 FOR X=0 TO 79
70 C=C+1:IF C=5 THEN C=1
90 PLOT X, X
100 DRAWTO 79-X, X
110 DRAWTO 79-X, 191-X
120 DRAWTO X, 191-X
140 NEXT X
150 A=PEEK (705)
160 POKE 705, PEEK (706)
170 POKE 706, PEEK (707)
185 POKE 707, PEEK (708)
186 POKE 708, A
190 A=SIN(A)
200 GOTO 150

Oh yeah, the good old days.  I got that from an old book I found while cleaning my "nerdvana" closet recently.  Somewhere in with that pile of WDM, Programming Windows 95 and various other books I found, "The Dell Computer Games Series : Games For Your Atari Computer" by Paul Bunn.  Also in there are a handful of cassette tapes with all the rest of the games from that book and a few other things I hacked together.

In my youthful exploration of all things geek, I had a modified the above program to also include sound!  I had it playing the bass line from Rush's "Vital Signs" (which I had just figured out how to play on my lovely new Fender Jazz).  To me, there was nothing like having to figure out the numeric values to use with the SOUND "API" in BASIC.  There was quite a bit of fiddling with values +/- to get the pitch, duration and timing right.    And let me tell you, an F# may not actually be an F# on an 800XL no matter how hard you try to get it to be an F#. 😉

So hopefully you will all forgive me for not fully integrating my build process into Visual Studio, but there are some things I just can't give up, like my childhood. 😉

Back in a week or two with some juicy updates to the WDF Sample Driver.

*Currently Playing - Stephen Hawking A Brief History of Time (Unabridged)


EDIT: Thanks to those (Keith) who pointed out that the 800XL came w/ Atari BASIC "on the board". I had been given a copy of Microsoft BASIC II on cart. 🙂

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