Attic Finds – Part 1

OK, so I’ve been digging through old boxes in the attic in search of things that, of course, I never did find. But what I did find was:

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Yes, it’s a full source code listing of the Star Trek game I wrote on punch cards, in FORTRAN IV, for an IBM Selectric HARD COPY terminal, connected to an IBM 360 mainframe in 1976-7 while at college.

I actually had a full card deck but, as I’ve been using it for bookmarks for years, I was never tempted to actually try running it again:

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Until now! So of course I’m going to have to try to get this running again, if for no other reason than to cringe at code I wrote 37 years ago. This is probably not going to be pretty. Especially since the compiler limited variable names to five or six characters of which I probably generally used two or three at most.

There not being a whole lot of IBM 360 consoles and IBM typeball terminals around I’m shooting for a command line version for Unix/OS X. Now there are probably open source FORTRAN compilers available but I’m not sure if I want to go through that particular pain again so I might wind up translating it to “C” instead.

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There are a million other projects I probably should be doing in what spare time I get (that Remember? rewrite for example) but, as I discovered when I started playing around with the Z80 BoGUS board, sometimes a shot of simplicity can help rethink the most complicated stuff.

I’ll post more when (or if) I start working on this.

FYI: I sent a letter about TREK76 to Creative Computing or another such magazine which got a few requests for the source code which resulted in several good sized boxes of punch cards being mailed to unsuspecting victims. Whether they actually got it running I never did discover.

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