The Art of BASIC 10-Liner Challenges: Cosmic Aq (Mattel Aquarius)

Last year I attempted something I never had before — what is known as a PUR-80 BASIC 10-Liner programming challenge. The objective is to squeeze as much as you possibly can within 10 lines of code, with no line to exceed 80 characters. A challenge open for any platform but one that is especially inviting for the old 8-bit systems that had limited resources to begin with.

It came at a time when I had become increasingly intrigued by the oft-forgotten Mattel Aquarius computer of 1983. The factory system included a version of Microsoft BASIC but with quite a few severe limitations. It lacks even a simple CLS to clear the screen, instead relying on special character allocations to handle it in the ROM (e.g., ?CHR$(11) = CLS). Even worse, it restricted each line to a maximum of 72 characters, so even the PUR-80 category, which is the most minimalistic and restrictive of the 10-Liner challenges, was beyond its capability. Read Full Article