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BASIC Computer Games by David Ahl

David Ahl's BASIC Computer Games was one of the first highly addictive and fun books written for the computer hobbyist. Many a midnight hour was spent keying in these games into their favorite S-100, PDP-8, CP/M, Apple II or other systems supporting various flavors of the BASIC language. Most of these games were simple graphics or text-based although a few classics like Conway's game of life propagated to a new generation of silicon ecosystems thanks to this classic book by David Ahl.

See artifacts from our 1978 (microcomputer edition) and the original 1973 first printing below.


New for 2010: A new eBook edition of Basic Computer Games is available now. "Basic Computer Games - Small Basic Edition" Programmer's Edition eBook is a Small Basic translation of the original "BASIC Computer Games" book originally edited by David Ahl.

From Phil Conrod of the eBook project:

I read somewhere that the original Basic Computer Games book sold over 1 million copies. That means there are a lot of old developers (like me) out there who spent many nights getting very familiar with the original book. Many of us old programmers cut our programming teeth using BASIC and the book cover alone should promote a lot of nostalgic feelings (or curses!) with a million potential readers. Of course that will depend on how many typos they made when typing them in originally (before the convenience of cut & paste). Most folks will fondly remember the iconic robot illustrations by George Beker (see below).


Chomp! by George Beker from Basic Computer Games

- Curator: Thanks Phil!



1978 Edition (from Michael Kass, May 2006)

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BASIC Computer Games, 1978 Microcomputer Edition

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1973 First Printing (from Michael Kass, May 2006)


Digital Equipment Corporation version

of the David Ahl' first edition Basic Computer Games book
(5$ version)

Not sure if you're aware of this, but David Ahl's 1978 Microcomputer Basic Games book was pre-dated by his book "101 Basic Computer Games", published in July, 1973.  DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) had a newletter called EDU that went out to schools in which they requested folks to send in BASIC games.  They chose 101 (presumably) to publish in this book.

There's a picture at:
http://www.atariarchives.org/basicgames/showpage.php?page=cover-digital
but that's a later edition (my original edition copy has a cover price of $5).

BTW, the reason I have the book is because I've got a program in it (as does one of my high-school friends -- another got an "honorable mention"). If I recall, I got a free copy. $5 was a lot of money to a HS kid in those days.

I'll send the photos. Gotta get a picture of the insides.

Curator: see the scans Michael provided below from the very first printing of 101 BASIC Computer Games...

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See Also:


Bio and photos of Dave Ahl

founder of Creative Computing, author of Basic Computer Games
(and self-described old curmudgeon)
Also see David's Bio here

Atari Archives' complete scan of the 1978 edition here


Allan Lundell's video on David Ahl's book BASIC Computer Games

See other shows
on DigiBarn TV!
 
 

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