Usborne’s 1980s range of childrens’ coding books released as free PDFs #VintageComputing #BASIC #Books @pcgamer
Publishing giant Usborne has been in the computer books business for decades, and its productions were an entry point to the industry for unknowable numbers of coders. As with everything in a technology-led industry, these books are very much of their time, but the whole aesthetic of these things is nostalgia catnip for those of a certain age.
If you’re the type who ever sat down in front of a Spectrum and spent half a day painstakingly copying out code, then the gaudy thrill of the illustrations for Computer Spacegames never fades.
There’s a wide range, available for free on its website. It rather charmingly advises that “these programs don’t work on modern computers” though the books cover more than coding, and of course if you’ve got a BBC Micro or Commodore 64 in the attic then it’s rock and roll time.
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Many of these work just fine on "modern" computers… Even the machine code. There are plenty of Z80s and 6502s in the world. There even exist LLVM backends for them.
Vice is a Commodore 64 emulator for the PC. If any of these games are for the Commodore 64, Vice can run them and anyone that knows BASIC programming could find a work around for anything nonstandard.