On the radio

By NYYRIKKI

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11-08-2017, 11:38

Yle (Yleisradio, Finnish Broadcasting Company) is Finland's national public service broadcasting company... and how do they serve public? Well... today they were broadcasting MSX cassette programs on the radio. I lift my hat. Smile

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By Manuel

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11-08-2017, 13:20

Ok, but why? It's 30 years late!

By NYYRIKKI

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11-08-2017, 13:49

Well, they were rerunning some selected episodes of an old program called "Silikoni" where they talked about computers and sent some user programs in between. I must say I'm a bit disappointed that I missed it... AGAIN!

By Manuel

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11-08-2017, 13:46

Hah, my dad did record some of these programs, at the time they were sent in Basicode 3 format. He had quite some fun in fixing the transmission errors.

It was a pretty nice concept. The programs had a built in BIOS: the line numbers up to 1000 contained specific functions that are platform dependent. The rest of the program was generic enough to run on all supported BASIC dialets and for specifics functions from the code below line 1000 were called with GOSUB.

First versions of the 'translation tool' included the whole BIOS part, later versions only the routines that were actually used by the program. The MSX version was developed by Peter Zeevenhoven (at least in the Netherlands). IIRC he was also involved in the CUC club (which started with the Spectravideo 3x8). A very neat tool.

Basicode and programs were broadcast by NOS (the most generic Dutch public broadcaster) and TROS.

At the end there was even Basicode 3C, with color and graphic extensions.

By NYYRIKKI

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11-08-2017, 13:56

Yes, I've heard about these Basicode programs. Here they were sending just native programs for each platform. I'm just wondering that the BIOS must have had some custom loading routines as well? Although BASIC it self is quite standard the loading routines tend to be different anyway between different platforms.

By Manuel

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11-08-2017, 16:27

The 'translation program' loads the Basicode stuff (which is encoded in some standard format) and writes out the decoded file in the native format with the "BIOS" part in front of it.

Basicode was invented here I think as they got tired of making several versions of programs and broadcasting it for each system. Or perhaps just to get a wider audience for the broadcasts.

By NYYRIKKI

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11-08-2017, 22:56

Ok, I see... It seems Basicode is actually pretty old invention. First programs were broadcasted already in september 1978. YLE had a talk with Jansen about bringing Basicode to Finland as well (in 1987 when there was already support for 35 computer models) but people here were not really interested into moving to more restricted environment, so native programs it was.

After some searching today I managed to find two episodes of Silikoni online and one episode contained some MSX programs... I even managed to load two of them. Rest of the programs were so damaged that I don't expect I can decode them with the current knowledge I have.

I learned also some new things from the show as well. "In Japan the 3rd biggest computer problem are the rats... They tend to go living inside big computers and pee on top of bits or eat them." LOL

By Manuel

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11-08-2017, 23:22

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASICODE has a pretty good explanation, I just found out...

By NYYRIKKI

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12-08-2017, 00:16

If you don't know something: Test & learn... I managed to salvage two more programs:

By NYYRIKKI

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12-08-2017, 13:39

I found quite a nice article about Silikoni in English...

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/08/exper...

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