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Famicom Family Computer (V2)

Famicom Family Computer (V2)
by on (#110451)
Hi Guys, (1st Post)

I'm Darren, 38 and from the UK. I've been a Fan of the NES since it was originally released and was lucky to get one for my Christmas present the Year it was released.

I've recently bought a Famicom, I've been in my element playing playable Japanese exclusive games, I love all the 8-bit sounds and graphics (In general) I guess its because it what I grew up on.

I've just ordered a Famicom Basic Family computer as I wanted to play around on it.

I've used Basic many years ago on the Tandy TRS-80. Tbh, that obsorbed most of my time as a growing up youngster.
I did write many little programs and have a very basic understanding of it (baring in mind, I really was just a child/kid)

So, Please may I ask, where do I start with the Famicom computer to have a bit of fun with it? I speak around 7 words of Japanese, so, original books will help for the Basic commands, but I wouldnt be able to read and learn the Japanese parts.

I understand that BASIC is quite universal, but I'm not 100% sure this is the case for the Famicom, as it has a cart and is a slight Variant?

Any advice is greatly appreciated and in the mean-time, I'll browse around this site as it looks fab.

Thank You.
Re: Famicom Family Computer (V2)
by on (#110452)
There's a fairly complete translation of the manual over on http://www.famicomworld.com/forum/index ... pic=8876.0
Re: Famicom Family Computer (V2)
by on (#110453)
I guess you could try it out on emulators first, they can emulate Family Basic.
Remember that FCEUX wants you to hit scroll lock first, and remember these mappings:
'*' => '('
'(' => ')'
'_' => '='
':' => '+'
'"' => '*'
So you can figure out how to type the equals sign. Also shortcut keys may conflict with keyboard keys.

Note that this is the REALLY old kind of basic. If you're used to IF \ ELSE \ END IF, you won't find it here. Instead it's IF THEN GOTO. And you type line numbers for every single line.

You can also do POKE, and it will write directly to 6502 memory. For example, POKE 8193, 159 will turn on monochrome and Blue color emphasis.
These were the days before people were trying to harden their systems against security attacks. You can even CALL, and it will execute 6502 code.
Re: Famicom Family Computer (V2)
by on (#110454)
Fantastic - Thank you.
Re: Famicom Family Computer (V2)
by on (#110519)
Before i read anymore, please may i ask...if i typed in a 'basic' program from another 8 bit computer book...i'm assuming this wouldnt work on the famicom straight off the bat..
Re: Famicom Family Computer (V2)
by on (#110520)
DahrenDreamcast wrote:
Before i read anymore, please may i ask...if i typed in a 'basic' program from another 8 bit computer book...i'm assuming this wouldnt work on the famicom straight off the bat..

If it uses anything that depends and presupposes the existence of particular hardware with particular I/O mapping (such as POKE, PEEK, CALL), it will not work.
If it only uses BASIC features, such as PRINT and INPUT, it may work.
May, as in there are always dialectal differences between BASIC interpreters. Dwedit already mentioned that e.g. "100 IF A>0 THEN PRINT A" won't work; you will have to do "100 IF A>0 THEN 120" (or perhaps "100 IF A>0 THEN GOTO 120") and "120 PRINT A". I don't know whether this was true for Famicom BASIC though.
Re: Famicom Family Computer (V2)
by on (#110526)
100 IF A>0 GOTO 120 seems more likely.

A bigger quirk of old BASIC interpreters though is that they'd outright ignore whitespaces. No, I'm not making this up. You could write the above as 100IFA>0GOTO120 and that stuff would work on such interpreters (on the other hand, "GO TO" instead of "GOTO" would work for the same reason too). The reason for this is that internally they encode everything as tokens, and there isn't any reason to keep whitespace in such stuff. Not sure if Famicom BASIC does this (I know SC-3000 BASIC did).
Re: Famicom Family Computer (V2)
by on (#110540)
One test for old basic interpreters is the FORK=ATOM test. Some treat it as two variables named fork and atom, and others treat it as FOR K = A TO M.
Family Basic seems to treat it as FOR K = ATOM which is a syntax error. So it matches the first keyword it finds after whitespace instead of a variable name beginning with those letters. But a keyword contained inside a variable name is ignored.
Re: Famicom Family Computer (V2)
by on (#110576)
I understand this guys. Your help is appreciated - Thank You.