Feeds

(Back) into The Valley

Remembering a BASIC coding classic from 1982

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Forgotten Tech I first explored The Valley late in 1982. My method of entry: a Research Machines 380Z. I loved it and didn't want to leave.

But the school lunch period ended at 1.30 and the computer room was locked then, so I had to wait a day or two until I could get time on the RM again.

The Valley - CT Cover

The Valley had been hacked onto the 380Z by a guy called Roy Walker. In a rare moment of schoolboy honesty, he admitted he'd keyed it in from a listing in a magazine. The publication was Computing Today, which had run an article - bylined only 'HB' and 'RM' - in April that year centred on a modular sword-and-sorcery "real-time adventure with graphics" designed to not only be entertaining to play but also to be used as a programming teaching aid.

"The published listing was developed and tested on a 32K Commodore Pet but will, if all non-essential spaces and REMs are removed, run in 16K," the authors promised.

"The best way to implement the program on your system is to key it in one module at a time following the notes," we were advised. "As each block is completed, SAVE it on tape before adding the next; 16K is a lot of program to lose if you make a mistake!"

Hard drive users - they don't know they're born...

CT published follow-up articles during the following months, mostly centred on adapting the code for other machines. The May 1982 issue, for example, featured writer Peter Green detailing a TRS-80 version. In the August 1982 number, Andrew Bain offered notes on coding The Valley for the Sharp MZ-80K. A year after the initial listing, readers' additions - extra spells and conversion hints - were being published en masse.

The Valley - Hob Goblin

The original Valley was written for the Commodore Pet, but Roy had tweaked it into RM's dialect of Basic. I asked if I could borrow the listing to recode it for Microsoft Colour Basic - what my Dragon 32 used - but Roy told me to piss off.

A friend, Iain, was more lucky. He too had a Dragon and, after he'd borrowed the listing from Roy for an evening or two, I had a photocopy of the Pet code. Iain was no coder, but he knew I was and wanted to play the game on his own machine, so it made sense for him to get me the listing.

I can't recall how long the conversion took. Not long, I think. The hard bit was working out what the addresses that codes were Poke'd into the Pet's memory map represented. I made some guesses and seemed to get it right.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.