(recenty entry on my site http://kirkjerk.com/ )
Ever rediscover a half-remembered book from your childhood and realize that it was probably wildly influential on you? Such was the case with David L. Heller and John F. Johnson's "Dr. C. Wacko Presents: Atari BASIC & The Whiz-Bang Miracle Machine". I recently found a good PDF copy at
Atari Mania's Page of Atari 8-bit Books
The book was a beginner-level but thorough guide to BASIC programming - I suspect I knew most of it by the time I got my hands on a copy, but it was still very cool. The style can perhaps best be described as "Early Doctor Demento" -- hardly a paragraph goes by without a gag of some kind, but still it seems like it would do a good job of explaining fundamental concepts.
I can even see the book's influence in my own guide to Atari (2600) Programming,
Atari 2600 101. (No cartoons, more's the pity.)
I was reminded of this book when I ordered some Eggs Benedict, and I thought about this chart in it:
|Anchovy Burritos:||280 Calories each|
|Twinkle Cakes:||340 Calories a look|
|Guacamole Juice:||90 Calories per slurp|
|Clam Dip:||70 Calories a dip|
|Greaso Burgers:||470 Calories per bun|
|Quicko TV Dinner:||400 Calories a tray|
|Pizza a la Hollandaise Sauce:||900 Calories a sniff|
Atari Mania also finally let me read the book's -- prequel? It was much more advanced, but came first-- companion, "Dr. C. Wacko's Miracle Guide to Designing and Programming Atari Computer Arcade Games". I'd like to think if I had had this book at the appropriate time, I finally would have gotten those damn "player/missile" graphics and in general made some better games.