This week we have seen a slew of new Google Apps get released and many news apps. All of the apps can be downloaded for free from the Good e-Reader App Store. Simply click on the title and download them all with 1 click, no registration required.
AOL: News, Mail & Video – Browse the latest news stories and top videos along with quick access to your AOL Mail inbox. Stay up-to-date with everything that matters most to you.
Yahoo Screen – Stream your favorite Saturday Night Live skits, Comedy Central clips, Yahoo original content and more.
Spy Wars for Android – Government secrets have been leaked, creating an international diplomatic crisis, shattering peace and inciting a global spy war. The race to retrieve these secrets has begun and great power awaits those who succeed!
Google Sheets - Create, edit & collaborate with others on spreadsheets from your Android phone or tablet with the free Google Sheets app.
Lingua.ly – collect new words – Lingua.ly turns any mobile device into a language learning experience.
Chaos Control – GTD To-Do List – Chaos Control is a GTD-based task manager and goal-driven to do list created specifically for entrepreneurs, startup owners, creatives and for busy people who have a lot on their plates.
Little League WeatherBug – Receive important information to assist with the decision of canceling practice or calling the game by using real-time weather data and better forecasts. Be better protected with faster weather alerts!
Redbox Instant by Verizon – Redbox Instant is convenient, easy and affordable. Not only are DVD credits included when you subscribe, your FIRST MONTH IS TOTALLY FREE!* Check us out!
Travel Guides by Stay.com – Meet your new favorite travel guide app! 150 cities packed with great places to visit and beautiful travel guides by local experts. GPS is free with super-fast offline maps!
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Unfortunately, it seems like the rest of the publishing industry quickly followed the leaders. A host of apps and subscriptions services have made magazines discovery in the app stores and virtual newsstands almost as much of a problem as it is for books.
New enhancements and algorithms in Apple’s Newsstand are at work to change that, though. An article by Allison Reber for The Guardian points out that the interactivity associated with many of the top selling digital magazines–with features like embedded video and hyperlinks and the ability to shop within the magazine for products that are mentioned–have helped boost those titles into positions of more prominence. Incorporating push notifications is also important, according to Reber, as they help turn readers into customers within the app. Those in-app purchases add up and get Apple’s attention.
Reber went on to mention other factors that can play a role in magazine discovery and some suggestions Apple can integrate into its Newsstand, but readily pointed out that reviews–as in all things consumer-related, especially where reading material is concerned–can make or break an app in the blink of an eye.
Finnish coffee maker Paulig has developed the first ever e-Ink mug that uses the heat from coffee to produce a picture on the side of the cup. You’ll find a new, surprising or moving picture on the cup’s screen every single time you fill it.
The Muki will pair with your smartphone via Bluetooth and this is the source of the text, pictures of video. The company will also be releasing an official app that will help with the syncing of all media content. The energy to power the electrical components is gained from the heat of the mug’s filling. Beta testing begins this August and the mug will begin mass market shipping in early 2015.
Barnes and Noble has discounted the Nook Glowlight in the US, just in time for Mothers Day. Starting Friday May 2nd, the Glowlight can be yours for a solid $99 and there will also be savings on the Clip Cover to protect it from the elements. While you are at the store you can save an additional 40% on many hardcover titles.
The Nook Glowlight is Barnes and Nobles second generation e-reader to incorporate front-lit technology. This allows you to read in the dark and control the luminous levels via the software driven slider. Overall, its a fairly solid reader if you want to be purchasing content from B&N, it w ill also allow you to load in your own books.
This is the second time the Nations largest bookseller has discounted the Nook Glowlight. The first was in early April when it dropped it from $119 to $99 for a limited time. It looks like we can expect further discounts for all of the major holidays and events this year.
As loyal readers of the OverDrive School Blog, we're sure you are the shining examples of how to use OverDrive in the classroom. Share your experience with incorporating your digital library in the classroom through the OverDrive in the Classroom Contest, presented by TeachersNotebook.com.
One grand prize winner will receive an iPad and a $50 Teachers Notebook gift certificate, and three runner-ups will each get a Google Nexus and a $25 Teachers Notebook gift certificate. All you have to do is share your ideas!
If you are not a Teachers Notebook member, now is the time to join! It is completely FREE and you will soon be able to see ideas from other teachers for using your school's digital library in the classroom. To participate in the OverDrive in the Classroom Contest, you will need to become a Teachers Notebook shopkeeper (free option available, or you can upgrade to premium at any time). After that, just submit your lesson plans or classroom activity ideas for incorporating eBooks in the classroom for a chance to win!
Cassie Renner is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive.
Shop the titles in this blog here:
David Baldacci – The Target
The President knows it’s a perilous, high-risk assignment. If he gives the order, he has the opportunity to take down a global menace, once and for all. If the mission fails, he would face certain impeachment, and the threats against the nation would multiply. So the president turns to the one team that can pull off the impossible: Will Robie and his partner, Jessica Reel. Together, Robie and Reel’s talents as assassins are unmatched. But there are some in power who don’t trust the pair. An Amazon Best Book of the Month. 500,000 print run.
Maeve Binchy – Chestnut Street
Across town from St. Jarlath’s Crescent, featured in Minding Frankie, is Chestnut Street, where neighbors come and go. Behind their closed doors we encounter very different people with different life circumstances, occupations, and sensibilities. Chestnut Street is written with the humor and understanding that are earmarks of Maeve Binchy’s extraordinary work and, once again, she warms our hearts with her storytelling. 200,000 print run.
Terri Blackstock – Distortion
Juliet Cole’s life has been dismantled by the murder of her husband. She doesn’t know who or what to trust when everything she has believed to be true about her marriage has been a lie.
C. J. Box – Stone Cold
Everything about the ranch is a mystery. Rumors abound about the reclusive millionaire who owns it, the women who live with him, the private airstrip, the sudden disappearances. And, most persistent of all, that it is all funded by murder. Joe Pickett is tasked by the governor to find out the truth. But he soon discovers a lot more than he’d bargained for. 14th in the bestselling Joe Pickett series.
Patricia Briggs – Night Broken
An unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from her new boyfriend. Adam isn’t the kind of man to turn away a person in need—and Mercy knows it. But with Christy holed up in Adam’s house, Mercy can’t shake the feeling that something about the situation isn’t right. Mercedes Thompson series Book 8. Urban fantasy.
Harlan Coben – Missing You
It’s a profile, like all the others on the online dating site. But as NYPD Detective Kat Donovan focuses on the accompanying picture, she feels her whole world explode, as emotions she’s ignored for decades come crashing down on her. Staring back at her is her ex-fiancé Jeff, the man who shattered her heart 18 years ago, never to be seen or heard from again. NY Times bestselling author.
Robert Coover – The Brunist Day of Wrath
The Brunist Day of Wrath, the long-awaited sequel to the award-winning The Origin of the Brunists, is both a scathing indictment of fundamentalism and a careful examination of a world where religion competes with money, common sense, despair, and reason. Featured in The Millions Great 2014 Preview. Long awaited sequel to The Origin of the Brunists.
Gregoire Delacourt – My Wish List
Jocelyne lives in a small town in France where she runs a fabric shop, has been married to the same man for twenty-one years, and has raised two children. She is beginning to wonder what happened to all those dreams she had when she was seventeen. Could her life have been different? Then she wins the lottery—and suddenly finds the world at her fingertips. Indie Next Choice. Booklist starred review. “[A book] the late novelist Josephine Hart might have written." —Kirkus Reviews
D. Foy – Made to Break
Two days before New Years, a pack of five friends—three men and two women—head to a remote cabin near Lake Tahoe to celebrate the holidays. They’ve been buddies forever, banded together by scrapes and squalor, their relationships defined by these wild times. Picked by Flavorwire as one of the 15 Most Anticipated Books of 2014.
Heather Graham – Waking the Dead
Aspiring politician Fielding Pierce and social activist Sarah Williams are madly in love. But while both are passionate liberals, their very different approaches to their beliefs result in a rollercoaster relationship. Nevertheless, when Sarah is killed in a terrorist attack during a mission to help Chilean refugees, Fielding is devastated and engrosses himself in his political ambitions. Goodreads Most Anticipated Mysteries of 2014. Amazon Best Book of the Month.
David Grossman – Falling Out of Time
In Falling Out of Time, David Grossman has created a genre-defying drama-part play, part prose, pure poetry-to tell the story of bereaved parents setting out to reach their lost children. Multi-award winning Israeli novelist. CNN: 18 Books to Read in 2014. The Millions’ Great 2014 Preview.
Kristan Higgins – Waiting On You
Colleen O’Rourke is in love with love … just not when it comes to herself. Most nights, she can be found behind the bar at the Manningsport, New York, tavern she owns with her twin brother, doling out romantic advice to the lovelorn, mixing martinis, and staying more or less happily single. An Amazon Best Book of the Month.
Greg Iles – Natchez Burning
Growing up in the rural Southern hamlet of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned everything he knows about honor and duty from his father, Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor and pillar of the community is accused of murdering Violet Davis, the beautiful nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the early 1960s. Sure bestseller.
Susanna Kaysen – Cambridge
London, Florence, Athens: Susanna, the precocious narrator of Cambridge, would rather be home than in any of these places. Uprooted from the streets around Harvard Square, she feels lost and excluded in all the locations to which her father’s career takes the family. She comes home with relief–but soon enough wonders if outsiderness may be her permanent condition. A fictionalized prequel to the bestselling Girl, Interrupted.
Jean Hanff Korelitz – You Should Have Known
Grace Reinhart Sachs is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. Dismayed by the ways in which women delude themselves, Grace is also the author of a book You Should Have Known, in which she cautions women to really hear what men are trying to tell them. But weeks before the book is published a chasm opens in her own life. CNN: 18 Books to Read in 2014. PW Starred Review
Julie Anne Long – Between the Devil and Ian Eversea
The moment orphaned American heiress Titania “Tansy” Danforth arrives on English shores she cuts a swath through Sussex, enslaving hearts and stealing beaux. She knows she’s destined for a spectacular titled marriage–but the only man who fascinates her couldn’t be more infamous or less interested. Romantic Times: Book Hankering 2014.
Peter Matthiessen – In Paradise
In the winter of 1996, more than a hundred women and men of diverse nationality, background, and belief gather at the site of a former concentration camp for an unprecedented purpose: a weeklong retreat during which they will offer prayer and witness at the crematoria and meditate in all weathers on the selection platform, while eating and sleeping in the quarters of the Nazi officers. Matthiessen passed away recently. His first fiction since the 2008 National Book Award winner Shadow Country. The Millions’ Great 2014 Preview. Indie Next. An Amazon Best Book of the Month.
Christopher Moore – The Serpent of Venice
Another visit to the lunacy of Moore's literary worlds. After taking on King Lear in Fool, he addresses both The Merchant of Venice and Othello in this one—with a dash of Poe's The Cask of Amontillado thrown in for good measure. After Pocket the Fool stops a plot to start a new Crusade, he is thrown overboard and is saved by what he thinks is a seriously horny mermaid and washes up in Venice's Jewish ghetto where he is rescued by shylock's daughter. Booklist and Library Journal starred reviews. Bestselling author.
Brenda Novak – Come Home to Me
When Presley Christensen returns to Whiskey Creek with her little boy after two years away, she has completely changed her life. She’s made peace with her past and overcome the negative behavior that resulted from her difficult childhood. Now she’s back in the small town that was the closest thing to “home” she ever knew–the town where she can be with the sister who’s her only family. An Amazon Best Book of the Month.
Helen Oyeyemi – Boy, Snow, Bird
The Snow White fairy tale used to explore racism. Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts in 1953, looking for beauty—the opposite of the life she had in New York. She marries a local widower, but when her daughter Bird is born, she has dark skin. Boy never would have thought of herself as a wicked stepmother, but. . . . Oyeyemi is being compared to Angela Carter, Salman Rushdie, Jeanette Winterson, and Toni Morrison, among others. CNN: 18 Books to Read in 2014. The Millions Great 2014 Preview. Huffington Post: 30 Books You Need to Read in 2014. Hot Galley of ALA Midwinter. IndieNext Choice. Featured on the cover of The New York Times Book Review. An Amazon Best Book of the Month.
Anne Perry – Death on Blackheath
As commander of the powerful Special Branch, Thomas Pitt has the job of keeping Britain safe from spies and traitors. So there’ s no obvious reason why he is suddenly ordered to investigate two minor incidents: the blood, hair, and shards of glass discovered outside the home of naval weapons expert Dudley Kynaston, and the simultaneous disappearance of Mrs. Kynaston’ s beautiful lady’ s maid. Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series, Book 29.
Peter Robinson – Children of the Revolution
The body of disgraced college lecturer Gavin Miller is found on an abandoned railway line by a woman out walking her dog early one winter morning. In the four years since Miller’s dismissal for sexual misconduct, he’s been living like a hermit, listening to music from his college days and existing as frugally as possible on the outskirts of a small village. So where did he get the five thousand pounds found in his pocket? Inspector Banks series, Book 21. Robinson is a bestselling author in the UK, Canada and the US. Inspector Banks can be seen on PBS affiliates.
Ann B. Ross – Miss Julia's Marvelous Makeover
Its summer in Abbotsville, and Miss Julia has visions of enjoying a life of leisure. But before she can even sip some iced tea on her front porch, a letter from her long-lost cousin Elsie informs her that Elsie's granddaughter is on a bus headed to Abbotsville that very day. Reminding Miss Julia of an old family debt, Elsie proclaims that she is sending Trixie to Miss Julia's to learn to become a lady. A perennial favorite.
Mona Simpson – Casebook
From the acclaimed and award-winning author of Anywhere but Here and My Hollywood, a powerful new novel about a young boy’s quest to uncover the mysteries of his unraveling family. What he discovers turns out to be what he least wants to know: the inner workings of his parents’ lives. And even then he can’t stop searching. The Millions’ Great 2014 Preview. Huffington Post: 30 Books You Need to Read in 2014. Amazon Best Book of the Month.
Danielle Steel – Power Play
Even though Harvard-educated Fiona Carson has proven herself under fire as CEO of National Technology Advancement, a multibillion-dollar high-tech company based in Palo Alto, California, she still has to meet the challenges of her world every day. Devoted single mother, world-class strategist, and tough negotiator, Fiona weighs every move she makes, and reserves any personal time for her children. Isolation and constant pressure are givens for her as a woman in a man’s world. Always a bestseller.
Rupert Thomson – Secrecy
Zummo, a Sicilian sculptor, is summoned by Cosimo III to join the Medici court. Late seventeenth-century Florence is a hotbed of repression and hypocrisy. All forms of pleasure are brutally punished, and the Grand Duke himself, a man for whom marriage has been an exquisite torture, hides his pain beneath a show of excessive piety. An Amazon Best Book of the Month.
Randy Wayne White – Bone Deep
When a Crow Indian acquaintance of Tomlinson’s asks him to help recover a relic stolen from his tribe, Doc Ford is happy to tag along—but neither Doc nor Tomlinson realize what they’ve let themselves in for.
Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal, Sarah Shourd – A Sliver of Light: Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran
In summer 2009 Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd were hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan when they unknowingly crossed into Iran and were captured by a border patrol. Accused of espionage, the three Americans ultimately found themselves in Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison, where they discovered that pooling their strength of will and relying on each other were the only ways they could survive. Library Journal: 12 Spring Books You Shouldn't Miss.
Jeff Bauman – Stronger
When Jeff Bauman woke up on Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 in the Boston Medical Center, groggy from a series of lifesaving surgeries and missing his legs, the first thing he did was try to speak. When he realized he couldn’t, he asked for a pad and paper and wrote down seven words: “Saw the guy. Looked right at me,” setting off one of the biggest manhunts in the country’s history. 250,000 print run.
Martha Collins – Day unto Day: Poems
Martha Collins offers haunting reflections on time and other subjects in Day unto Day, a spare and subtle seventh collection. The book consists of six sequences: during one month each year, for six years, Collins wrote a short poem each day.
In the career-spanning and revelatory A Man Called Destruction, longtime Chilton confidante Holly George-Warren has interviewed more than 100 bandmates, friends, and family members to flesh out a man who presided over—and influenced—four decades of American musical history, rendered here with new perspective through the adventures of a true iconoclast. One of Flavorwire's 15 Most Anticipated Books of 2014
Whether falling in lust at the Genius bar, navigating the extensive—and treacherously expensive—anti aging offerings at a department-store beauty counter, coping with the assisted suicide of her best friend, negotiating the ins and outs of acceptable behavior with her teenage kid, or the thudding financial reality of the “never-tirement” generation that leads her to petty theft, Gurwitch’s essays prove her a remarkably astute writer in her prime. Gurwitch is a comedian and actress who has appeared on Seinfeld and Not Necessarily the News, and Dinner & a Movie. She is the author of You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up.
Arianna Huffington – Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being
In this deeply personal book, Arianna talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a career and two daughters. Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging and giving, Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplaces, and our lives. Quartz: 12 Business Books You Will Need to Read in 2014. An Amazon Best Book of the Month.
Jonah Keri – Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos
The definitive history of the Montreal Expos by the definitive Expos fan, the New York Times bestselling sportswriter and Grantland columnist Jonah Keri. 2014 is the 20th anniversary of the strike that killed baseball in Montreal, and the 10th anniversary of the team’s move to Washington, DC. But the memories aren’t dead–not by a long shot. One of the National Post's 25 Most Anticipated Canadian Books of 2014.
Greg Marchand – Frenchie: New Bistro Cooking
On a quiet cobblestoned side street north of Les Halles in Paris, a veritable food revolution is happening thanks to Chef Greg Marchand’s game-changing restaurant, Frenchie. Here are some of his most inspired and deeply original recipes, dishes that are radiant not just in color but in flavor, and filled with alluring hints of international influences. An Amazon Best Book of the Month.
Pat and Gina Neely – Back Home with the Neelys
For Pat and Gina Neely the secret to a truly happy home is a lively mix of food and family. In their new book, the best-selling authors draw on their down-home roots and revisit the classic Southern recipes that have been passed down through generations. By the hosts of the Food Network hit series Down Home with the Neelys. 100,000 print run.
George Saunders – Congratulations, By the Way
This book expands on an eight-minute convocation address Saunders gave at Syracuse University, which was subsequently posted on the New York Times website and drew over one million page views. An Amazon Best Book of the Month. 100,000 print run.
Birds are highly intelligent animals, yet their intelligence is dramatically different from our own and has been little understood. As scientists come to understand more about the secrets of bird life, they are unlocking fascinating insights into memory, game theory, and the nature of intelligence itself.
Matt Taibbi – The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap
Over the last two decades, America has been falling deeper and deeper into a statistical mystery. As poverty has gone up, crime rates have come down, but the prison population has doubled. Meanwhile, fraud by the rich wipes out 40 per cent of the world’s wealth — yet the rich get massively richer, and no one goes to jail. Reviews say: "advocacy journalism at its finest," "impossible to put down," "brilliant." Taibbi has been called Hunter S. Thompson's heir.
Mission at Nuremberg is Tim Townsend’s gripping story of the American Army chaplain sent to save the souls of the Nazis incarcerated at Nuremberg, a compelling and thought-provoking tale that raises questions of faith, guilt, morality, vengeance, forgiveness, salvation, and the essence of humanity.
Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has witnessed some of the worst crimes people can inflict on others. So wherever he goes, he inevitably gets asked this question. This book is his answer. Writing with his daughter, Mpho, an Anglican priest, they lay out the simple but profound truths about the significance of forgiveness, how it works, why everyone needs to know how to grant it and receive it, and why granting forgiveness is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves when we have been wronged.
Elizabeth Warren – A Fighting Chance
As a child in small-town Oklahoma, Elizabeth Warren yearned to go to college and then become an elementary school teacher—an ambitious goal, given her family’s modest means. Early marriage and motherhood seemed to put even that dream out of reach, but fifteen years later she was a distinguished law professor with a deep understanding of why people go bankrupt.
*Geographical rights may vary by title.
|The Wexler Flex One isn’t the only ebook reader from outside the US market that is available for purchase at Amazon. Yesterday I came across a listing for the Icarus Illumina HD on Amazon for $139.95 plus $4.91 for shipping, a pretty good price considering the specs. Awhile ago I posted about two other Icarus […]|
|The folks at Queen's University's Human Media Lab are back at it again with their truly odd take on epaper prototypes. Last year they demoed what I dubbed the ridiculously laughable PaperTab. Now they’ve got another prototype building off the same idea that they are showing off and it’s just as bizarre and unlikely to […]|
|The Wexler Flex One ebook reader was the first device to use LG’s flexible epaper screen. It is made entirely of plastic, and has a slight contour to the shape. The device has give and can even be bent slightly. It is meant to be very durable, and Wexler claims that it is in fact […]|
|Looking for airfares this summer? You might want to check out Google's flight search tool.|
One of the initial flaws with subscriptions was that even the most innovative publishers who came on board with an attitude of experimentation were not willing to put their front list titles up for grabs. For a typical monthly fee of around $10, readers could choose all they wanted from a narrow pool of unheard of titles and authors. This obviously led to a sluggish adoption on the part of readers.
Now, one of the models is not only winning over paying subscribers due to the wealth of content, but is also establishing a strong support from publishers who are willing to invest their bestselling content. Scribd, who has inked deals with a number of publishers and established a very forward-thinking partnership with Smashwords to include indie authors’ works, announced that Wiley will be posting its bestselling and DIY manual-improving line of For Dummies books to the subscription catalog.
“Subscription e-books are a perfect fit for educational and instructional books. When learning a skill or teaching yourself something new, what could be more convenient than having all the information you need, right in your pocket?” said Trip Adler, CEO and co-founder of Scribd, in a press release. “Scribd provides a great value by giving readers unlimited access to the most popular titles for one monthly price. The prospect of what this means for our readers is incredibly exciting.”
“We are excited to make our books available through Scribd’s e-book subscription service with their international audience of 80 million users across all devices,” continued Peter Balis, Vice President, Business Development, Global Digital Books, with Wiley. “With Scribd, we look forward to reaching a whole new audience for Wiley titles and our authors.”
The manuals, which can easily cost in the neighborhood of$30 or more when bought in print, largely due to the field of experts brought on board to write them, are enough of a savings to foot the monthly Scribd subscription all on their own. The ability to have access to unlimited reference content that has been vetted and rewritten for mass audiences is invaluable. Add this new content to the catalog of works from over 900 publishers in many different languages, and it begins to explain why this round of subscription reading may finally take hold.
Scribd Subscription Reading Adds Titles from Wiley is a post from: Good e-Reader
Smartphones running an e-paper display are really rare. The YotaPhone out of Russia was the first commercially viable product, while we are still waiting on the Onyx Phone. Soon the industry may have flexible and bendable e-ink technology to employ on their devices, thanks to Paperfold.
Queen's professor Roel Vertegaal and student Antonio Gomes have introduced the Paperfold smartphone. The shape-changing smartphone allows users to fold open up to three flexible electrophoretic displays to provide extra screen real estate when needed. Displays are detachable such that users can fold the device into various shapes that can range from an ultra notebook shape to a foldout map. It will be powered by an E Ink touchscreen display provide over a month of battery life.
PaperFold automatically recognizes its shape and changes its graphics to provide different functionality upon shape changes. For example, folding the device into an ultra notebook form factor opens up a keyboard on the bottom screen.
This technology is basically a proof of concept, but does demonstrate the core functionality via Google Maps. Roel Vertegaal who is a professor at Queens University has years of experience in the e-Paper space. In 2013 he demonstrated the PaperTab at CES, in conjunction with Plastic Logic and Intel. Likely this new bendable screen technology will have better practical applications in the smartphone industry, unlike the Plastic Logic tech which went nowhere.
On May 1, 1964, Professor John Kemeny ran the first BASIC program from a timesharing terminal at Dartmouth College, and ushered in a new era in accessible programming. Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, BASIC tended to be the first language that children of my generation came across; despite well-known claims to the contrary, many of us are doing just fine.
We’ve got a few goodies to help get you in the party mood.
First up, our friends at RISC OS Open have produced a disk image for the Pi which boots straight into BASIC V for that authentic retro feel. BASIC V is the direct descendant of Sophie Wilson’s original BBC BASIC, which I cut my teeth on back in the late 1980s, and is therefore officially the best BASIC ever. RISC OS Pico comes bundled with a heap of demos illustrating how BASIC V programs work and how to do things like control the Pi’s GPIO lines, and a free copy of Martyn Fox’s book, First Steps in Programming RISC OS Computers.
Inspired by all this BASIC nostalgia, a couple of weeks ago I broke out a copy of BeebEm and started writing a BBC BASIC version of popular timewaster du jour 2048. It comes in at about 6K of BASIC, machine code and data.
It all got a bit out of control, and to be honest there’s rather more 6502 machine code (and rather fewer comments) than I’d originally intended, but it runs at a solid, flicker-free 50Hz in Mode 2, and gets the Liz “office champion” Upton seal of approval. (Liz asks that I point out that this screenshot was not taken when she was playing the game, because she is proud. She got over 10k points on her first and, so far, only session testing this version of the game, while complaining that it was “a bit hard” because I ran out of colours for the higher-scoring numbers.) You can grab a disk image here; load it up in BeebEm, hit Shift-F12 and enjoy.
Finally no BASIC post would be complete without a plug for Gordon Henderson’s splendid Return To Basic, a modern BASIC interpreter for Raspbian with built-in support for the Raspberry Pi GPIO pins. Gordon’s “BASIC at 50″ post is here.