It’s customary when making videos about 1980’s technology to wear a funny or ironic retro t-shirt. I have only one of those, so instead, enjoy one of my collection of local farmer hats. In this one we add code to keep the tail pointer-to-pointer (TAILP) updated, to handle collisions with digits on the screen, and to keep the worm at the proper length, growing it when it “eats” digits. All the worm functionality is finished now, so next time we’ll work on the end-game score display, and a better keyboard-entry routine.
Continuing with the Worm game. I thought I had worked out how to make the tail end of the worm go away, and then once I started to describe it I realized it wouldn’t be that simple. We have to keep track of each “body part” of the worm in order from front to back, so we always know which one is the next to drop off as the worm “moves.
In this video we continue working on the Worm game started in #13, adding collision detection and the random placement of a digit on the screen for the player to guide the worm to. Next time, we’ll start by debugging why the digit is always 5 instead of randomly 1-8 and always appears in the third quadrant of the screen. This series is undergoing a slight re-branding. When I started it, I was focused only on the 6502 microprocessor, which is found in many different computers and products from the 1980s (Commodore computers, Nintendo Entertainment System, Atari consoles, etc.
I was telling someone the other day that every computer I’ve bought has cost about $700-800, even though they keep getting more powerful. You can spend a lot more than that, of course. But it seems like each time I put together a system with current proven hardware that’s plenty powerful for my needs, the price ends up in that range, going back to my first computer in 1988. Then I got to wondering whether that’s really true.
I get an automated eBay notification for Commodore C128s, because sometimes I think it’d be nice to have a real one again, and I’m curious about what people are doing with them. But the prices on them keep going up, and an emulator is a pretty good substitute, so I haven’t bought any yet. The picture below is an example of what they’re going for these days: two completely untested systems, which may not work at all, and have missing keys, have a bid of $116 (including shipping).