The ANALOG Computing Pocket Reference Card
Unlike programming today, one cool thing about coding back in the early days is that there were a lot fewer things you needed to know. In many cases, you could fit everything onto a reference card, such as The Analog Computing Pocket Reference Card that came in an issue of ANALOG Computingfrom 1985.
This card unfolds like a small map and contains most everything you needed to know to program the Atari. It had all the BASIC instructions, 6502 Assembler mnemonics, useful memory addresses, error messages, ASCII table and more.
And of course, the picture above is a scan of my card that I still have. In fact, I scanned the entire thing as a PDF so you can print it out if you want.
I know this is also already available on the Internet Archive and Atari Mania, but my version is better because it is yellowed and has some of my pencil scribbles on it, right?
As I was looking through the card again, I realized that it might be useful as a mobile app with a search feature. Here is a quick iOS mockup:
You could tap on an item to see the information for that section. I’d also probably put a search field at the top to make it easier to find things. Versions for iPhone, iPad and Android all seem doable (mostly because I’m using Xojo).
If this is something you think you might be interested in, let me know by liking this post, leaving a comment or sending me an email.
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ANALOG Computing was my favorite Atari 8-bit magazine. In fact, I have a nearly complete collection in my basement (only missing Issue 6, which I have been trying to find for 20 years now with no luck). I’ll be writing some posts highlighting some of my favorite issues, so be sure to subscribe!
Update: I found the missing issue 6!
Back in the early Mac days, there was a great app called Think Reference that had all of the OS routines covered by Inside Mac (the official books Apple put out for developers). Man, I had loved that!
I like the search app idea; it would be nice to have an app, with a data structure general enough it could cover many such reference cards for various systems.
Thanks for sharing!