Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 39 / AUGUST 1983 / PAGE 10

Extended BASIC For The 64?

Is there an extended BASIC available for the Commodore 64? If so, does the extended version include commands for the superb graphics capabilities of the 64?

David J. McKeehan

The 64 comes with a version of Commodore BASIC called "Upgrade" or 2.0 BASIC. This version does not contain disk commands like the newer PETs, nor does it contain special commands for graphics as on the Atari or the TI with extended BASIC.

Fortunately, there are several ways that BASIC on. the 64 can be improved. By plugging in cartridges, you can effectively increase your amount of ROM memory. Commodore has plans to release a VSP (Video Support Package) cartridge that will add the graphics commands BASIC presently lacks. There are also cartridges available commercially that add disk commands of BASIC 4.0.

Another way to extend BASIC is with programs that "patch" into it through a machine language program like BASIC AID 64 that will appear in an upcoming issue of COMPUTE!.

The last and most ambitious method is to make the ROM "invisible" and replace BASIC with another program running in the RAM underneath. This should make it possible to run languages such as Pascal or the new BASIC in the Commodore P128 series computers, without much sacrifice of RAM memory.