About ten years ago, I went with my father to my grandfather's house because my dad had our old family computer there and it was still able to start up, but we knew it wouldn't be able to for much longer. This computer had all of my old computer games that I programmed when I was a teenager, and I planned to copy them onto a 5¼-inch floppy disk, transfer it to my grandfather's computer which had a 5¼-inch floppy disk drive, but also a 3½-inch floppy disk drive. Once I got them on a 3½-inch floppy disk, I could then copy them to my laptop and anywhere else. I was able to copy most of the stuff, and they have been sitting on my hard drive and dropbox for a while, but now I'm finally putting them on Github.
These programs represent a very special and meaningful part of my childhood. I didn't have many friends around this time and I remember spending all day and late nights during summer break sitting at my computer making games and messing around. My uncle John introduced me to programming in Pascal because he was taking a computer programming class at the University of Akron. My grandfather saw my interest and bought me a thick Pascal reference book, which I pored over endlessly. It was so awesome to me to be able to make things - cool things - on my computer. It gave me a lot of confidence and made me happy.
It was a lot of fun going through these old programs and running them again. Some of them I hadn't seen in almost 25 years, so it was a blast from the past. I downloaded DOSBox and was able to run the old compiled versions and take screenshots, which you can see below. I've added some notes to go along with them.
Experimenting with graphics. The reference to John at the bottom line of the code is my uncle who introduced me to Pascal progamming. He must have been giving me a hard time about the structure of my code.
A space fighter game. In the source code a variable is named "missyconrad" - this is the name of a girl I had a crush on in school.
An experiment with sprites to bounce a ball
A trick program that makes you think it is deleting all files on your drive. I totally forgot about it and, after all these years, when I ran the program I totally fell for it. I expected it to be a baseball game and was startled and freaked out for a moment, thinking it may have deleted my files. Ha.
I can't find the source code. I found the source - it had a different filename.
Some weird missile game that I don't think you even do anything with except watch it and hope for the best. You will notice my reuse of the explosion sprite graphic - I use this in a few different programs.
My epic car game. It was my only side-scrolling game, and I only made four screens for it, so there is no way to win. Maybe some day I or others can fork and continue the game, but it would take some work since the sprites/inc files are missing.
A chess program that actually played legal moves. They were random moves, but at least they were legal!
It reads a file and then outputs it in code form, which means it just substitutes random but consistent letters for other letters.
I created this diary program and had it run every time the computer booted up at our house. So I have log entries from myself, my sisters, my parents and friends starting on July 13 1992. The last entry is from my dad, who kept our old computer around for nostalgic reasons, dated Sept.10th, 2006. If it weren't for him taking care of the old family computer, this stuff would have been lost.
It comes with a program READD.COM, which is used to read the log entries.
Experimenting with graphics. Pressing the spacebar updates the screen.
A gomoku game I made. It's played on a Go board and you try to get 5 in a row to win. The computer plays pretty well - better than random!
This is the kind of stuff I did for fun as a kid.
Can you figure out how to get the treasure? Not sure why I called it "mines" - I probably had a different idea when I started. Also, this is heavily influenced from Hack/Nethack, which I loved.
Another trick program (like baseball). Experimenting with pascal audio.
My experiments with autostereograms - pretty cool!
Playing around with graphics
A line goes towards another line and you press the space bar to start/stop it. You try to get it as close to the other line as you can, and it gets faster and faster each level. I think there was a high score list, so I was always competing with myself or friends or my sister.
Fish game. Also, it looks similar to asteroid, in that girls that I had crushes on in school made it on the variables list.
Must have been one of my first programs. Although, you can see in the code I have specific plots (not just random) - I wonder what I was up to? Probably just messing around.
Enter a scrambled word and this program will unscramble it for you! Only, it just prints out all combinations of the letters, so not very useful. I did add some logic to try to highlight words that may be more likely to be correct. I remember trying to find a dictionary file, but I couldn't get one - this was before I had access to the Internet. I think I searched our Word Perfect installation files, but I couldn't find anything to use.
Experimenting with graphics.
The card game "war."