By Carl M. Evans
Atari Basic-Faster and Better
Atari details sequence quantity 1
Carl M. Evans
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Extra info for Atari BASIC faster and better
Copying a block of data means that the contents of certain memory locations are nondestructively duplicated in another location. Moving a block of data means that the original memory locations no longer contain the data. Think of this in terms of a photo-copy process. When you photo-copy a magazine article, the copy is made without destroying the original article (that is, if you don't use the photo-copy machine I have in my office). On the other hand, moving a block of data is analogous to moving a pile of leaves from the front of your house to the back of your house.
4. Replace constants with variables - this is especially good if the constant is referenced more than three times. BASIC stores each variable once as a six byte BCD number. Each reference to that variable uses only one byte. A constant, on the other hand, uses seven bytes each and every time it is used in your program. The savings is obvious. 5. Initialize numeric variables with a READ statement - this one is not an obvious technique. The trick is that DATA statements are stored in ATASCII code with each character using one byte.
A "page" is defined to be 256 bytes. The pages in your computer's memory are numbered by using the first part of the lower address boundary. Thus page zero starts at hexadecimal (hex) address 0000 and page six starts at hex address 0600. Available memory starts at page seven. Page six is reserved for your private use. The operating system, BASIC, DOS and the assembler/ editor will normally not use this page of memory. This is why I usually locate my machine language subroutines on page six. There are only a handful of addresses available on page zero for you to use.