20
Feb
10

PLOT 92,83:DRAWTO 121,83

My First (computer) Drawing?

Above is one of the first computer graphic images I ever created…if not the first. It also represents the first piece of computer coding I ever did. I created it on my brother’s Atari 600XL computer sometime around 1983 (I think). The machine had 16K of RAM. I created it by writing (with my brother’s help) a BASIC program full of PLOT and DRAWTO statements. The map itself was created first on graph paper, and I then translated the grid into data that the program would read and the draw on the screen.

And you thought drawing with a mouse was bad!

I recall drawing a cartoon mouse on my friend Gary’s Apple ][+ somewhere in this same era using a Koala Pad. I suspect it was after this map, but it’s been so long that I really can’t remember which came first!

Once I got my own computer I got paint and animation software that allowed drawing with a joystick (!) and later a touch tablet and light pen. As such, the map represents, really, one of only two code-generated projects of my career (the other I’ll discuss another time).

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