PUTTING THE SPOTLIGHT ON BASIC STAMP PROJECTS, HINTS & TIPS
■ BY JON WILLIAMS
LIVIN’ LIFE ON THE SX28
IT OCCURRED TO ME THE OTHER DAY that I’ve been programming in one form
of Basic or another for over 25 years now ... wow, that seems like a long time!
I taught myself to program on the venerable Timex-Sinclair 1000, my first “real”
computer, which I purchased in the fall of 1981. One of my favorite TS-1000
programs was a version of Conway’s Game of Life — a simple artificial life
simulation. I used to start the program before work and was always excited to
come home and see if the “colony” was still evolving, had reached a state of
equilibrium, or had just died. Honestly, I was always saddened when the latter
event occurred — imagine being saddened by the “death” of a simulated cell
colony ... welcome to my wackiness!
Conway’s Game of Life (CGoL) is a
very simple program, and though
it’s been around since the ‘70s, it is still
considered an important learning tool. I
was telling my friend, Ryan Clarke, a
professor at the University of
Advancing Technology in Phoenix
about this project and he told me that
there are at least two courses on their
campus that use CGoL as part of the
curriculum. That’s the thing about
CGoL; it’s simple, it’s elegant, and yet it
has implications in so many fields from
basic gaming to advanced robotics.
In case you’ve never seen CGoL,
■ FIGURE 1. Game Processor.
76 March 2007