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10 PRINT – Single line of code as a lens through creative computing

10PRINT_01 copy

A collaboration between Nick Montfort, Patsy Baudoin, John Bell, Ian Bogost, Jeremy Douglass, Mark C. Marino, Michael Mateas, Mark Sample, Noah Vawter and Casey Reas, 10 PRINT is a book about a one-line Commodore 64 BASIC program. The book takes this single line of code—the extremely concise BASIC program for the Commodore 64 and uses it as a lens through which to consider the phenomenon of creative computing and the way computer programs exist in culture.

The authors of this collaboratively written book treat code not as merely functional but as a text—in the case of 10 PRINT, a text that appeared in many different printed sources—that yields a story about its making, its purpose, its assumptions, and more. They consider randomness and regularity in computing and art, the maze in culture, the popular BASIC programming language, and the highly influential Commodore 64 computer.

//Try this using processing (via @reas)
void draw(){
int x=frameCount%20*5;
int c=int(random(2))*5;

Book purchases support the nonprofit organizations PLAYPOWER (to which all royalties are being donated) and The MIT Press, the book’s publisher.

The book is for sale at Powell’s and Barnes & Noble andAmazon (Canada, UK); you can also search for it.
10 PRINT‘s content is also available as a PDF (50 MB), provided under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.

Note: We were hoping to do a proper review of the book but realised that by the time this would happen, CAN readers would miss out the discussions currently taking place on Twitter and Processing Forum. Since the PDF is available as a free download, please let us know what you thought of it.

  • beautiful

  • Jasper

    I love this sort of oneliners with great result.