Sunday, July 22, 2012


Petit Computer

Petit Computer is a DSiWare application that allows you to program your DSi in a sophisticated form of BASIC. And gosh is there a lot you can do with it.

The lower screen can be used as a software keyboard, or as a second display. In addition to keyboard input, the program allows you to poll the touchscreen and all of the controller buttons (except Select, which is reserved by the system as a Break button). There are simple GUI features, 100 simultaneous sprites, background music, a simple file system -- it's all very limited, but it can be used to very interesting effect.

The instructions leave something to be desired; they're very lengthy, and the translation from Japanese sometimes makes it seem more complicated than it really is. But there are also over a dozen example programs to look at if you can't quite figure things out.

I've always dreamed of having a version of BASIC that's this powerful in a portable device. I've already ported over my Flash Duel app from my graphing calculator, and I'm starting to mull over a port of Melbourne Tatty. Or Pong Kombat. It's like I'm in high school all over again, messing around with my Commodore 64. If you want a simple way to program your DS, this is a no-brainer.


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