RetroChallenge 04/2017 – Post 12 – Wrap Up

When I set out for the April 2017 round of the RetroChallenge here were my aspirations

a. complete the Dorsett Education program (cassette s/w with voice) on Statistics – 16 cassette files downloaded from and document at

b. Write a statistics program in Kyan Pascal on Atari 800 (emulator) which will compute
descriptive stats, Anderson-darling test for normality, one and two sample T-Tests, one and two proportion tests etc.

c. create videos on creating the statistics program, as there does not appear to be any for Kyan Pascal on Atari

d. blog on the process at, update the blog on creating programs

and now is the time to re-cap final results to the goals.

Starting with the 16 Statistics tapes from Doresett Educational Program

All of the 16 tapes were down loaded, along with the master cartridge needed to use the tapes, I ran through each of the tapes, except one, where the download had a duplicate of one of the tapes.  I earned my graduate certificate in Applied Statistics through Penn State World Campus, where all classes were virtual web-based.  I can only think that the Dorsett Tape approach was certainly a predecessor to this type of remote learning.

tape16 Review - Title

For part B – creating a Statistics program in Kyan Pascal.  I calling this a success, while I didn’t implement Hypothesis testing, I did complete Descriptive stats, Normality-Tests, and plotting of standard normal curves, and additional features such as colors, and loading data files.  By what was accomplished it is definitely proof of concept that modern stats programs such as Minitab can be developed on the Atari 400/800 in pascal, but of course the power of the 8-bit systems does limit speed and amount of data that can be implemented.  That said the chaining of executable programs feature of Kyan Pascal allows for lots of functionality in the space available. Finally a self running Demo feature was an interesting exercise for extra credit.

For Part C. I’ll call this partially complete, I did create two YouTube videos that show the self running demo, given infinite time and space I would have liked to create some Kyan Pascal tutorial videos as well.

Video #1 :

Video #2 :

For Part D. I made 12 posts that about one every third day.  These posts had a good mix of samples of the Dorsett Tapes, Kyan Pascal Coding features and techniques, running, debugging and validating STATS against modern software.  I’ll call this section successful.

In conclusion, I’ve enjoyed this round of Retrochallenge, and have learned a significant amount about the Atari 8-bits through use of the Altirra emulator.  I never had an Atari ( I Timex Sinclair 1000, Vic 20, Apple II and PC 286 in my formative years), but I certainly would love to see STATS run on actual hardware at some point.  While I was successful in implementing statistics programming, there are many improvements that could be made to the algorithms I created that would either speed up processing, or reduce disk space.  The methods I used to create and read/write to the table for CDF could absolutely be replicated for T-tables and F-tables for hypothesis testing and calculation of confidence intervals of means, medians etc.  While I just scratched the surface or graphics programming, it’s clear that run charts, box, dot, individual value plots, control charts could all be implemented.

So It’s been a successful run and if I continue to make additional enhancements to STATS for Atari I will continue to post here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s