The Programmable Character Worksheet (Figure 3-1) will help you design your own characters. There is an 8 by 8 matrix on the sheet, with row numbers, and numbers at the top of each column. (if you view each row as a binary word, the numbers are the value of that bit position. Each is a power of 2. The leftmost bit is equal to 128 or 2 to the 7th power, the next is equal to 64 or 2 to the 6th, and so on, until you reach the rightmost bit (bit 0) which is equal to 1 or 2 to the 0 power.)

Place an X on the matrix at every location where you want a dot to be in your character. When your character is ready you can create the DATA statement for your character.

Begin with the first row. Wherever you placed an X, take the number at the top of the column (the power-of-2 number, as explained above) and write it down. When you have the numbers for every column of the first row, add them together. Write this number down, next to the row. This is the number that you will put into the DATA statement to draw this row.

Do the same thing with all of the other rows (1-7). When you are finished you should have 8 numbers between 0 and 255. If any of your numbers are not within range, recheck your addition. The numbers must be in this range to be correct! If you have less than 8 numbers, you missed a row. It's OK if some are 0. The 0 rows are just as important as the other numbers.

Replace the numbers in the DATA statement in line 20 with the numbers you just calculated, and RUN the program. Then type a T. Every time you type it, you'll see your own character!

If you don't like the way the character turned out, just change the numbers in the DATA statement and re-RUN the program until you are happy with your character.

That's all there is to it!

 HINT: For best results, always make any vertical lines in your characters at least 2 dots (bits) wide. This helps prevent CHROMA noise (color distortion) on your characters when they are displayed on a TV screen.

 This page has been created by Sami Rautiainen. Read the small print. Last updated December 23, 2002.