# Tackling the Logiker 2023 Vintage Computing Christmas Challenge – part 1

Special thanks to Jason Pittman for mentioning this year’s challenge in a comment…

Logiker is at it again, with a 2023 retro-programming Christmas challenge:

???? Vintage Computing Christmas Challenge (VC³) 2023 ???? – Logiker

This year, the pattern looks like this:

`   *     *     *  * *   * *   * * *   * *   * *   **     *     *     * *   * *   * *   *  * *   * *   * *   *     *     *  * *   * *   * * *   * *   * *   **     *     *     * *   * *   * *   *  * *   * *   * *   *     *     *  * *   * *   * * *   * *   * *   **     *     *     * *   * *   * *   *  * *   * *   * *   *     *     *`

This image is 19×19, so while it will fit on a Radio Shack Color Computer 1/2 screen width-wise, it’s a bit too tall to fit height-wise. The challenge allows for it to scroll off the screen, which is something we had to do for past challenges.

I can think of a number of ways to approach this.

The pattern is made up of only four unique lines, so you could print them A B C D B C A B C D and so on. There’s probably a simple way to do that with a FOR/NEXT loop and an array of those four lines.

`10 CLS50 A\$(0)="   *     *     *60 A\$(1)="  * *   * *   * *70 A\$(2)=" *   * *   * *   *80 A\$(3)="*     *     *     *90 FOR I=1 TO 3100 FOR A=0 TO 3:PRINT A\$(A):NEXT110 FOR A=2 TO 1 STEP-1:PRINT A\$(A):NEXT120 NEXT130 PRINT A\$(0)333 GOTO 333`

If we had a larger screen (like the 40 or 80 column screens on the Color Computer 3), we could use LOCATE x,y to plot the pattern using some line drawing type math.

We could try the RLE (run length encoding) compression from past years to see if we could compress it down to spaces and characters.

We could try using math to figure out a pattern.

These all seem fun.

I hope to find some time to experiment. I don’t plan to “enter,” since one of the asks for the challenge is to not share your work until after the challenge ends.

More to come…

## 3 thoughts on “Tackling the Logiker 2023 Vintage Computing Christmas Challenge – part 1”

1. Jason Pittman

Awesome! I’ve got an idea on this one but I’m not going to jump ahead this year and I’m just going to follow along.

One thought here is that you could combine the two print loops on 100 and 110 by coming up with a series that goes “0 1 2 3 2 1”. I did it by replacing 100 and 110 with this: “100 FOR A=-3 TO 2:PRINT A\$(ABS(ABS(A)-3)):NEXT”

Or, you could shorten that a little if you reverse the direction of the array (so that it looks like “VVV”) and use “100 FOR A=-3 TO 2:PRINT A\$(ABS(A)):NEXT”

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