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Way back in the '90s, I read a choose-your-own-adventure style book, where most sections ended in a choice of 2 or 3 different pages to turn to (as is typical).

However, this particular book was different from the others in this category, as some of the sections ended with a code listing in BASIC, and it required the reader to type out and execute the code listing in QBASIC, and based on the execution output, the reader would know which page to turn to.

This was very long ago, so I do not remember very much about the book, not even the actual story, but the one specific thing that I do remember, is that one of the code listings involved "encrypted messages", which you had to "decrypt", and that this was simply by swapping odd and even ASCII character codes.

The closest thing I could find was this, except the book I am after is one with multiple BASIC listings embedded in the sections, and not just a single one at the end.

This book happened to be my first brush to "programming", and the CYOA-style was (retrospectively) what got me motivated to get past the initial hurdle/struggle. I'm hoping to crowd-source the identification not only for nostalgia, but also to mine it for potential education ideas.

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There's genuinely not enough to go on here to find the book with online searches.

However, you can find a listing of every book on BASIC ever published at the Library of Congress, all organized into various subcategories. Your book is almost certainly in there.

https://catalog.loc.gov/vwebv/search?searchArg=BASIC%20(Computer%20program%20language)&searchCode=SUBJ%2B&searchType=1&recCount=25

Good luck!

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  • $\begingroup$ Yeah I agree that there isn't enough here for searching. Even with the LOC link, that would only work if "BASIC" was in the title... but I don't think it was or this book. Probably in the description or similar - so would need to be fulltext search... My hope was that someone here would come across this and coincidentally also happen to trigger some (now ancient) memories. $\endgroup$
    – bguiz
    Nov 4, 2021 at 10:58
  • $\begingroup$ @bguiz Those aren't titles, those are subject categories, so basic wouldn't need to be in the title. As long as your book was registered with the library of Congress, which, if it was published, it probably was, it will be in there. $\endgroup$
    – Ben I.
    Nov 4, 2021 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ Exploring the LOC site a bit more - thanks for your tip on categories btw - I discovered subcategories. I manually went through all 111 titles under the "BASIC (Computer program language)--Juvenile literature" subcategory, to no avail. I think I might have to scan all 2221 titles under the full "BASIC (Computer program language)" category. Is there a way to search by category and exclude "BASIC" from the title? $\endgroup$
    – bguiz
    Nov 5, 2021 at 2:39
  • $\begingroup$ My attempts thus far to do the above have been unsuccessful, as unable to "negate": catalog.loc.gov/vwebv/… $\endgroup$
    – bguiz
    Nov 5, 2021 at 2:45
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    $\begingroup$ @bguiz If you do find it, I hope you post your answer. I'm quite curious now! $\endgroup$
    – Ben I.
    Nov 5, 2021 at 14:44
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If you search on Google (or Duck Duck Go) for "choose your own adventure, programming book" you will probably find what you are looking for as well as some modern interpretations.

A few minutes clicking turned up this.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think you have misunderstood my question: I am after a CYOA-style book that contains code listings. I am not after a computer game that is a conversion from an original CYOA-book. $\endgroup$
    – bguiz
    Nov 3, 2021 at 0:33
  • $\begingroup$ Do the search. You may find what you want. $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Nov 3, 2021 at 0:41
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    $\begingroup$ I have indeed searched much, in vain, prior to asking this question $\endgroup$
    – bguiz
    Nov 3, 2021 at 0:48

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