I recently wrote about a September 1981 Radio Netherlands experiment to broadcast BASIC programs over shortwave. The concept of broadcasting BASIC programs over radio wasn’t new to Holland. The Hobbyscoop program, which aired on NOS (a Dutch domestic broadcaster), regularly broadcast BASIC programs over mediumwave (more commonly called AM in the United States). But this was the first time such a broadcast was attempted on shortwave.
The experiment was conducted as part of the Media Network program, which aired Thursdays on Radio Netherlands. As a long-time listener to Media Network (although not at that time), I was curious about the experiment and the results. Jonathan Marks, the host and producer of Media Network, was kind enough to provide me with more details about the test.
I ran across an interesting news article by Chris Brown in the July 1981 issue of 80 Microcomputing, titled “Dutch to Air BASIC Program.” From the article:
In what may be a first, an international shortwave broadcasting station will soon broadcast a machine readable computer program around the world.
On Sep. 10, the Dutch World Radio Service, Hilversum, Holland, intends to broadcast a brief BASIC program in computer ready, CLOADable form as part of a weekly science segment called “Media Network”. The show features microcomputers as its topic, and the BASIC program broadcast will be a housekeeping program. It will be broadcast in TRS-80, Apple and Pet compatible formats.
The broadcast may herald a new era in information exchange for microcomputerists. Should the reception of computer programs over the shortwave bands by listeners equipped with ordinary receivers turn out to be a straightforward process, the dissemination of software for popular microcomputers could take a large leap forward.