How to create random YouTube URLs in Commodore BASIC v2

In this episode I’ll demonstrate how to create those seemingly random YouTube Video IDs using a Commodore 64.

Here’s the code I’m writing – works in BASIC v2 and above:

10 print chr$(14)
20 gosub 100:x=rnd(-ti):cn=1
30 a$=""
40 for i=1 to 11
50 rn=int(rnd(0)*62)+1
60 a$=a$+yt$(rn)
70 next
80 print:print cn;" : ";a$
85 cn=cn+1
90 goto 30
85 cn=cn+1
90 goto 30

100 rem populate array
110 dim yt$(62)
120 i=1
130 for j=65 to 90
140 yt$(i)=chr$(j)
150 i=i+1
160 next j
170 for j=193 to 218
180 yt$(i)=chr$(j)
190 i=i+1
200 next j
210 for j=48 to 57
220 yt$(i)=chr$(j)
230 i=i+1
240 next j
299 return

The first line switches to lower case letters (I forgot to show that in the video).

NOTE: In addition to the upper case and lower case alphabet, and the numbers 0-9, YouTube also use two special characters that I forgot to mention in the video. One is the standard minus sign (-), and the other one is the underscore (_). The Commodore machines cannot produce the latter. For simplicity’s sake, I’ve left both of those out (just though I’d mention it here).

Inspired by Tom Scott’s video “Will YouTube ever run out of Video IDs” – watch it here:

Jay is founder of WP Hosting, a boutique style managed WordPress hosting and support service. He has been working with Plesk since version 9 and is a qualified Parallels Automation Professional. In his spare time he likes to develop iOS apps and WordPress plugins, or drawing on tablet devices. He blogs about his coding journey at and

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