Volume 1, page 58 in Chapter 2, Tools of Your Trade: String Functions: The VAL Function The ?TYPE MISMATCH ERROR listed for the VAL function does not occur; instead: 1. If the string begins with a non-numeric (except leading spaces) the value returned is 0. 2. If the string begins with a number but contains non-numeric characters then the value returned is the value of the beginning number. The VAL of a null string is UNDEFINED! Because of the hard coding, Applesoft returns 0. But the RAM-based Business Basic returns whatever value happens to be in RAM memory at the time.