AllBASIC

BASIC Developer & Support Resources => Open Forum => Topic started by: John on September 18, 2010, 07:53:59 pm

Title: Basic & Me
Post by: John on September 18, 2010, 07:53:59 pm
I thought it might be helpful if the members here on the AllBasic.INFO forum would introduce themselves and tell us about your Basic background and what variation of the language you primarily use.

  
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: drogon on August 31, 2013, 12:06:09 pm
Hello!

Just joined here...

Here's the "Basic & Me" bit :)

About 77/78 My school had an HP9830 Desktop mini thing which ran BASIC. It has a one-line display, printer, but could read in programs via mark-sense cards. It used to travel round schools in the area (Edinburgh, Scotland) and I think would spend a few weeks at each school. We also had a TTY33 & acoustic coupled modem to the local computing centre (Moray House, Edinburgh) which we could dial up and ask for BASIC! Great times.

Then a few months later I was invited to help the teachers pick a new microcomputer for the school - Apple II, PET or TRS-80. The Apple II won, no contest and that was that. Apples ruled schools in Edinburgh for a few years, then the BBC Micro came in '82 ish.

Fast wind forward to now and nearly 2 years ago when doing a clear-out, I found some of the programs I'd written on the Apple II back then (printouts!) - though it would be good to see them live again, had an idea I'd translate them into C or something, but bought an Apple II - and those 32 year old floppys still worked! Then had a "how hard can it be" moment and decided to write my own BASIC interpreter (RTB, or Return to Basic) - based lossley on some of the Apple II syntax and some of the BBC Micro syntax and off I went...

I think I did a reasonable job of it and now enjoy tinkering and writing programs in my own BASIC! It supportes line-number less programming (the released version needs an external editor, but I have a new version with a built-in 'nano'-like screen editor. I decided to stray from the "standards" slightly in that I implemented one universal looping construct - cycle...repeat. e.g. for i = 1 to 10 cycle ... repeat, or while i < 10 cycle...repeat. While and Until can be at the top or bottom of the loop, so: cycle ... repeat until i > 10 and so on.

Multi-line procedures and functions are supported as well as local variables. Arrays can be indexed by strings too: a ("hello") = 42 so you get a sort of associative array.... (It was put in as a challenge fro a friend who was thinking I could add in support for SqLite - which I may still do, who knows).

There's no OO.

Graphics - it uses SDL under Linux and supports lines, points, shapes and turtle graphics. There is also some support for sprites. Sound support is on the cards next.

And while I didn't originally intend it to be used on the Raspberry Pi, it runs quite well on it and I've added in support for the Pi's GPIO via my own wiringPi library.

(And there may be an offering of my BASIC for the Pi bundled with some hardware under the name FUZE BASIC too - a work in progress!)

So there you go! BASIC for about 35 years now, and fully intending to use it for the next 35 ;-)

(And I've still not run those old programs - one of which was a turtle graphics intreperter written in Applesoft BASIC... I have them on Apple II floppy disc, but need a serial card for my Apple to transfer them off)


-Gordon
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: Daniel Corbier on September 16, 2013, 05:16:11 am
I'm Daniel Corbier.  I started programming with GW-BASIC, and eventually went to Turbo Basic.  I've dabbled in a number of other varieties of BASIC as well.  Today, in terms of BASIC, I regularly use PowerBASIC and Visual Basic.NET.  I also use my own BASIC interpreter (included in the \Langague directory of the uCalc Transform download at http://www.ucalc.com/transform.html ).  Along the way, I've developed an interest in many other programming languages beyond BASIC as well.  I currently write commercial parsing software, which can parse source code from various programming languages.

I recently started an Open Source project for converting PowerBASIC to C++, using uCalc Transform.  The link is at:  https://github.com/uCalc/powerbasic-to-cpp
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: JESSEW on December 05, 2013, 07:39:26 pm
Greetings everyone. My name is Jesse, and my 'company', if you want to call it that, is WarSOFT Apps. I am a truck driver by trade, and a computer enthusiast by drive. I write utility apps for truckers on the Android platform using a tool from another developer which I enhanced and renamed to B4Script, which can be downloaded in the code repository. If you're interested, there is a thread in the Scripting forum about it.

My first computer was a Vic-20. Remember those? 3.5kb of ram, cassette drive, and I loved it. For a while. Then I upgraded to a 16k Atari 800, then a 64k Atari 800XL. I was a true computer junkie, through and through. Using the book, The Atari Basic Source Book (http://users.telenet.be/kim1-6502/6502/absb.html) as a guide, I added over 50 new commands to Atari Basic, similar to what GFA Basic author Frank Ostrowski did with his 8-bit TurboBasic for the Atari. Integers were introduced, and loop functions were drastically sped up. unfortunately, this is my 'big fish' story, and it was never published, and I was unable to locate any of the disks or printouts after a move overseas. >sad face<

I later moved to a pc clone and ran a bbs while stationed in California in the USAF. Mastering different basic's along the way, I finally topped out with VB6 later while working for an ISP in North Carolina, where my main responsibility was custom coding for customers and fulfilling the needs of the ISP such as calendars and online RSVP apps. Another area I was assigned was the very first initial roll-out of ADSL. There I also learned to skydive and accumulated over 200 jumps before giving it up.

These days I can be found riding around with my wife Sue and dog Boji on our RZR, or in our jacked up 4x4 Ford, or sitting by the wood stove watching "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dive's", or "Big Bang Theory" on the big screen. I'm not a coding fanatic like in the past, due to time restraints, but I still manage to get my fix every now and then. My biggest 'want-to' as far as computer programming is concerned, is to build my own object oriented basic from scratch. I think I would like to use Basic4android development system.

I was really glad to run across this forum, and extend super-kudos to John for all his hard work and determination to bring this, and us, all together. Thank you!!!
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: tbohon on May 01, 2014, 11:56:39 am
Wonder why I didn't see this thread earlier???  Oh well, blame it on my age ...

My name is Tom Bohon and I've been in the software business since 1966 ... almost 48 years now.  Spent 22+ years in the USAF working in IT and, for a while, as a Missile Combat Crew Commander, Flight Commander and Command Post Controller ... then back to my field as the Chief of Data Processing for my base.  My last assignment before retiring was as the Chief, Survivability Branch, Modeling and Simulation Division at the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center in Albuquerque, NM.  That was a great assignment - lots of air-to-air and air-to-ground simulations written in Fortran with data analysis, etc.  If they hadn't insisted I was going to the Pentagon I'd probably have stayed on active duty ... instead I retired and came home to Washington state.

My first post-USAF job was working for the State of Washington developing software systems on IBM mainframes to assist in the administration of student financial aid programs.  That involved a lot of scripting as well as a lot of COBOL source code.  I then went to a non-profit healthcare system where I'm about to complete my 17th year.  Oh and for 12 years I taught Computer Science as an adjunct faculty member at two local community colleges.

I started using BASIC many years ago ... right after I built my Heathkit H8 system and upgraded it from two tape drives to a dual floppy system.  Had a lot of fun with that and with the Kaypro 10 that followed - actually developed a program to register, monitor and compute awards for local base blood drawing sessions which made the Colonel very happy ...  :D

Today I use a variety of different languages - as a developer I'm expected to use Visual Studio 2013 at work although I also use Perl, BASIC (several different dialects, whichever seems most appropriate), C and a C# file transfer system/language I developed for use at work.  At home I've been playing with Liberty Basic and Euphoria ... the latter fascinates me for some reason but lack of time keeps me from being really productive with it.

Non-computer interests are amateur radio - I'm a licensed ham operator and the team lead for the county's Amateur Radio Emergency Service team.  That team supports emergency communications and first responder agencies within the county and involves lots of training and drills.

I'm also back into my photography and would like, at some point, to put down the full time coding pencil and make it my primary means of 'entertainment'.  I work with a racing Greyhound adoption group and enjoy taking photos of dogs and other animals so perhaps I can find an opportunity to help out the local adoption groups and the shelter by taking 'decent' photos of their animals to try and get them adopted.

Can't think of anything else.  I've been somewhat remiss in checking in to this and other sites - a couple of health scares (I'm coming up on #68 this year!) - but am back in the saddle and pushing forward.

And John thanks for the site ... I promise to try and help out in any way that I can.
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: John on May 01, 2014, 12:25:05 pm
Thanks for the intro!

Back in 71-73 I ran the MARS station as southeast Asia net control in my spare time. We had a HUGE antenna thanks to the guys wanting to talk live to their families at home. <over> Barry Goldwater was a strong supporter of MARS an used his 800 lines to put through calls. I miss those chats.

 
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: wangrenxin on December 23, 2015, 01:43:34 am
Hi,

My name's Wang Renxin.

BASIC is my first programming language. It was also the only language when I taught myself programming during highschool. So I have always a special passion with BASIC, even now, my major languages (C/C++) for my programming career are not BASIC like at all. It's BASIC which leads me onto the life of programming. So I decided to write this page to talk a little about it.

I was a highschool student during 2002 to 2005. Learning at highschool means heavy homework and pressing test in China. As Chinese highschool students, we found ways ourselves to recreate efficiently. We went to internet cafe for a short while after lunch, most for entertainments from LAN or online video games. That's the only opportunity I could put my hands on a desktop computer keyboard and access the Internet during weekdays. I began to wonder how were the amazing software and video games made out. I'd learned coding when I was a primary school student with another famous programming language for beginners, the LOGO language, but I didn't even consider it programming because at then there's no difference for me between drawing with the tortoise and inputting DOS commands. I didn't know where to start for quite some days, until I got a book on how to program in QBASIC at a second-hand bookstore. I started to spend most of the time with QBASIC on my desktop computer at home at every weekend afternoon; and searched for solution of problems when I sat in a internet cafe. Programming became my favourite entertainment.

I was dissatisfied with programming at home only, after I'd read and practiced the QBASIC book in a fortnight. It just so happened that an electronic dictionary (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_dictionary) company deployed a new product model of the 文曲星 (https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%96%87%E6%9B%B2%E6%98%9F_(%E7%94%B5%E5%AD%90%E8%AF%8D%E5%85%B8)) product line which was based on a 6502 CPU and included a GVBASIC (https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/GVBASIC) interpreter. The interpreter was crude, just like old school GW-BASIC or Applesoft BASIC with line numbers. I programmed a quadratic equation solver to get start with GVBASIC when my dad bought me the e-dictionary; after that, I tried to program some games. The e-dictionary has a 128x64 mono LCD screen, and GVBASIC has limited graphics operating characteristics. I made a Snake porting, a turn-based fighting game, a simple RPG, etc. The most interesting thing was that the e-dictionary has an IrDA facility, which made it possible to share games with each other. I was excited that my friends got a lot of fun from my games. The screen could only display 4 lines of code at one moment, so I wrote my program down on pieces of paper, debugged in mind, then typed and tested it on the device. I believe that's why I'm used to think more before coding. I've spent a lot of time on it, including school hours, that it's a memorable time of my programming life. There was quite a lot of pure fun playing with this old school style interpreter. "It would be really nice to program in my own BASIC interpreter like this", I wished.

(http://41.media.tumblr.com/010ec6a041254c237741a55461a48077/tumblr_inline_nzuc0sZzfB1sea8km_500.jpg)
The 文曲星 Electronic Dictionary with BASIC

After several months I'd like to do something more than retro programming, so I picked a Visual Basic book to teach myself how to make something with windows. I learned modern OOP, Windows API, etc. Besides, I also read some non-technical books such as biographies of the industry, companies and pioneers. That experience made my mind more close to the software industry. And with no doubt I chose Computer Science and Technology as my college subject. I got interested in video game programming and decide to take it as my job, so I've read more beyond BASIC after highschool graduation. But there's nothing, but BASIC, which guides me to control a computer.

I became a game programmer after graduation, C/C++ is my primary language. I was a little bored during the spring festival holidays of 2011, I got a great interest in compiler principles, especially script programming as a game programmer. Why not start to make my own BASIC interpreter with C? That is how I begin to accomplish my highschool idea in about 4 days by making the first runnable version of MY-BASIC (https://github.com/paladin-t/my_basic). I didn't pay much wish to this hobby project after putting it open source. But to my surprise peoples find it useful and send feedback to me. I'd be glad if it helped someone. I decided to take care of it seriously as a spare time project. I've added some modern programming paradigms to MY-BASIC this year, and I still have a big plan in my mind to make a game engine with it.

(http://41.media.tumblr.com/71fca8a92e6016f6162cb179c3cf0539/tumblr_inline_nzuc1iZ7wc1sea8km_500.jpg)
The Learning Machine of China

Children are lucky now, that it's easier to get a computer (or other smart devices) and get information about programming nowadays. I believe it's not only me who got a great hunger on electronics (or computer) but couldn't afford a computer. Desktop computers were so expensive during 1980s and 1990s, that it would cost almost one or two years of family deposit to purchase one. Once upon a time, owning a computer was a sign of wealthy men. Chinese people are good at imitation, some companies produced variants of low cost family computers, most encapsuled the mainboard inside the keyboard, and often has a floppy drive or a cartridge slot; yes, just like Atari 8-bit computers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_8-bit_family). The most famous was called 中华学习机 (literal translation: The Learning Machine of China). Some companies also made Famicom (NES) compatible machines with a keyboard. Those low cost computer were fantastic toy for a young kid. It's able to not only play games but also program with buildin BASIC interpreters on those computers. But unfortunately lots of Chinese parents disliked their children playing video games neither did mine, so I missed the opportunity. I think there're plenty of programmers got start to learn programming on low cost family computers at or older than my age, so BASIC was the only easy to get programming language during the years in China. Children have more choices to learn program now, I'm happy to see there are Python, Scratch, Alice, etc. available for kids. But in my eyes, BASIC could give the most pure fun and experience to a newbie, it never changed since its birth (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYPNjSoDrqw).

(http://40.media.tumblr.com/2cb03fd88f15b04bdd22b25ed2435e49/tumblr_inline_nzuc1qscA11sea8km_500.png)
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: Cybermonkey342 on December 23, 2015, 09:47:02 am
Thanks for this very entertaining introduction. I especiallyliked  the insights into the life in China.
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: wangrenxin on December 23, 2015, 06:32:44 pm
Thanks for this very entertaining introduction. I especiallyliked  the insights into the life in China.

You are welcome.

I updated some pictures of those old local devices, and an image of Dartmouth.
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: Mr SQL on April 01, 2016, 07:49:12 pm
The Learning Machine of China is really fascinating, I'd like to know more about it! :)

You compared it to the Atari 8-bit; is it a clone with a compatible chipset? I would think the ANTIC would be difficult to clone, but I know
there were Atari 2600 clones with the TIA reverse engineered so why not. Any C64 popularity or clones?

I had heard there were clones of the Apple and TRS-80 Color Computer/Dragon in China, easier to clone those ones due to no specialized chips.

The Famicom also had a computer attachment out, was that very popular?

Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: wangrenxin on April 04, 2016, 08:50:46 pm
I'm not sure whether TRS-80 or BBC Micro or something else's compatible models were saled, it's out of my knowledge.

I guess Atari and C64 were never officially introduced to China, I don't think there were compatible machines of them; but the authentic Apple II was popular in computer rooms at school. And The Learning Machine of China is totally compatible with Apple IIe. I don't know how did they make it, because I've never disassemble neither of them, but it supports various kinds of software for Apple II, including calculation software, CAI, games, etc. There is also a buildin BASIC and a LOGO interpreter in the ROM of it. Besides, it's enhanced with Chinese inputting and display.

Famicom was the most popular, almost every console was imitation, every cartridge was piracy at that time. There were a lot of models that were Famicom compatible and seem like The Chinese Learning Machine (mainboard inside the keyboard) made by different companies.
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: John on April 04, 2016, 09:57:17 pm
My first computer was a Heathkit H11 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Heathkit-H-11A-Digital-LSI-11-PDP-11-Clone-ships-Worldwide/151923438577?_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D35624%26meid%3D3fdc92f210d648519341d4de2a99ab90%26pid%3D100011%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26sd%3D151777459543) which I built with a soldering iron and also built the paper tape reader/punch. I bought the DecWriter printer / keyboard for it as well. Paid way too much money to be one to the first 16 bit users.

Quote
The Heathkit H11 Computer was an early kit-format personal computer introduced in 1978. It was essentially a Digital Equipment PDP-11 in a small-form-factor case, designed by Heathkit. The H11 was one of the first 16-bit personal computers, at a list price of US$1,295, but was too expensive for most Heathkit customers and was discontinued in 1982.

On a positive note it got me a job at Terak.

Quote
The Terak was manufactured in Scottsdale, Arizona in the late 1970s. The graphics system consists of a memory mapped frame buffer of 320×200 pixels with video scanout circuitry. In many ways, the Terak was the precursor to the graphical unix workstation that became dominant in the 1980s.

(http://archive.computerhistory.org/resources/still-image/Terak/102627522.03.01.lg.jpg)

Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: wangrenxin on April 05, 2016, 03:35:57 am
I wonder whether computers which only run BASIC are still attractive to people, Raspberry Pi is cool, but it includes a lot's of unnecessary components. The BASIC fun can be found with cheap computers as small as an Arduino (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=arduino+basic+interpreter), and it can be made into compact handheld easily. I'd purchase one if someone made this to production.
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: John on April 05, 2016, 09:45:46 am
Linux is the new BASIC.
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: Mr SQL on April 05, 2016, 01:47:22 pm
I'm not sure whether TRS-80 or BBC Micro or something else's compatible models were saled, it's out of my knowledge.

I guess Atari and C64 were never officially introduced to China, I don't think there were compatible machines of them; but the authentic Apple II was popular in computer rooms at school. And The Learning Machine of China is totally compatible with Apple IIe. I don't know how did they make it, because I've never disassemble neither of them, but it supports various kinds of software for Apple II, including calculation software, CAI, games, etc. There is also a buildin BASIC and a LOGO interpreter in the ROM of it. Besides, it's enhanced with Chinese inputting and display.

Famicom was the most popular, almost every console was imitation, every cartridge was piracy at that time. There were a lot of models that were Famicom compatible and seem like The Chinese Learning Machine (mainboard inside the keyboard) made by different companies.
Very cool the learning computer ran Apple II software! Sounds like the Franklin Ace and Orange clones that were briefly popular in the US.
I like the option of LOGO built into ROM too, don't know of any other machine that had LOGO built in, only on Cartridge.

I learned BASIC mostly on the TRS-80 starting in the 70's, had lots of fun reading and entering the BASIC programming contests in the magazines, one and 10 liners. It's still amazing what can be done in just a few lines of BASIC :)



Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: John on April 05, 2016, 02:38:45 pm
Quote
It's still amazing what can be done in just a few lines of BASIC.

That's why they call it BASIC.
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: n00b on April 05, 2016, 10:57:46 pm
Hello again everyone.  I figured I would talk about my history with BASIC.  I am probably not as experienced as some of the other members here.  I taught myself how to program with qbasic on a packard bell running Windows 95.  When I got the computer it came with a few games on 5.25 in floppy disk.  I remember my favorite game was Dr. Quandry.  I started teaching myself how to program in order to be able to make games like the games I loved to play.  However, all of my games were terrible and thats if they even worked. I had a lot of fun with qbasic.  But then I got out of programming for a few years until I got to high school and I got the oppurtunity to take a class on java.  I absolutely hate java but it did get my juices flowing again.  I would take alot of the stuff I learned in class and try to do similiar stuff at home with freeBasic.  I actually wrote my first 3d demo with fb.  FreeBasic was my primary language for years.  In fact I have the same user name on the FreeBasic forums although I can't even remember my password to log in anymore.  I started messing with other BASICs and eventually stumbled on sdlBasic.  sdlBasic was pretty awesome to use and I loved having a bunch of multimedia commands at my finger tips.  sdlBasic along with qbasic and freeBasic inspired me to create RC BASIC which is my own dialect of BASIC.
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: AlyssonR on August 20, 2016, 01:25:46 pm
Hi, I've been using BASIC since the 1970's, having learned on an ICL1900. I programmed professionally in the language on DEC PDP-11, Transdata CX-400 (8080 system), Digico M16-E, HP Systems (Business Basic ... nice!), and then went into hardware.

I ran a Dragon32 for a long while (Frankenstein-][ - 512k paged memory and with a LOT of hardware mods on-board)

I have continued to use BASIC ever since - as a scripting tool to automate some sysadmin jobs, write modules to automate MS Office documents and to support my own collecting hobby using VB6.

With the advent of Windows 10, I want to move into system agnostic programming, and so I have started learning about ScriptBasic. I'm still trying to get my web-server to accept that SB is a thing and not an error. I may have to regress to XAMPP (tis a shame - I'd just managed to get the Bitnamy Ruby Stack running just-so, too!).

I don't like to talk about excursions into Pascal, C, Assembler, Fortran or Cobol - and am trying to forget ever having worked with DBase and Paradox.
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: John on August 20, 2016, 01:32:52 pm
Welcome to the All BASIC forum!

Are you trying to use the Script BASIC application HTTPD server as a proxy to Apache on Windows?

Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: AlyssonR on November 12, 2016, 08:37:03 am
Been away from the keyboard for a while (summer trips and gardening take priority  8) )

Having spent an age dibbling around with all manner of software to try to get my project off the ground, I have gone back to first principles, and am going to write the initial DB software as a simple application in ScriptBasic, probably with a VT100-style interface in the first instance, which means a serial interface front end, but that is just a software module, after all.

Once I have the file handling and DB logic running properly, I'll work on bringing a web-based interface into play.

Incidentally, there will be none of this new, fangled RDBMS rubbish - the database is just a parallel set of  single table datasets, ideally suited to a variation of an ISAM dbs - with headers, indices and simple look-up lists - and the odd link to blob files.

Right now, the db is in Access 97, it is slow, clunky and is definitely NOT in a good format for data recovery.

Once I have my variant ISAM module up and running, I'll probably share it here. I'll even try to make it a cross-platform beastie *crosses fingers and hopes*.
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: John on November 12, 2016, 10:26:09 am
I highly recommend SQLite as your DB of choice.
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: AlyssonR on November 12, 2016, 11:12:59 am
I'm writing a custom ISAM handler - I need to be able to create arbitrary datasets with minimum hassle, but I also want the entire dataset to be human-readable from a printer dump (the ultimate in compatibility).
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: Marcus on April 10, 2018, 06:42:30 am
My BASIC history is short.

I got an Amiga 500 from my parents when I turned 11 or 12. After reading an article about programming and the different languages in a Swedish computer magazine I bought AMOS Basic. The only thing I was interested in was creating my own games, and that's what I did (for Amiga computers only) until I turned 19 or so and gave up on computers completely. By then I had moved on from AMOS to Blitz Basic 2 and 68k assembler.

200X I got back to BASIC by writing my own BASIC like language, NaaLaa. I just wanted to write an advanced calculator but got carried away.
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: AndrewK on October 15, 2019, 07:30:40 pm
I wonder whether computers which only run BASIC are still attractive to people, Raspberry Pi is cool, but it includes a lot's of unnecessary components. The BASIC fun can be found with cheap computers as small as an Arduino (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=arduino+basic+interpreter), and it can be made into compact handheld easily. I'd purchase one if someone made this to production.

Hi wangrenxin,
My company is working on something along that line at present.
I'm working on a new minimal extensible version of BASIC as part of it.
I'll keep you posted if you like.

Andrew K.
BNotro
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: AndrewK on October 15, 2019, 07:38:02 pm
BASIC was the first programming language I learnt.
I've used a variety of dialects professionally for 30+ years and still going.
This includes various Microsoft BASICs (AppleSoft, QBasic, VisualBasic, VB.Net, VBA, etc.), VAX 11 BASIC, RealBASIC and a few others.

Finally writing my own at present, which I'm aiming to use for a variety of projects.
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: John on October 15, 2019, 08:24:50 pm
Welcome Andrew!

You might want to have a peek at ScriptBasic as a guideline for your BASIC.
Title: Re: Basic & Me
Post by: paulwratt on April 14, 2020, 10:14:29 am
I wonder whether computers which only run BASIC are still attractive to people, Raspberry Pi is cool, but it includes a lot's of unnecessary components.

Thats one of the reasons I ran out and converted the IchigoJam BASIC command help (https://github.com/paulwratt/IchigoJam-BASIC-english) the day I found IchigoJam for RPi (https://ichigojam.github.io/RPi/). Its also the reason why I want to use this RPi baremetal project (https://github.com/paulwratt/raspberry-pi-sdl2) to create a standalone version of SDL2_Basic (https://github.com/paulwratt/SDL2_Basic) and/or my enhanced version of BAS 2.4 (https://github.com/paulwratt/bas-2.5-pw).

I know a couple have been done so far like Raspberry Pi BASIC (https://www.highcaffeinecontent.com/rpi/), but (like a lot of other BASIC users) none of them offer dialect or functionality that I want. ItchigoJam is close, based on MSX-BASIC, graphics, sound and GPIO, but only 1K of RAM. I prefer the vector based graphics and lack of external access to any files outside of SAVE and LOAD, my RPi version of SDL_Basic, Pistol Basic (https://github.com/paulwratt/pistol_Basic), as it is more like a traditional BASIC machine, so I would love to have it as bare metal, 1 second boot up ... to BASIC.

My very first experience with a computer was a fair day at Tauranga Airport in (or around) 1976 at the age of 6. I hacked some 30+ year old guys HELLO world failure on an Atari 400, he wrote "GO TO" instead of "GOTO". Needless to say I got in trouble with my parents because I kept slipping off to watch people use it, and never got access to "my own" computer until I was 15, but  I still remember it like it was yesterday.

In the meantime I read just about every computer magazine I could get a hold of (but could not buy), my favourite was reading the One Liners in the back page of (Compute? or A+?). Later (24) I rescued a complete collection of Byte Magazine that was going to be thrown out, from which I had previously built a Parallel Port Vortrax Speech Synthesizer (age 20), and could be programed from GW-BASIC via text phonetics or phonems. Needless to say the Vortrax chip was salvaged and statically fried, but it was worth a try.

We had BMC Z80 CP/M machines at high school age 13 (case looked like an grey Apple II, but with a printer where the expansion lid was), we had A Single Density Drive with CP/M 2.2 & MBASIC, whereas the seniors had multiple Double Density Drives and some fancy basic that didn't need line numbers, had labels (which could be numeric), a full screen editor and used indents for structure and flow control, did graphics and sound. Juniors got baned not long after cos there were too many wanting to use them, and I was 15 before we were aloud to use then again, and even then it was only sometimes for Maths class. At the time my cousin was given a Apple II clone from Taiwan called Formosa which I used on and off over the next 5-6 years. The next high school I went to had New Zealand created 6809 based Poly terminals with Poly BASIC in rom, for which I the Technical Manual, which got stolen the 1st day I took it to school. Needless to say the juniors were not allowed to use the Apple IIe's and Apple III's at my new highschool, but thats hard to do when you are wave jumping your windsurfer.

Around age 16 I managed to convince Mom to buy a Spectravideo 728 with Disk Drive about 2 weeks before the portable 738 was released, after I was tracked down by the police for spending too long in an inner city Video Arcade. The same computer shop in Hamilton was the first in New Zealand to have an Atari 260ST with TOS on disk and two weeks later an Amiga 1000 which used to play "Smoke on the Water" by Dragon (MOD? no words). I used to created demos and copy type-ins for them before that, on Spectravideo 318, 328, Apple IIe, Sega SC-3000, C64, Plus 4, Atari 800XL, BBC Model B, Acorn Electron. Needless to say I had to leave them and "the family computer", 728 MSX, behind when I changed schools, but I could code Z80 from memory by then.

 My step brother had a ZX81 with 16Kb RAM pack and Warlock of Firetop Mountain, that was replaced by an Spectrum 16k on which we used to successfully fake tape loading with a microphone. Needless to say the resulting programs were always garbage, but they loaded. I got baned from the Spectrum after being blamed for a failed 48k upgrade. Later when his dad replaced it with a CPC 6128 we used to spend hours play "hack my disc" where you had to find a certain peice of info and the disc could be any of CP/M Plus 3.0, 3.1, CP/M 2.24, or Locomotive Basic (no boot sector). Needless to say I got banned for using certain hack techniques which meant I could no longer win, but that did allowed me to recover many computers since then.

I Left school before I was 17, then later I did hardware Computer Peripheral Course that was taught by the ex-manager of Wang New Zealand, and he was able to get some awesome hardware to work on, stuff that a lot of techies at the time never got their screwdriver near, like 5M Pheonix Hard Drives with 5M removable platters where we could practice Azimyth head alignments, and A Wang VS Mini Computer with multiple Z80 cards, cant remember the version of BASIC we used on that, but it could multitask and do interprocess communications. Besides winning the many hacking compitions we used to have, I used to leave "my personal development tools" in E5 directories on the campus 286 MS-DOS 3 machines . (The Wang Wiki page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Laboratories) is rather revealing). Needless to say the course was not nationally certified until the following year after I graduated, but I did get to Pretoria, SA, to do Java Gently with Judith Bishop.

As part of the course I went to work for the newly formed Unisys, still having Buroughs Mainframes and Sperry service contracts and hardware lying around it was the first time I ever used a Unix System V machine, which I broke, forgetting what I changed the root pasword to, which upset the service technicians no end, as it was also the first time they had seen one. I did not get to program anything else there (Unisys Desktop Slices are awesome), but they did send me off to help a guy with cabling, which turned out to be the first Fibre Optic link outside New Zealand, Sydney to Auckland to Welington. Needless to say Unisys declined to hire me for the Commonwealth Games, but even they never got as many hits per second as one of my pages did.

While in South Africa, working for the biggest corporate ISP as a web developer, they asked me to  make a button to print the web page, as far as I know I was the first person in the world to work out you could hook VB for Applications with VBscript, and dynamically print from IE 3/4. I was writing search engines when Google started theirs, ran my own personal RealServer Radio Station. In a non-stop Redbull fueled 54 hour marathon, learned Perl and converted 1000 flat file HTML web pages into a multi-frame database "flash application", becoming the 1st website to use Flash 5 push technology the same week it was released, using multi-homed javascript url redirection (view source line 60) (http://web.archive.org/web/20010330223912/http://www.intekom.co.za/), later being published in hardcopy Flash Websites Book (2001, Intekom SA, the 1st one has monarch butterly). 5 years later in Australia I came across "web gold", figuring out how to get animated GIF's (I chose moving flames) to render through transparent TTF fonts with IE 5/6/7 using transform css, so the text was still selectable. Needless to say nothing mention above made me rich, but they were definitly fun at the time.

I modified a 64 column type-in to 80 columns for MSX, never fininshed my 1st Sprite based (Summergames type) "Race for the Rice Bubble" Game. But loved MSX so much I booted directly into a customised OpenMSX development system on my first RPi B, running NestorBASIC and host folder disks. Wrote a simple listing variable and function documentor, useful for 1000+ line listings, eg :' var mX=map width. I did the same with SimCoupe and a multi-partition harddrive setup. I really like using the Apple //c, the Franklin ACE 500, and the Tandy 100 EX and HX, the Memotech MTX512, the Enterprise 128 and STOS on AtariST. Needless to say I have never owned any of that hardware, except the 4M Atari STe that mum made me throw in a dumpster, circa 1998 (along with my MSX, IBM 3720, Atari 130XL and 4x ATARi 800XL, all with disk drives) , but that is a story for another day

I prefer modern BASIC dialects to use SDL 1.2 because most platforms can run the full set of libraries (unlike SLD2), so they are easily portable to older 16/32bit systems. I've added BIN$, MERGE, CHAIN and 256 colors to BAS. I have started (but not finished) bringing 2 seperate BASIC system OS executables to Linux, one is standard uppercase BASIC commands as SH shell scripts (eg. CLS, PRINT, LOCATE, PEEK, etc), and the other replaces standard Linux shell scripts and binaries with BASIC scripted replacements (eg ls, cat, etc). I would love to have a replBASIC OS integrated shell. In BASIC (where applicable), what commands and/or functions are most commonly missing? FORK and EVAL. Needless to say they will never be made mandatory, but one can live in hope.

I believe the best looking and performing computer in the world is AtariST desktop on  baremetal, with TinyBASIC shell scripting (like SH) and OS integration (like AppleScript), running natively on ARM based SBC (especially multi-core RPi's). I am part way there with pTOS (https://github.com/paulwratt/pTOS), uBASIC (http://dunkels.com/adam/ubasic/), TinyBASIC (http://TinyBASIC) or BAS (https://github.com/paulwratt/bas-2.5-pw). Needless to say OS integration (like AppleScript) is some way off, but not impossible.

Cheers

Paul
PS all languages have a time and a place, but none are as basic as BASIC