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Techtastic Corner => Graphics, Sound & Programming => Topic started by: TL on April 29, 2014, 21:40:28 PM

Title: Fifty Years of BASIC
Post by: TL on April 29, 2014, 21:40:28 PM
[align=center:1e5zw94b][size=140]Great article over at TIME:[/size]

[size=240]Fifty Years of BASIC, the Programming Language That Made Computers Personal (http://http)[/size]

(http://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/kemenyandkurtz.jpg?w=1500)[/align:1e5zw94b]
Title: Re: Fifty Years of BASIC
Post by: TrekMD on April 30, 2014, 00:10:12 AM
50 years?  Wow!  I remember learning this language when I was in high school! 
Title: Re: Fifty Years of BASIC
Post by: zapiy on May 01, 2014, 20:31:42 PM
Great read..thanks fella.
Title: Re: Fifty Years of BASIC
Post by: Katzkatz on May 31, 2014, 17:02:43 PM
Did anyone else try and make text adventures with it?   Setting up the locations as arrays and so on?  I did that for the C64 and Amiga(using AMOS - as Amiga Basic was well - a bit basic - it was made by Microsoft after all!). 

Yeah - I did get taught a few bits of it in school - and then further education college.  I think both it and PASCAL are considered educational languages.  To get you started programming, then you're meant to move on to things like C and Java. 

I also remember getting those BASIC books from the local library(for the C64) with those listings in.  Tapping them in and then hoping for the results at the end.  In those days - I probably didn't know what most of the commands did. 
Title: Re: Fifty Years of BASIC
Post by: davyk on May 31, 2014, 19:00:39 PM
Sitting at an Apple IIe in school - sometime during 1979-80, I had typed in my first computer program written in Apple's version of BASIC. An app they would call it now I suppose. I ran it (you typed the "RUN" command to do this) and it asked me to enter a radius and then calculated the volume of the sphere with the radius I entered.

The speed it executed at (it was instantaneous) and the fact it was following MY instructions was intoxicating. My hands were shaking, and I knew this was how I was going to earn a living.

I have written code in COBOL, VMS DCL, Visual BASIC, Oracle PL/SQL, VB-Script, Javascript , SQL and XSLT for a living since. And 30-odd years later I'm in IT management, but I still write code at home. It's PHP , Java , BlitzBasic, and even a wee bit of 6502 assembler now. And what I learned from those little Applesoft programs I wrote way back then - branching, looping, subroutine calls, were the building blocks I used for decades, and still use. Yes - other languages I have used require you to be a bit more disciplined, but you can still write crap code in those supposedly more nobel languages, and you can still write nice code in BASIC and it's offshoots.

I'm not a language snob. Yes, certain languages are better for certain jobs such as compiler construction and OS creation, and the elite programmers need those, but for many ,many applications, if a language gets the job done and can be easily changed and adopted in the future for enhancements, and is reliable and performs as well as it needs to , then the pragmatist in me, who has written code that has compiled to software used by hundreds of users, and has benefited many more (at least in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions as I have written software used in public libraries and public sector call centres), says it is good enough for the real world.

What's really important is , if it can kindle an interest in people who have the talent to code, then it is something to be celebrated.
Title: Re: Fifty Years of BASIC
Post by: zapiy on June 01, 2014, 11:32:55 AM
I coded some basic stuff many moons ago, I guess that sparked a keen interest in coding and set me on a road of website building. I have never really ventured past HTML, CSS and such like. Wish I had more time but I would like to perhaps do some basic game programming again.
Title: Re: Fifty Years of BASIC
Post by: davyk on June 01, 2014, 13:21:42 PM
Check out Blitz Basic. Essentially it is BASIC with language extensions for graphics, keypress handling, sound and object data types - features particularly suited to gaming. BB supports double buffering and can be achieved in a couple of lines of code. Compiles to really fast code too.

The original BlitzBasic is free now (I paid about 40 for it for several years ago now). There are later versions for 3D gaming and the MAX version compiles to Microsoft, Linux and Apple platforms There's a new product in the suite called Monkey X for mobile device support. Reasonable prices too - Monkey is the most expensive at 99 dollars.

http://www.blitzbasic.com/Products/_index_.php (http://http)
Title: Re: Fifty Years of BASIC
Post by: TL on June 01, 2014, 13:36:01 PM
I might download that and have a play sometime, thanks Davy.

As a youngster I was very proficient in BASIC, I think I have actually posted some of my stuff on here. I learned both Spectrum and BBC BASIC first and got an A in Computer Studies at school for my BASIC program that took the form of a kind of database where you could search different consoles, computers and games. It was a bit like a wiki I suppose that had listings of games, tech specs, history etc. but could also make recommendations and help you compare products. It was designed to help parents choose the best system to buy at Christmas.

I later moved onto HiSoft BASIC and then STOS on the ST and still have a lot of stuff I wrote in HiSoft on disk, sadly some of it and all the STOS stuff was totally corrupted when I tried it a few years ago  :20:

When I broke my foot and ankle a few years back I started playing with Spectrum BASIC again to help me pass the time and picked it up again in no time. I quickly knocked out a version of a game I made on both the BBC and Spectrum as a kid called Shuttle Lander and then also made a version of an ST game I called Mr. Fruity, a fruit machine simulator basically, although I didn't quite finish this. While playing around with example code from books I also did a little collection of mini-games, most of which were examples taken from the book and then altered/improved them. I began work on a Robotron/Berzerk style game called Laser Bots too but that was probably only about half done when I gave up and got demotivated due to all the trolling I was getting on AA.
Title: Re: Fifty Years of BASIC
Post by: davyk on June 01, 2014, 16:50:29 PM
interesting you mentioned a Berzerk/Robotron remake... I have only created one thing with BlitzBasic and it's a version of a turn-based Berzerk style game I used to play on VAX machines (back in my COBOL and DCL programming days in the early 90s).

I did it purely for myself and don't consider it any great shakes , but it was trawled and picked up by softpedia and has been downloaded over 500 times...it also got a mention here...(PC only)

http://retroremakes.com/nostalgia/2008/03/02/vax-super-robot/ (http://http)


I would like to write an action oriented version of it - making it more like Berzerk - it would take a rewrite from scratch though.
Title: Re: Fifty Years of BASIC
Post by: dougtitchmarsh on June 03, 2014, 17:38:16 PM
I remember typing in pages of listings on the ZX81 and then the Speccy to get a free game. Then spending hours finding bugs I had typed incorrectly or were wrong in the magazine listing to get it working. I got banned from our schools computer rooms for not being a member of the club, but gained special rights to return after writing a simple ball catch game with scoreboard etc.
BASIC was cool back then...
Title: Re: Fifty Years of BASIC
Post by: davyk on June 03, 2014, 20:39:20 PM
Just remembered a Video Poker game I wrote for the CPC464 in Amstrad BASIC. It was actually quite good  - my brother thought it was a game I had bought as it looked quite slick. I had added high/low card and blackjack bonus games to it and also came up with a score mechanism to rate your play. It even stored the hi-score table to tape!!

I sent it off on cassette to a 464 magazine that printed listings but I never heard anything back - I had a green screen but I borrowed a colour screen from a friend so I could add proper colours before sending it off.

To be fair it was a long program and as a type in would probably not have been viable given that the game style is pretty niche. Pity - that game is lost forever as I have no idea what happened to all my cassettes.....
Title: Re: Fifty Years of BASIC
Post by: zapiy on June 04, 2014, 13:19:12 PM
Real shame that, would loved to have seen it.
Title: Re: Fifty Years of BASIC
Post by: RPC_GAMES on June 14, 2017, 23:57:13 PM
I'm writing the MoveOS2.1 BASIC language for the RetroPC1010 Personal Computer Gaming System at the moment. Bugs? what bugs.... Oh, them :) lol. :)
Pete :)