BASIC

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see also: Programming Languages

A brief history

BASIC was invented in 1964 by John Kemeny and T. Kurtz, at [http://www.dartmouth.edu

Dartmouth college], where Kemeny later became President. It stands for Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.

Bill Gates made his first Micro$oft dollars by porting BASIC to different platforms.

BASIC was originally intended to be used as a teaching tool, much as Pascal, to prepare students for Fortran.

Coding

A typical BASIC program would look like:

10 PRINT "HELLO WORLD"

20 PRINT "WELCOME TO BASIC"

30 END

As as I remember, BASIC needs the line numbers. This made it easy to POKE lines into code, especially useful with tapes at run-time. For example, you could add the line '15 PRINT "HELLO MUM"'. You could also very easily overwrite a line without realising. Entering '15 PRINT "STOP BEING SILLY"' would overwrite the previous 'hello mum' without a care or a prompt...

Like many words, BASIC also looks really odd if you read it over and over. You can achieve this in BASIC with the simple program:

10 PRINT "BASIC"

20 GOTO 10

BASIC was great fun in school when it came to pranking your schoolfriends...;)


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