Author Topic: Basic & Me  (Read 12280 times)

Offline John

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Basic & Me
« 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.

  
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 07:56:45 PM by admin »

Offline drogon

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Re: Basic & Me
« Reply #1 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

Offline Daniel Corbier

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Re: Basic & Me
« Reply #2 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
Daniel Corbier
uCalc Software

Offline JESSEW

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Re: Basic & Me
« Reply #3 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 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!!!
When life throws a planet at you, pull your rip-cord!

Offline tbohon

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Re: Basic & Me
« Reply #4 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.

Offline John

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Re: Basic & Me
« Reply #5 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.

 

Offline wangrenxin

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Re: Basic & Me
« Reply #6 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 company deployed a new product model of the 文曲星 product line which was based on a 6502 CPU and included a 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.

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. 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.

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. 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.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 06:30:33 PM by wangrenxin »

Offline Cybermonkey342

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Re: Basic & Me
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2015, 09:47:02 AM »
Thanks for this very entertaining introduction. I especiallyliked  the insights into the life in China.

Offline wangrenxin

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Re: Basic & Me
« Reply #8 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.

Mr SQL

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Re: Basic & Me
« Reply #9 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?


Offline wangrenxin

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Re: Basic & Me
« Reply #10 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.

Offline John

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Re: Basic & Me
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2016, 09:57:17 PM »
My first computer was a Heathkit H11 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 320200 pixels with video scanout circuitry. In many ways, the Terak was the precursor to the graphical unix workstation that became dominant in the 1980s.



« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 11:44:35 PM by John »

Offline wangrenxin

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Re: Basic & Me
« Reply #12 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, and it can be made into compact handheld easily. I'd purchase one if someone made this to production.

Offline John

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Re: Basic & Me
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2016, 09:45:46 AM »
Linux is the new BASIC.

Mr SQL

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Re: Basic & Me
« Reply #14 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 :)