Birth of Basic.

Dart

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I just ran across this video and thought some y'all might like it.

It's the story of Dartmouth collage and their first computer. How they acquired it (they billed as furnitureo_O), used the Basic language, and wrote their own compiler so it could run on their computer. It takes place in the '50's thru '60's. Kind of a history and back story of early computing and time share. I never knew that the program name was also an acronym. Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code

 


KGIII

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10 PRINT "I REMEMBER BASIC!"
 

KGIII

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More thoughts...

The BASIC used with Tandy (TRS-80 Model II guy here) allowed you to use a question mark instead of typing print. So, it'd be:

10 ? "I REMEMBER BASIC!"

Hmmm... Insert a space and add a semicolon...

10 ? "I REMEMBER BASIC! ";
20 GOTO 10

Would print:

I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC!

Man...

I have some credit due here but it's long since lost to history.

I wrote a game called "Ski Downhill Faster" and, pardon the pun, it was pretty basic. I gave it to anyone who asked and they'd modify it and hand it off, and stuff like that. Eventually, it even had a scoring system and there was an eventual ghost skier that you were supposed to beat. It was a single round affair, not cumulative or anything.

I kinda wish I'd kept track of all that 'cause it would be a pretty early example of opensource gaming.

It wouldn't be the first, 'cause there were magazines already that had code in 'em at that time. It'd still be pretty early.
 
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Dart

Dart

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My first BASIC program was a reminder calendar source code that I got from a magazine. When I finished it and got it going, my then 6 & 4 yearolds came running into the room. DID YA WIN, DID YA WIN??? DID YA GET TO THE END. (They were into the Sega Genesis at the time.) I turned and said "Boys, I ain't even scratched the surface". I had an 8088 at the time.
 

Brickwizard

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I never knew that the program name was also an acronym. Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
I remember back around 79 spending 10 hrs copying a prog from a book of games, it didn't work, I then spent 4 days going through it till I found an error, it worked after that but I lost all interest in programming
 

MikeWalsh

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I taught myself how to write code to generate baseball card checklists when I was 12 using BASIC for the Commore 64. Seems like 5 lifetimes ago.
Hah!

At the age of 19, I taught myself to use the C64's BASIC, and wrote my own 'Hangman' program, using examples from the hundreds of home-computing magazines on the UK market in the early 80s. It had a 'database' of all of 25 words. Eeh, I was SO proud of meself..!!

It was months later I discovered there was a better version available for download.

As for 'PEEK' and 'POKE', to access/control the C64's sprites & 'SID' chip.....don't even go there. (I'm too embarrassed to admit the number of hours I spent with those commands.....ending up with very little to show for my efforts!)


Mike. :p
 
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KGIII

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I had an 8088 at the time.

IIRC, QBasic would have been an option for you. There's quite a lot of difference between the two.

I did a lot of work in QBasic. In my defense, I didn't know any better!
 

sphen

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That video was a blast from my past. Thank you for sharing it.

I used DTSS (and its BASIC) extensively back in the day. (I also wrote my fair share of code in machine/assembler, FORTRAN, and APL.)

In most locations, we used a rotary dial phone and an acoustic coupler modem to connect. An acoustic coupler is where you put the phone handset into two rubber cups after computer answers. The connection data rate was 300 baud (~300 bits per second). Yes, you read that right ... bits/sec. There were a variety of terminals, but the ASR 33 teletypes were common. The paper was brown, in rolls like paper towels.

(I also wrote a lot of code on punchcards. Some were recorded on paper (or mylar) tape.)

Those Commodore 64s and TRS-80s came later. Several years before the Commodore 64, there was the Commodore PET, with its horrible keyboard. Those computers used a cassette recorder to save and load programs.
 

wizardfromoz

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Closest I got to BASIC was QBASIC and GW-BASIC.

Used to enjoy a game with a King Kong size gorilla standing on a skyscraper and throwing exploding bananas. There was also one with a military tank on top of a monolithic structure not unlike a butte, hurling its shells down onto the prairie or desert below.

I too used to write code on punchcards, back in 1972. They were in Minitran a cut-down version of Fortran developed by Monash University (Melbourne) students. We had to wait until next week's computer group meeting to get our results back and see if we got it right or got it wrong.

Aah - Memory Lane.

Wiz
 

f33dm3bits

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These are the first games I ever played on a computer, also written in Basic.
 

VP9KS

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More thoughts...

The BASIC used with Tandy (TRS-80 Model II guy here) allowed you to use a question mark instead of typing print. So, it'd be:

10 ? "I REMEMBER BASIC!"

Hmmm... Insert a space and add a semicolon...

10 ? "I REMEMBER BASIC! ";
20 GOTO 10

Would print:

I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC! I REMEMBER BASIC!

Man...

I have some credit due here but it's long since lost to history.

I wrote a game called "Ski Downhill Faster" and, pardon the pun, it was pretty basic. I gave it to anyone who asked and they'd modify it and hand it off, and stuff like that. Eventually, it even had a scoring system and there was an eventual ghost skier that you were supposed to beat. It was a single round affair, not cumulative or anything.

I kinda wish I'd kept track of all that 'cause it would be a pretty early example of opensource gaming.

It wouldn't be the first, 'cause there were magazines already that had code in 'em at that time. It'd still be pretty early.
What memories that brings back, battleship in basic on a ZX81! A doctor friend of mine, WN4VAU, changed the words in "Hangman" for the C64 to medical terms, and renamed it "Hangdoc". She enjoyed seeing me hang! Those were the days, my friend!
 

dos2unix

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Haven't even thought about BASIC in over a decade. I know FreeBasic and PureBasic used to make
BASIC for Linux. Commodore 64 and Apple II here I come. Way back in the day, I did a little Pascal
as well. I think GNU still makes a Pascal compiler.


 
OP
Dart

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@KGIII

I was using Qbasic at the time. ;)
I also used it to write a milling machine setup sheet for the CAD department & a few other things. It was a tab thru type thing. Job orentation, tool length offset, cutter diameters, et al. That lasted a couple of years, until they bought a proper CAM package that had it's own setup sheet format. That's when I turned my attention to Unix. I found shell scripting to be easier then anything on a DOS box. I eventually found Linux, so... Here I am. <8^)
 
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VP9KS

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Hah!

At the age of 19, I taught myself to use the C64's BASIC, and wrote my own 'Hangman' program, using examples from the hundreds of home-computing magazines on the UK market in the early 80s. It had a 'database' of all of 25 words. Eeh, I was SO proud of meself..!!

It was months later I discovered there was a better version available for download.

As for 'PEEK' and 'POKE', to access/control the C64's sprites & 'SID' chip.....don't even go there. (I'm too embarrassed to admit the number of hours I spent with those commands.....ending up with very little to show for my efforts!)


Mike. :p
Yeah, there was a kid named Simon who wrote an extension of basic which eliminated the need to poke locations. He sold it to Commodore and they put it in a cartridge named "Simon's Basic". It made programming sprites and sound sooo much easier!
 

KGIII

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OP
Dart

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Man, I can remember that but I can't remember what I ate for lunch yesterday.
Well... At least you can remember you had lunch yesterday!

Sometimes I feel like Lloyd Bridges in Airplane. I could take a handkerchief and run it in one ear and out the other! :rolleyes: ... Or was that Hot Shots?!?!? Arrg.
 

KGIII

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Or was that Hot Shots?!?!?

Sadly, I know I've seen both of those movies and I couldn't possibly help you out on that.

Ain't gotta darned clue which movie that was.
 

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