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Thread: MAI Basic Four anyone?

  1. #21


    Wow a Basic Four Forum! I used to work as a programmer on Basic Four computers writing and modifying accounting, point of sale, warehouse distribution, etc for a variety of customers back in the 1970's and 1980's. What really killed BF was the introduction of the 386-486 line of PC's that ran SCO Unix very efficient and faster than any BF machine. Companies like ProvideX and Basis came up with versions of Business Basic that ran on DOS and SCO and it was relatively easy to transfer data and programs from th BF computer to the Unix (or DOS) PC. I wrote programs that run on the BF machine and on the PC using the serial ports to transfer the data and programs, and did a lot of conversions. The advantage of the PC's were enormous beginning with the cost, speed, memory, and support for a lot of peripheral which could be purchased on the open market without being tied up to a vendor. To get into the new platform, customers did not have to re-invent the wheel, as their programs ran exatly the same as they did on the BF machine. I still support people using the old BF programs customized to their needs, now running on Linux or Windows, and with graphical and character, and even web oriented interfaces. Basis and ProvideX (or PXBasic as it is now called) provide graphical and web tools, but still support character interfaces. Instead of terminals you use networked PC's and terminal emulation programs. Yes, there was a life after BF.

  2. #22


    With the help of Richard Swingwood, we have a working Microdata 1600 emulator which can run the firmware, and also supports Marathon disks and half inch tape of both types, as well as 8ways.

    I would love to find if anyone has either a tape to load the Basic Four system for the 1600 (1300 as Basic Four called it), and the firmware for said system. I would be glad to share the Microdata 1621 which I have running as well with anyone to further that project. The 1621 or 1630 were versions of the firmware which were similar to the Basic Four. But only RICM has a system that I know of that might have the disk images and firmware card.

    Jim Stephens


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