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Thread: Testimonies of using BASIC back in the day

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scali View Post
    I don't recall a lot of commercial/professional software being written in BASIC back in my early C64/MS-DOS days.
    I sure do. At least, on the Apple ][ and C64, much commercial software that I had was either published in BASIC, or a combination of BASIC and machine language. Most was cleverly obfuscated so that it wasn't obvious.

    I did that with a lot of my software, too. The first line (10) of a BASIC program would call a machine language location, where there was a $60 (RTS) waiting. The second line (20) was a REM with a copyright notice and a bad character that would halt the listing. The next line would have an unusual line number, like 1053, where another REM with a bad character was waiting. The program content would start in BASIC at 1054, and the first order of business was to display a splash screen whilst loading the necessary ML code which would be called occasionally.

  2. #12

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    "You want snobbery? Try being a Pascal programmer. All kinds of C snobs always preaching the supposed superiority of C."

    I'll second this one. Like BASIC, I think Pascal became stereotyped as a "beginner's language" as it was pervasive in the educational system for teaching structured programming. I wrote several applications using Borland's Turbo Pascal which at the time had a very well supported library of tool kits. I really enjoyed Pascal and never struggled with any of its (very few) limitations.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avia View Post
    "You want snobbery? Try being a Pascal programmer. All kinds of C snobs always preaching the supposed superiority of C."

    I'll second this one. Like BASIC, I think Pascal became stereotyped as a "beginner's language" as it was pervasive in the educational system for teaching structured programming. I wrote several applications using Borland's Turbo Pascal which at the time had a very well supported library of tool kits. I really enjoyed Pascal and never struggled with any of its (very few) limitations.
    In the demoscene, Turbo Pascal was actually quite a popular language in the DOS days. Probably because it had very fast compile times even on modest machines, and it had good integration with the inline assembler and TASM.
    Even the legendary Second Reality contains some Turbo Pascal code: https://github.com/mtuomi/SecondReality

    I wouldn't be surprised if it was also popular in game development for the same reasons.

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    Business Basic had a surprising hold on the accounting market. The company I worked for in the early 90s was still upgrading some very old Business Basic applications which had been ported to MS-DOS. Fortunately for me, no one there recognized that the Wang Basic I used a decade earlier was related to the Business Basic they were using.

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    Remember CBASIC? Lots of commercial software written in that.

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    I have QB 4.5 on my Tandy 1000 SL. It runs pretty fast on a V30 and 87!
    Rick Ethridge

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scali View Post
    I don't recall a lot of commercial/professional software being written in BASIC back in my early C64/MS-DOS days.
    The commercial use of BASIC almost pre-dates microcomputers. Consider, for example, MCBA, founded in 1974 running business applications on DG, DEC, HP and TI minis (MCBA = "minicomputer business applications"). All in BASIC. I have in my library many thousand lines of their source code. Probably beats those written in DiBOL in terms of quantity.

    There may be earlier examples of major commercial use of BASIC.

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    Chart Master for the Apple II and then IBM PC was probably the major piece of software for micros publicly acknowledged to have been written in Basic. I think there were some other software written in BASIC for other micros but all I can recall right now is Scriptor (type-in word processor) and some games renowned for their mediocrity.

  9. #19

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    Many serious applications for the C64 (I know many of you reading are snickering, but it's true despite the silly "toy" status assigned to these machines by those who didn't have them) were coded in BASIC with parts in assembly where speed was critical.

  10. #20
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    BASIC on the Apple II was used for crypto work--I still have a copy of Mike Lauder's "Prime Factor Basic" for the Apple. It includes such things as modular math on very large strings.

    At Durango, almost every application was written in BASIC, aside from the OS and the BASIC compiler itself. Even multi-user word processing.

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