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Testimonies of using BASIC back in the day

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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


      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.


        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.


          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.
          Be polite and I may let you live.


            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.


              In Pick, "Data BASIC" was/is the core programming language. Very popular for ERP and accounting systems back in the day and still hanging on today - my work in Pick pays my mortgage.

              Proud owner of 80-0007
     - The only one of its kind.


                Originally posted by Scali View Post
                However, in Windows, Visual Basic was a very popular option, and quite a few well known programs were developed in VB.
                A lot of companies also used Visual Basic for Applications as an advanced scripting language for adding functionality to their Office documents and such. You'd be surprised how advanced and mission-critical some of that stuff was/is.
                It is kind of shocking how much you can do with a spreadsheet and Visual Basic for Applications. I think quite a few companies made use of that software to get around hiring external programmers.

                Anybody use Visual Basic for DOS?
                What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
                Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
                Boxed apps and games for the above systems
                Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems


                  I don't remember anyone using Visual Basic for DOS. Most of the VB code I was familiar with was business front ends to databases which were very difficult to build with VB-Dos because of DOS's memory limits.


                    Originally posted by geneb View Post
                    In Pick, "Data BASIC" was/is the core programming language. Very popular for ERP and accounting systems back in the day and still hanging on today - my work in Pick pays my mortgage. g.
                    The Microdata Reality-based Pick system was very popular in the insurance industry back in the day. I tend to think of the PICK system more as a file system which used a dialect of BASIC to access it--ISTR that very early versions used something that resembled PL/I more than anything.


                      I use D3 Pick, which is a direct descendant of Pick AP/R84, etc. Rocket Software now owns the product and they produce a number of MV db products - UniVerse, mvBase, mvEnterprise. Northgate Information Systems still sells Reality - it runs under Linux (and likely Windows) now.

                      Pick was NoSQL before it was cool. (hell, Pick was NoSQL *before* SQL! )

                      Proud owner of 80-0007
             - The only one of its kind.


                        My first computer, about 1982, was an Epson HX-20, which had a fair BASIC built in, and a year later I got the add-on TF-20 disk drive, which was well supported by a basic extension. Did quite a bit with that. Still have everything, although just not the HX and the TF are not communicating (but hopefully fixable).

                        On the back of that, I became my work computer expert. Local Council Planning Dept. When the whole council got an IBM /36 the system did NOT have anything for us, so I used the /36 Basic Interpreter to create some software, which (I think) works pretty well. That system did have some extras for structure, I was especially impressed with an 'Input Fields' structure whick allowed screens to be processed as a lump, both for input and display.

                        As others have said, you can write bad code, and good code, with just about any language. Any BASIC is really what you make of it.

                        I worked on some CBASIC code that was handling all the Accounts functions for the State of Maryland Courts system. Was that 'mission critical'?

                        Sincy my BASIC days I went into various combinations of dBASE/Clipper/C, but I still use basic from time to time. If I need a quick and easy prog to manipulate a file, then QB is as good as anything. And it's pretty fast on modern machines.

                        I've played with FreeBasic, and it's pretty impressive, and it's still BASIC as I've always known it. Handy for doing maintenance/conversion things with MySQL databases.

                        Remember the old saying - 'A Bad Workman Blames His Tools'!

                        Vintage Devices: Epson HX-20/TF-20, Amstrad PCW 8256 (with extras), 386 and 486 PCs with 5.25 and 3.5 floppy drives, Pentium 75 with Roland LAPC-I midi card


                          Well, if you paid attention to John Kemeny(deceased) and Thomas Kurtz (still kicking, the last I checked), the only "real" BASIC is TrueBASIC.

                          The others are illegitimate pretenders. In some respects, I have to agree that Visual BASIC is so far distanced from Dartmouth BASIC, that it isn't BASIC at all...


                            How 'bout ZBasic?
                            Rick Ethridge


                              Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                              Well, if you paid attention to John Kemeny(deceased) and Thomas Kurtz (still kicking, the last I checked), the only "real" BASIC is TrueBASIC.

                              The others are illegitimate pretenders. In some respects, I have to agree that Visual BASIC is so far distanced from Dartmouth BASIC, that it isn't BASIC at all...
                              But wasn't Kemeny the one who said that BASIC should never be limited to one operating system, and isn't True BASIC now limited to only running on Windows? And is it true the rumour that True BASIC disables multitasking in Windows; the very language that promoted multitasking at Dartmouth?
                              Be polite and I may let you live.



                                I'm mildly surprised nobody mentioned this:

                                Disclaimers: I'm in it, not at my best. Also, it's watered down for a more general audience. Also, it's very C64-centric. But it's "testimonies of using BASIC back in the day" incarnate, so it's on-topic.
                                Last edited by Trixter; May 7, 2017, 10:16 PM.
                                Offering a bounty for:
                                - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
                                - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)