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Author Topic: SMALL BASIC  (Read 7685 times)
KD2E
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« on: May 01, 2015, 07:51:35 AM »

I've read a bit about the subject. It seems to be a return to "basics", with a somewhat stripped down version of BASIC.
Even a free BASIC editor available for download.
Does anyone know anything about this, or have tried it?
Is it similar to the old BASIC that was my TRS80, and VIC20?
I'm just wondering if anything can be done with it, or is is simply an intro to programming for continuing on with more advanced languages.
Thanks for any thoughts!
....Dave
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N3QE
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2015, 10:04:36 AM »

I think Microsoft Small Basic is rather different from the BASIC's of the 70's and 80's. Microsoft Small Basic is much more highly structured. It is a real programming language and you can very definitely do real programming in it. The example programs look a lot like Javascript to my eyes.

Microsoft Small Basic has GOTO but not GOSUB :-).

If you are looking for something more like the look and feel of BASIC's of 70's and 80's, you might like "PC-BASIC" which is GWBASIC compatible: http://sourceforge.net/projects/pcbasic/

If you want to move to something modern but the "moral equivalent" of hobbyist BASIC programming in the 70's or 80's... especially if you want to write a program for the whole world to use, look at Perl or Python standalone, or at PHP/Python/Perl running on a modern webserver. Or maybe Javascript running in the browser.

P.S. I actually write Perl programs that write my Javascript programs. The BASIC hackers of the 70's can be proud of me. I am living proof that a good FORTRAN programmer can write spaghetti code in any language!!!



« Last Edit: May 01, 2015, 10:51:29 AM by N3QE » Logged
K7MEM
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2015, 10:16:01 AM »

Various versions of basic have always been around and are still in use. But their effectiveness and accessibility are dwindling.

You can run GWBasic directly on any Microsoft OS, up to, and including, XP. I have a old SubNote Laptop running Windows 3.1 that runs GWBasic. But it can also run on Windows 7 if you run it through DOSBox. I don't know if any of that can be made to work on Windows 8. You can edit your basic program directly in GWBasic. A pretty useful program that is written entirely in GWBasic is "HamCalc" written by George Murphy, VE3ERP. You can download it for free and I believe there is a windows version available.

The Basic that was in the Vic 20 and C-64 was pretty interesting. To save ram space, the instructions were tokenized making interpretation of the program faster. One of the better programs that I used on the C-64 was a Morse code send/receive program. The program was published in 73 Magazine around 1981 (?). I had the interface that plugged in the back of the C-64 and used it while I was living in Germany (DA2EU).

The stripped down basic interpreters were usually meant for the old microprocessors, like the 6800, 6510, etc.. Because the basic interpreter had to be in memory along with the program you are running. The problem with the small versions of basic is that functionality suffers. To keep the interpreter small, they may limit branching, the size and type of numbers (integer/floating), or even the available instructions.

I still have several 6800 based systems that are fully functional. However, I don't bother with basic. I program in assembly language and use a cross compiler. That gives me a loader file that I can upload to the 6800 system through a serial port. I actually have the original Motorola resident assembler and editor for the 6800 on cassette tape. It's still usable but kind of clumsy. The cross assemblers I have run under CyGwin (32 and 64 Bit).

If you want to read more about the old processors, 73 Magazine (1960-2003) and Byte Magazine (1975-1986) are available on line. The issues from the 80s have lots of ham directed programs written in basic.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2015, 10:18:28 AM by K7MEM » Logged

Martin - K7MEM
http://www.k7mem.com
WW7KE
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2015, 10:49:23 AM »

It looks like some kind of an update to the ancient QBASIC, but is very minimal.  Probably not good for very much other than just basic (if you'll pardon the expression. Grin ) learning.  Also, per Microsoft, it's only good on XP, Vista, and Win7.  Win8 is not supported.  You need .NET 3.5 to use it.

If you really want to learn how to program, I suggest Python.  It's free, fairly simple, and is available on all platforms and operating systems.
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He speaks fluent PSK31, in FT8...  One QSO with him earns you 5BDXCC...  His Wouff Hong has two Wouffs... Hiram Percy Maxim called HIM "The Old Man..."  He is... The Most Interesting Ham In The World!
VK6IS
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2015, 06:47:11 PM »

and there is also "Yet another Basic".
http://www.yabasic.de/

- available for both Windows & Redhat.
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SWL2002
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2015, 03:56:44 AM »

Check out http://freebasic.net/
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W8ADQ
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« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2015, 07:57:16 AM »

It looks like there are two completely different projects that are called Small Basic.  The first (?) one is hosted on Sourceforge, and has been around a while.  Archive.org shows a site capture from March 2001.  It is a cross platform system.

http://smallbasic.sourceforge.net/

The Microsoft use of the name Small Basic looks like it may have started later, but I can't say for sure.  That's why there can be confusion.  So, it looks like there are two different Small Basic projects.  In any case, it's great to have more choices!  Archive.org shows a site capture from September 2008.

http://smallbasic.com

Both have lots on info on their sites.  It depends on what you want to do and what hardware platform you want to do it on.  Everyone who offers us free tools is helping, whether a handful of programmers donating their time, or a big company choosing to spend resources just to help us all out.  So thanks go out to both teams!

73,
Jack W8ADQ


« Last Edit: July 24, 2015, 08:09:53 AM by W8ADQ » Logged
KG4RUL
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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2015, 11:35:54 AM »

Take a look at Liberty Basic

http://www.libertybasic.com/
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