Thursday, October 23, 2014

Beginners all purpose instruction code.

From Wikipedia:
BASIC (an acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages whose design philosophy emphasizes ease of use.
In 1964, John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz designed the original BASIC language at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. They wanted to enable students in fields other than science and mathematics to use computers. At the time, nearly all use of computers required writing custom software, which was something only scientists and mathematicians tended to learn.
Versions of BASIC became widespread on microcomputers in the mid-1970s and 1980s. Microcomputers usually shipped with BASIC, often in the machine's firmware. Having an easy-to-learn language on these early personal computers allowed small business owners, professionals, hobbyists, and consultants to develop custom software on computers they could afford.
BASIC remains popular in many dialects and in new languages influenced by BASIC, such as Microsoft's Visual Basic. In 2006, 59% of developers for the .NET Framework used Visual Basic .NET as their only programming language. Mono is a close relative.
Although quickly disappearing there is a lot of code that you can find on the internet  for programming in basic. Fortran sort of a father of the Basic language. Since learning Fortran (Formula translation) in college, Basic was very easy to pick on. Basic on the TRS-80 model one, was the first dialect for me to use. Of course, every microcomputer manufacturer has it's own version of basic. To use a variety of computers, you almost had to be bilingual. As the personal computer became sort of standardized, gwbasic sort of took over even from the days of CPM. GWbasic also save in a cryptic format unless you saved it in text or ascii format.

Then, very quickly Qbasic took over. In most basics up till that date, you had to use line numbers to arrange all the instructions in a sequence. With Qbasic that changed. Now Qbasic became more like other computer programming languages, including using procedures. Like all preceding basics, it was still interpreted. In other words you could not make a stand alone program not requiring the Basic interpreter. You began to have for of an IDE integrated development environment.

As development moved forward, you finally had versions of Basic that would generate a stand alone program. Quickbasic, Turbobasic, Basic 7 and a variety of others all filled that need. QB45 has soft of taken over the Quickbasic realm and is available for a variety of operating system platforms. In fact we use it on Linux. Considering the wealth of Basic source code from over the years, you can not but help to make it usable immediately. Another Basic that we use alot is free basic. Although it has a Quickbasic compatibilty mode, there are some instructions that do not translate directly as of yet.

There is not a direct IDE in the Linux environment for Freebasic, but you can use programs such as Geany to make development easier. We use vim to work just fine for most of the things we do. We find that Freebasic is very good at controlling hardware such as the parallel port very easily without having to do cartwheels. This is extremely important for doing home automation. In fact it is very easy to include compiled Freebasic programs as part of a cgi web platform.

Though Basic may be a dying breed of development, you can use the source code as pseudocode for other platforms. Found an old book for a dollar that had a lot of code for doing electronics calculations. One of the best book finds for me. Now schematic values such as for resistors, capacitors, and etc. can be easily calculated. Also written business programs such as an editor, simple spreadsheet, and flatfile database with Basic.There really seams to be no limitation with Basic.

Basic for electronics.

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