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A Basic History
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Apr 9, 2021 00:21:45   #
GeneV Loc: Lampasas, Texas
 
Or, a History of Basic (A computer language)

I found a history of Basic quite by accident and found it very interesting. If you were around when computers evolved from early humongous machines in large airconditioned rooms, thru punch cards, to where we are today I hope you find this video worth the time.

There is a commercial at the beginning. Just hit delete and sit back with your coffee, or what ever and enjoy.

Gene

https://tinyurl.com/45cz9w5b

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Apr 9, 2021 01:25:37   #
Curmudgeon Loc: SE Arizona
 
I don't remember when I started writing basic code but I think it was right after we got our first IBM 8088 machine. It was fun for a while but coding is a special calling that I never had.

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Apr 9, 2021 07:59:20   #
jaymatt Loc: Alexandria, Indiana
 
I learned to write some Basic code while teaching at BSU, but it’s not my thing. One of my granddaughters, however, began programming robots as an eighth grader and is now a software engineer for a large national company. She definitely did not inherit her talents from me.

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Apr 9, 2021 08:11:39   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA
 
I was weened on FORTRAN, then learned BASIC and ASSEMBLY.
I sucked up programming like a sponge. Had about 12 languages under my belt all told.
Except for JAVA... Evidently my sponge got full by the time I got to that one.

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Apr 9, 2021 09:38:35   #
twowindsbear
 
My programming language of choice was COBOL. My main problem was typos in the pinch cards. When I fixed the typos, my program generally ran as intended.

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Apr 9, 2021 09:40:17   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA
 
twowindsbear wrote:
My programming language of choice was COBOL. My main problem was typos in the pinch cards. When I fixed the typos, my program generally ran as intended.

Oh, I remember punch cards!!!

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Apr 9, 2021 10:21:39   #
DirtFarmer Loc: Way too close to New York City
 
Longshadow wrote:
I was weened on FORTRAN, then learned BASIC and ASSEMBLY.
I sucked up programming like a sponge. Had about 12 languages under my belt all told.
Except for JAVA... Evidently my sponge got full by the time I got to that one.


twowindsbear wrote:
My programming language of choice was COBOL. My main problem was typos in the pinch cards. When I fixed the typos, my program generally ran as intended.


I started with assembly language (SOAP) and patch boards. Then Fortran, then Basic. Got into Pascal, then Object Oriented Pascal, then C++. Left off learning new programs in the mid '90s (other than HTML) but just last year got into Python because my old Pascal compiler was getting long in the tooth and Python has a lot more available modules online. The only problem with Python is that it's an interpreted language and although there are ways to generate an executable file, it's cumbersome. Going through the interpreter takes my investment plotting program about 5 seconds to start, but the program as an executable takes about 25 seconds to start up.

Tried a bit of Java/Javascript with my HTML but never did enough to be useful.

I remember the university made a big advance in punched cards one year. The last few columns could be used to record a serial number so if when you dropped a box of cards they could be re-collated. Was great as long as you had less than one or two boxes of cards for your program.

Paper tape was subject to occasional tearing. You could buy an adhesive tape with all the holes punched so you could carefully tape the torn paper tape back together and the (mechanical) tape reader could still use it. Didn't work if you got the paper tape wet. And the mylar tape didn't tear, but it would stretch.

Between punched cards and paper tape, we didn't lack for confetti.

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Apr 9, 2021 10:25:45   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA
 
DirtFarmer wrote:
...
...
I remember the university made a big advance in punched cards one year. The last few columns could be used to record a serial number so if when you dropped a box of cards they could be re-collated. Was great as long as you had less than one or two boxes of cards for your program.
...
...

We used to draw diagonal lines across the top of the card deck using a marker.
It helped a lot "re-sorting" if needed...

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Apr 9, 2021 11:52:18   #
kpmac Loc: Ragley, La
 
I used Basic to program my first Radio Shack Color Computer and upgraded versions of Radio Shack computers later on. I learned a lot about computers by studying Basic.

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Apr 9, 2021 12:24:03   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA
 
kpmac wrote:
I used Basic to program my first Radio Shack Color Computer and upgraded versions of Radio Shack computers later on. I learned a lot about computers by studying Basic.


The CoCo was my first home computer also!
I expanded it to a whopping 64K

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Apr 9, 2021 12:56:37   #
Popeye Loc: LifIno
 
I suffered through Fortran, did a little better with basic until they went into layers. But that was over 30 years ago. My first computer was a commodore 64.

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Apr 9, 2021 13:08:16   #
SteveR Loc: Dallas
 
There is a book titled The History of Salt. I'm tempted to check it out just to see what kind of history salt has.

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Apr 9, 2021 21:16:02   #
RiJoRi Loc: Sandy Ridge, NC
 
Longshadow wrote:

The CoCo was my first home computer also!
I expanded it to a whopping 64K


The CoCo was my 2nd HoCo. I started with a TS-1000 ($50? What a deal!), and had a hard time switching over. "I pressed 'A', why didn't the computer print 'NEW'?"

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Apr 10, 2021 09:09:02   #
malawibob Loc: South Carolina
 
Thank you Gene that was really interesting. My first computer was a ti994a that i had to convert Tandy language into TI to get the programs to work.

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Apr 10, 2021 09:55:39   #
bobbyjohn Loc: Dallas, TX
 
Longshadow wrote:
Oh, I remember punch cards!!!

I, also, remember punch cards... I used to program in Assembler Language for CICS, which was one of the earliest of online systems...and that's without the Internet. We'd take our program which was a stack of punch cards, run it through the card reader, the computer would then compile it. Any mistakes or revisions meant you'd have to find that card and replace (correct) it. Wow! How times have changed!





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