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Back to BASICs
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Mark Daniel
2021-10-04 22:29:50 UTC
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An interesting (though more than occasionally dry) recent read on the
development of Kemeny and Kurtz' BASIC and its associated infrastructure
and expanding network(s) in the '60s (well before my time) and on into
the '70s (more my time).

~~~~~~~~~~~

A People’s History of Computing in the United States
Joy Lisi Rankin

Description: Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press,
2018. | Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: LCCN 2018009562 | ISBN 9780674970977

1 When Students Taught the Computer 12
2 Making a Macho Computing Culture 38
3 Back to BASICs 66
4 The Promise of Computing Utilities and the Proliferation of Networks 106
5 How The Oregon Trail Began in Minnesota 139
6 PLATO Builds a Plasma Screen 166
7 PLATO’s Republic (or, the Other ARPANET) 193
Epilogue; From Personal Computing to Personal Computers

"There was an amazing world of personal computing, social computing,
and networked computing—all before 1975—and there is so much more
to learn about how those worlds became the ... digital culture that
we recognize today."
--
Anyone, who using social-media (though not today of course), forms an
opinion regarding anything other than the relative cuteness of this or
that puppy-dog, needs seriously to examine their critical thinking.
Lawrence D’Oliveiro
2021-10-05 00:35:52 UTC
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Post by Mark Daniel
An interesting (though more than occasionally dry) recent read on the
development of Kemeny and Kurtz' BASIC and its associated infrastructure
and expanding network(s) in the '60s (well before my time) and on into
the '70s (more my time).
They tried to sell “True BASIC” as a product for the IBM PC, but most people had become accustomed to Microsoft’s dialect, and found the “True” form too much of a shift.

There was one BASIC dialect that, looking back, seemed quite interesting (not that I knew about it at the time): it was called “GRASS”, or there was a version specifically for a Z80-based machine, called “ZGRASS”.

It had no line numbers, function/subroutine bodies were held in string variables, and it also had foreground and background threading. All pretty sophisticated for, what was it, 1978?

You can find docs online at Bitsavers -- see the pdf/datamax/ and pdf/nuttingAssoc/ directories.
gah4
2021-10-05 07:41:13 UTC
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On Monday, October 4, 2021 at 5:35:53 PM UTC-7, Lawrence D’Oliveiro wrote:

(snip)
Post by Lawrence D’Oliveiro
There was one BASIC dialect that, looking back, seemed quite interesting
(not that I knew about it at the time): it was called “GRASS”, or there was
a version specifically for a Z80-based machine, called “ZGRASS”.
It had no line numbers, function/subroutine bodies were held in string
variables, and it also had foreground and background threading.
All pretty sophisticated for, what was it, 1978?
There is also BASIC09 from about 1980 that also doesn't have line
numbers, or at least not on most lines. It has the usual structured
programming system that doesn't need them, but I believe it still
has GOTO if you want it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC09

That is for OS/9, originally on the 6809, and later 68000.
Henry Crun
2021-10-05 10:06:26 UTC
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Post by gah4
(snip)
Post by Lawrence D’Oliveiro
There was one BASIC dialect that, looking back, seemed quite interesting
(not that I knew about it at the time): it was called “GRASS”, or there was
a version specifically for a Z80-based machine, called “ZGRASS”.
It had no line numbers, function/subroutine bodies were held in string
variables, and it also had foreground and background threading.
All pretty sophisticated for, what was it, 1978?
There is also BASIC09 from about 1980 that also doesn't have line
numbers, or at least not on most lines. It has the usual structured
programming system that doesn't need them, but I believe it still
has GOTO if you want it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC09
That is for OS/9, originally on the 6809, and later 68000.
DEC BASIC required a minimum of (IIRC) one line number.
A common story was of a programer who wrote:
1 ! Todays date
32767 end

and then reported to his manager "The program is ready, except for some routines in the middle."
--
Mike R.
Home: http://alpha.mike-r.com/
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Recommended reading: http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html#before
and: http://alpha.mike-r.com/jargon/T/top-post.html
Missile address: N31.7624/E34.9691
Chris Townley
2021-10-05 11:03:52 UTC
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Post by Henry Crun
DEC BASIC required a minimum of (IIRC) one line number.
1 ! Todays date
32767 end
and then reported to his manager "The program is ready, except for some
routines in the middle."
DEC Basic did not later need any line numbers. If you wanted to use the
(why?) you had to have one at the top

I recall when I had an Atari ST in the 80s the supplied Basic (on disk)
was useless, so I ended up buying a ROM cartridge that had (ISTR) Fast
Basic, which was an outstandingly modern procedural Basic that didn't
use line numbers, and provided a good base when later moving onto DEC
Basic in the 90s. Sadly when I sold the ST and bought a PC I was stuck
with the horrible GW Basic from MS
--
Chris
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