I used to know how to Write in BASIC, But Basic no longer ..

Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

Dear all:

In the old days of programming, I used to be able to write a few
useful programs for my own personal use using BASIC. I had a commodore
and I could write in BASIC.

Heck, even the friends I had who used IBM 86 series computers had
those computers with basic language.

What happened to that language? All of a sudden, it has been 20
years since I have thought about BASIC. But I now have some programs
that I would like to write. I don't know any other language.

I tried to search for BASIC. However, I came up with qBASIC or
VBasic. They are not exactly the same. They don't have to good old:

10 Print "x"
20 input y
30 ? y*10
40 end.

Does anyone know where I can get the good old fashioned BASIC
which still uses the 10, 20, 30 notation?

I have some simple programs that I want to write and I'd like to
be able to just write them without having to learn a whole new
language. I guess you can call me a simple, home programmer who is an
amatuer and who does not need the complexity that comes with learning
something like Java or Visual C++.

Please help point me to the right direction. Is there a place I
can still get good old BASIC?

thx in advance.

signed: HobbyProgrammer
12 answers Last reply
More about write basic basic longer
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    Most of the BASICs from the home computer era were Mircrosoft BASICs so
    you'll proably want one of those. GW-BASIC (ghee wiz :) was the
    Microsoft BASIC bundled with earlier versions of MS-DOS. Around MS-DOS
    5.0 they switched over to QBASIC which is really just an updated
    GW-BASIC. IIRC, while it doesn't require line numbers it'll happily run
    programs with them. QBASIC also supports the graphic modes of the
    original VGA. I haven't used it for several years but I believe it'll
    still run under Windows XP if you don't use any funky expansions.

    Alternatively, you could download an emulator for whatever computer you
    used to program on and resume from there. All your old programs would
    work (transfering to them to the emulator could be tricky). All your
    old documentation would still apply.

    If you want to make a serious hobby out of BASIC programming there are
    more sophisicated modern BASICs available that you could grow into.

    Liam Busey
    Applesoft BASIC fan
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    Hi all:

    I am the original poster of this thread. With some people's help,
    I was able to locate BLASSIC (Blassic.org), which is a free classic
    BASIC language that runs in WINDOWS xp. It is nice and I was able to
    write some simple stuff for myself using BASIC. However, this is a
    slow language which does not compile. I wrote a program with a 20
    layered loop sequence. The loops take about 4 to 5 hours to run. And
    it causes my computer to run out of virtual memory (900 MB). In fact,
    I am not able to complete the calculations I need because the computer
    just runs out of memory. Hence, I obviously need to look for a
    different language.

    My question is: being that I am only a modest BASIC programmer,
    what do you think is a logical next language for me to learn? Ideally,
    I would like a simple compilable language that is free--I think JAVA is
    free. Do you think JAVA is a language that I can easily transition to?
    What about C? I am open to suggestions.

    I read about Liberty BASIC. I have two concerns: 1. the web site
    says it only partially compiles, which means it compiles to an
    intermediary language. Hence, even though you can write stand-alone
    applications, I worry about the speed of execution. I need programs
    with a lot of Loops (ie: FOR x=1 to n : NEXT x). These are large loops
    that take a long time to run in BASIC (BLASSIC). I worry that Liberty
    BASIC would be still very slow because it isn't truly compiled. So my
    question is: Is Liberty BASIC fast? How much faster is it compared to
    uncompiled BASIC?

    My other concern is that Liberty BASIC costs $54. Being a home
    programmer, I don't know that I'd want to spend that kind of money on a
    language that I may use two or three times a year.

    In summary: what is the next logical language for me to try to
    learn? I am looking for a free, compiled language that a person with
    BASIC background can easily transition to. I do hope that such a
    language exists. I am open for suggestions.

    thx in advance.

    signed: HomeHobbyProgrammer.

    buseyl@yahoo.com wrote:
    > Most of the BASICs from the home computer era were Mircrosoft BASICs so
    > you'll proably want one of those. GW-BASIC (ghee wiz :) was the
    > Microsoft BASIC bundled with earlier versions of MS-DOS. Around MS-DOS
    > 5.0 they switched over to QBASIC which is really just an updated
    > GW-BASIC. IIRC, while it doesn't require line numbers it'll happily run
    > programs with them. QBASIC also supports the graphic modes of the
    > original VGA. I haven't used it for several years but I believe it'll
    > still run under Windows XP if you don't use any funky expansions.
    >
    > Alternatively, you could download an emulator for whatever computer you
    > used to program on and resume from there. All your old programs would
    > work (transfering to them to the emulator could be tricky). All your
    > old documentation would still apply.
    >
    > If you want to make a serious hobby out of BASIC programming there are
    > more sophisicated modern BASICs available that you could grow into.
    >
    > Liam Busey
    > Applesoft BASIC fan
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    > I am the original poster of this thread. With some people's help,
    >I was able to locate BLASSIC (Blassic.org), which is a free classic
    >BASIC language that runs in WINDOWS xp. It is nice and I was able to
    >write some simple stuff for myself using BASIC. However, this is a
    >slow language which does not compile.

    Just for the record, most of the old versions of BASIC didn't compile
    either, they were interpreted.

    >I wrote a program with a 20 layered loop sequence.

    Do you mean a nested loop 20 layers deep? ie:

    loop 1 to x1:
    loop 1 to x2:
    loop 1 to x3:
    ...
    loop 1 to x20:
    do stuff
    end loop.

    If yes, then don't worry about the language, come up with a better way to
    do what you're trying to do! It doesn't matter what langauge you use,
    that's gonna be slow. You'll be running the instruction in the innerloop
    x^20 times! That's a lot. What are you trying to do?

    > Hence, I obviously need to look for a different language. My question
    > is: being that I am only a modest BASIC programmer, what do you think
    > is a logical next language for me to learn? Ideally, I would like a
    > simple compilable language that is free--I think JAVA is free.
    > Do you think JAVA is a language that I can easily transition to? What
    > about C? I am open to suggestions.

    There are many free languages in the world, I'm sure we can find one for
    you.
    The first question is, what are you trying to do? You mentioned
    calculations, is doing math your primary use for the language? Would you
    like to do text manipulation? What about graphics or multimedia? What's
    your goal?
    I doubt the C would be best for you. Java is a possibility, but
    probably still more complex than you want. I suspect Python may be what
    you're looking for. It's pretty simple, and very powerful. It's also
    interpreted, so you can run what you've written without compilation, and
    it has good math and text manipulation routines. try http://python.org
    If you're looking for easy multimedia/image manipulation, you could
    look into Squeak! http://squeak.org/

    --
    Jim Leek
    jrleek@soda.berkeley.edu
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    James Robert Leek wrote:

    >
    > Do you mean a nested loop 20 layers deep? ie:
    >
    > loop 1 to x1:
    > loop 1 to x2:
    > loop 1 to x3:
    > ...
    > loop 1 to x20:
    > do stuff
    > end loop.
    >
    > If yes, then don't worry about the language, come up with a better way to
    > do what you're trying to do! It doesn't matter what langauge you use,
    > that's gonna be slow. You'll be running the instruction in the innerloop
    > x^20 times! That's a lot. What are you trying to do?
    >
    > I doubt the C would be best for you. Java is a possibility, but
    > probably still more complex than you want. I suspect Python may be what
    > you're looking for. It's pretty simple, and very powerful. It's also
    > interpreted, so you can run what you've written without compilation, and
    > it has good math and text manipulation routines. try http://python.org
    > If you're looking for easy multimedia/image manipulation, you could
    > look into Squeak! http://squeak.org/
    >
    > --
    > Jim Leek
    > jrleek@soda.berkeley.edu

    Hi: JrLeek:

    This is what I am trying to do: I would like to write a password
    analyzer. For example, you have a password like "Hard!2!Crack". This
    word has 12 letters. Each letter position has 95 possible variations.
    This would mean that it takes 95^12 (95 to the 12th power) combinations
    to figure out.

    I am using loops to try to run the password. Think of it like a
    odometer start at 000000000001 The last digit keeps rolling and every
    95th roll, the next digit rolls by one.

    The idea is to keep the loops rolling until the right combination
    is hit.

    I wrote this as a password Analyzer (as opposed to a Password
    Cracker) because I can only analyze passwords. In order to make it
    into a cracker, I woudl have to some how learn to write a program that
    actually places an User ID and Password repeatedly into the correct
    field until the cracker cycled to the correct combination. I dont have
    the know how to implement that sequence.

    Mind you, I am only doing this as a fun project. I am not a real
    cracker. I only choose this project because it seemed like a fun
    project.

    I was successful in writing the code analyzer (not the cracker),
    and I am able to have the computer guess 5 letter passwords in about 5
    hours. However, anything longer than that, my computer actually runs
    out of virtual memory (for some reason BLASSIC eats up the virtual
    memory when deep in loops).

    So, to answer your question, I am mainly trying to write a hobby
    password analyzer (eventually, I'd like to turn it into a cracker).
    This is strictly only in fun. I would never do anything malicious--not
    only because I'd risk being prosecuted, but because I don't have any
    reason to want to really infiltrate any one's email account.

    It would just be something neat to try to do to see if it could be
    done. And the education I would get in terms of learnning a new
    language and problem solving (ie logical sequencing) would also be very
    enriching.

    Do you have any suggestions as to what language would suit my
    project?

    As far as trying to find a different way to do the program: I
    don't think I can get away from using loops. But I may be able to
    weigh the 95 possibilities differently. By this I mean: the letter A
    would be weighted more than the letter j. I could try to weigh the
    more frequently used letters more heavily. Also, I could try to
    increase the likelihood of touching letters forming common sequences:
    ie if the first digit is "G", then the next letter should be a vowel.
    I would weigh things this way because certain letters appear next to
    another letter more frequently than others. This is to say, a person
    is more likely to have a password that spells a word such as
    "Top#Secret", rather than completely random "T#P!V((&*#" passwords.

    So, knowing the habbits of people, maybe I can weigh certain
    combinations more favorably. That is one way I can think of to lessen
    the impact of deep loops.

    Do you have any other suggestoins?

    [Disclaimer: the program I am trying to write is strictly for an
    educational project. It is not intended for bad applications of
    computer technology]

    signed: HobbyProgramLearner.

    signed: hobbyGuy.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    About your memory problem - I don't know BLASSIC, but IIRC classic
    BASIC declares variables dynamically. If you are using a new variable
    inside your core loop, you are probably allocating memory for that
    variable thousands of times. Try initializing every variable you use
    when the program begins, so it will already be allocated before
    entering the loop. If BLASSIC offers both global and local variables,
    make sure your locals are released when you leave a subroutine.

    As for intelligently branching to different characters based on the
    current character - it will make the program MUCH larger, but it will
    certainly improve it's performance if done well. You can either
    hardcode this, making a large number of subroutines to choose from, or
    you can create a bunch of arrays containing all the re-arranged ASCII
    sequences. Either way, you could simply end up making your memory
    problem worse.

    If this analyzer is intended to determine how easy a password is to
    crack, then it will simply tell you that zzzzzzzzzzzz is the most
    secure password, since that is the last sequence it will test. Modern
    hackers use dictionary tools (I think one of the firsty was called
    "satan" or something like that) to try matching passwords against real
    words found in English (or any other language). This is why most IT
    managers today insist you include capitol letters and numbers mixed
    into your passwords.
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    >
    > This is what I am trying to do: I would like to write a password
    >analyzer. For example, you have a password like "Hard!2!Crack". This
    >word has 12 letters. Each letter position has 95 possible variations.
    >This would mean that it takes 95^12 (95 to the 12th power) combinations
    >to figure out.
    >
    > I am using loops to try to run the password. Think of it like a
    >odometer start at 000000000001 The last digit keeps rolling and every
    >95th roll, the next digit rolls by one.
    >
    > The idea is to keep the loops rolling until the right combination
    >is hit.
    >
    So, yeah. That's gonna take a long time no matter what you do. A big
    nested loop may not be the best solution, but it's good enough. (Of
    course, real password crackers usually use dictionary attacks. If you
    have 1 password you really want to crac, a dictionary attack will not
    always be able to crack it, but on a set of passwords where you only need
    one, it is optimal.)

    Ok, this sort of program should probably be written in C, because you
    really do want every ounce of speed. This actually isn't even terribly
    difficult in C, although it is a little trickier than other languages.
    C++ might also be reasonable so you could take advantage of the string
    class, which is reasonably efficent. This is, however, right up C's
    alley. Python would probably be ok, it would certainly be the easiest,
    but it would be slower.

    The other poster is probably right about BLASSIC dynamically allocating
    variables every time you declare them. This is also bad because it's
    really slow. Another possibility is that BLASSIC has some sort of
    internal memory leak.

    > Mind you, I am only doing this as a fun project. I am not a real
    >cracker. I only choose this project because it seemed like a fun
    >project.

    No need to justify yourself. If you were a cracker, you'd just download
    one of the existing tools. :P This is actually similar to my one and only
    attempt at cracking, a friend of mine sent me a zip file he had password
    protected and forgotten the password. A dictionary attack failed, so I
    tried an attack similar to the above. I got up to about 8 characters and
    quit. I think it was going to take over 24 hours testing the set of 9
    character passwords. So, I never cracked it.

    --
    Jim Leek
    jrleek@soda.berkeley.edu
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    Impmon wrote:
    > On 4 Jul 2005 12:13:27 -0700, tang91766@yahoo.com wrote:
    >
    > > What happened to that language?
    >
    > Same way LOGO, PILOT, COBOL, FORTRAN, and PASCAL went away. JAVA and
    > C+'s were more practical even though it has higher learning curve than
    > BASIC.

    The market share of Fortran has declined, but it has not gone away. The
    comp.lang.fortran is active, with people writing new code in Fortran
    95. There are many Fortran compiler vendors, listed at
    http://editors.dmoz.org/Computers/Programming/Languages/Fortran/Compilers/
    ..
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    On 4 Jul 2005 12:13:27 -0700, tang91766@yahoo.com wrote:

    > What happened to that language?

    Same way LOGO, PILOT, COBOL, FORTRAN, and PASCAL went away. JAVA and
    C+'s were more practical even though it has higher learning curve than
    BASIC.
    --
    When you hear the toilet flush, and hear the words "uh oh", it's already
    too late. - by anonymous Mother in Austin, TX
    To reply, replace digi.mon with phreaker.net
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    On 8 Jul 2005 10:09:31 -0700, tang91766@yahoo.com wrote:

    >I was able to locate BLASSIC (Blassic.org), which is a free classic
    >BASIC language that runs in WINDOWS xp. It is nice and I was able to
    >write some simple stuff for myself using BASIC. However, this is a
    >slow language which does not compile. I wrote a program with a 20
    >layered loop sequence. The loops take about 4 to 5 hours to run. And
    >it causes my computer to run out of virtual memory (900 MB). In fact,
    >I am not able to complete the calculations I need because the computer
    >just runs out of memory. Hence, I obviously need to look for a
    >different language.

    I had a BASIC program for Commodore 64 that drew complex 3D image
    using cosine (looks like bird's eye view of lunar surface). Took the
    Commodore 64 about 6 hours to do it but was doable. I also had one
    that drew 3D image of torus (doughnut) using user inputed variable for
    viewing angles and such.

    When I transfered those codes to PC using GWBasic, I was able to
    accomplish the same task in just a few minutes on a 486 even though I
    resized the image to take full display of 640x480 rather than 320x192
    resolution of C64. GWBasic still worked under Windows XP but I have
    lost the disk with that 3D code. I think it'll work fine on modern PC
    that still allows DOS prompt.

    If I ever find the Commodore 64 disk I'll try to get it over to GW
    Basic and see how fast an overclocked P4 can do. =)
    --
    When you hear the toilet flush, and hear the words "uh oh", it's already
    too late. - by anonymous Mother in Austin, TX
    To reply, replace digi.mon with phreaker.net
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    In article <pha2d15h2bkb0h91ohkg1o8orimf4btlc6@4ax.com>,
    Impmon <impmon@digi.mon> wrote:
    >On 4 Jul 2005 12:13:27 -0700, tang91766@yahoo.com wrote:
    >
    >> What happened to that language?
    >
    >Same way LOGO, PILOT, COBOL, FORTRAN, and PASCAL went away. JAVA and
    >C+'s were more practical even though it has higher learning curve than
    >BASIC.

    Engineers still use FORTRAN a lot. I work at a National Research Lab,
    and the physicists pretty much all use FORTRAN. The FORTRAN 2003 standard
    is out, and there are new compilers on the way!
    Also, Pascal is pretty much outta style, but Ada is a descendant that is
    still used by the military. LOGO offshoot Scheme is still used,
    especially in Computer Science college programs.

    --
    Jim Leek
    jrleek@soda.berkeley.edu
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    Impmon <impmon@digi.mon> wrote:
    > On 4 Jul 2005 12:13:27 -0700, tang91766@yahoo.com wrote:
    >> What happened to that language?

    > Same way LOGO, PILOT, COBOL, FORTRAN, and PASCAL went away.

    Pascal sort of evolved into Delphi which, while not used a whole
    lot, is still around. Pascal was a wonderful language, and
    Delphi a worthy successor.
    --
    //*================================================================++
    || Russ Perry Jr 2175 S Tonne Dr #114 Arlington Hts IL 60005 ||
    || 847-952-9729 slapdash@rcn.com [NEW!] VIDEOGAME COLLECTOR! ||
    ++================================================================*//
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

    In article <slapdash-4CA8A7.18513610072005@news.rcn.com>,
    Russ Perry Jr <slapdash@rcn.com> wrote:
    >Impmon <impmon@digi.mon> wrote:
    >> On 4 Jul 2005 12:13:27 -0700, tang91766@yahoo.com wrote:
    >>> What happened to that language?
    >> Same way LOGO, PILOT, COBOL, FORTRAN, and PASCAL went away.
    >Pascal sort of evolved into Delphi which, while not used a whole
    >lot, is still around. Pascal was a wonderful language, and
    >Delphi a worthy successor.

    COBOL and FORTRAN are still very much alive in those problem domains for
    which they're a good fit, too.

    Adam
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