BASIC, the Programming language that made it all fun!

PUBLISHED Nov 19th, 2018

In my childhood days, I used to spend a lot of my time playing with two of the most influential languages of all time. BASIC and LOGO. With the old LOGO language, it was all about designer feelings, drawing stars and spirals. I was already familiar with HTML, but it was never fun as it is not a language to be precise.

BASIC, the Programming language that made it all fun!

It was when my hands came on the BASIC language which made think like…

“Programming is a superpower!!!”

BASIC is at the root of all the programming skills I have today. My inspiration for programming, and my coding style all somehow seems to be inspired from the BASIC programming language.

Let me share with you one of my initial programs which I still somehow inspires me when I look back. As I get feeling of from then to now. Even though my first complete software was not a pro, but it sure is fun!

PRINT "I am the magical Fortune Teller."
INPUT "Think of a question and press enter for your answer...", A$
Answer = INT(RND * 5 + 1)
  CASE 1
    PRINT "Yes, definitely."
  CASE 2
    PRINT "Ask again, later."
  CASE 3
    PRINT "No way!"
  CASE 4
    PRINT "It is certain."
  CASE 5
    PRINT "Yes."

It was taken from this (free online basic book)( I am happy to see it is still live. This free online book was the first book that I actually read to learn about programming. Would you believe, I had a printed copy of this as a backup! As if everything in the universe got washed up in 2012 (maya calendar reference!), I will still have those pages to keep me inspired! (As if I was sure to live!)

While writing this post, I felt like, why not run this old piece of code once again, so let try this program. To use BASIC the way I did, you can now install DOSBox emulator and download QBASIC.EXE if you can find on the internet. The nice thing about DOSBox is that it is opensource and available for every operating system.

One of my favorite QBASIC sites was Pete’s QBasic Site I am so glad these resources are still live on the internet. You can find the QBASIC interpreter as well as it is a community of QBASIC lovers so you will find a lot of stuff to explore the greatness of QBASIC. Here it was

QBASIC is just a famous IDE and interpreter, made by Microsoft, that made it all easier to code and run. Back then, having a DOS ide that can allow a mouse in it was one of the most prestigious things for a programmer I guess. Microsoft basically made the IDE to complement the will of the language itself, the EASE of CODE.

Extracting that file to our DOSBox directory, Here I begin…


And when this was up, I was smiling, loading all the old memories back in my mind. Thinking like From here, it all began.

qbasic ide
We call this Splash Screen these Days

Let us try the above program. DOSBox did not allow me to copy paste the code directly into the terminal. So I had to make a new file future.BAS and had to restart everything.

I begin to think, Would anyone ever read a post like this…

Anyways, as I remembered, the F5 key was to RUN my code.

Output Window

And here it is! Yes, definitely you read it till here.

The good thing was, my best friend, also my classmate, shared this same love as me. We begin learning and exploring this language by building almost whatever we wanted to. Quiz Games, Math tools, what not, and acted as if we were soon going to build a tech giant company one day, by writing BASIC programs!

After BASIC, it was when C on over which I can say I dedicated my life to learn. I also found JavaScript cool because of its versatility and high allowance to anything! But it was BASIC that made me think like a PRO!

For me, as per my own personal opinion, I don’t think if python should ever be called the Modern BASIC of the Internet Era. BASIC is a minimal language with a very limited language design scope. It is a simple imperative interpreted language. But it marked the era.

Do you know what is the best selling book on the computer?


The 101 BASIC Computer games, the best selling computer book

You can still look into the book at the Atari Archives.

Basic truly burst out computer programming like a revolution. Because anyone who was thinking of computers as a hardcore number headache could now code the programs of their dreams with their beloved Beginners All purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. The BASIC.

So this was my kind of inspirational story behind programming. What is yours? Feel free to comment below :) Stay Connected.

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© Shubham Ramdeo, 2020
you are really awesome!