16 Facts About BASIC


BASIC is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages designed for ease of use.

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BASIC was available for almost any system of the era, and became the de facto programming language for home computer systems that emerged in the late 1970s.

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These PCs almost always had a BASIC interpreter installed by default, often in the machine's firmware or sometimes on a ROM cartridge.

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BASIC declined in popularity in the 1990s, as more powerful microcomputers came to market and programming languages with advanced features became tenable on such computers.

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The acronym BASIC comes from the name of an unpublished paper by Thomas Kurtz.

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Emergence of BASIC took place as part of a wider movement towards time-sharing systems.

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BASIC later collected a number of these into book form, 101 BASIC Computer Games, published in 1973.

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Sinclair BASIC was introduced in 1980 with the Sinclair ZX80, and was later extended for the Sinclair ZX81 and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.

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The BBC published BBC BASIC, developed by Acorn Computers Ltd, incorporating many extra structured programming keywords and advanced floating-point operation features.

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Different magazines were published featuring programs for specific computers, though some BASIC programs were considered universal and could be used in machines running any variant of BASIC.

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Many books of type-in programs were available, and in particular, Ahl published versions of the original 101 BASIC games converted into the Microsoft dialect and published it from Creative Computing as BASIC Computer Games.

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Many versions of BASIC are now available for smartphones and tablets via the Apple App Store, or Google Play store for Android.

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Variants of BASIC are available on graphing and otherwise programmable calculators made by Texas Instruments, HP, Casio, and others.

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Minimal versions of BASIC had only integer variables and one- or two-letter variable names, which minimized requirements of limited and expensive memory.

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Arrays in BASIC could contain integers, floating point or string variables.

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Some dialects of BASIC supported matrices and matrix operations, which can be used to solve sets of simultaneous linear algebraic equations.

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