11 Facts About BBC BASIC


The improved BASIC 4 on the BBC Master executes the same benchmark in about seven seconds.

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One of the unique features of BBC BASIC was the inline assembler, allowing users to write assembly language programs for the 6502 and, later, the Zilog Z80, NS32016 and ARM.

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BASIC II was used on the Acorn Electron and BBC Micros shipped after 1982, including the Model B It added the OPENUP and OSCLI keywords, along with offset assembly and bug fixes.

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BBC BASIC III, was produced in both a UK version and a United States market version for Acorn's abortive attempt to enter the cross-Atlantic computer market.

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Apart from a few bug fixes, the only change from BBC BASIC II was that the COLOUR command could be spelled COLOR: regardless of which was input, the UK version always listed it as COLOUR, the US version as COLOR.

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BBC BASIC IV was a further improvement to BBC BASIC IV, and was included on the Master Compact machine.

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Graphics commands were entirely backwards compatible, the sound less so; for example, the ENVELOPE keyword from BBC BASIC V onwards is a command that takes fourteen numeric parameters and effectively does nothing— as in older versions, it calls OS_Word 8, but that does nothing on RISC OS.

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Compiler for BBC BASIC V was produced by Paul Fellows, team leader of the Arthur OS development, called the Archimedes BASIC Compiler and published initially by DABS Press.

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NS32016 version of BBC BASIC was supplied with the Acorn 32016 coprocessor and Acorn ABC.

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PC-based systems, BBC BASIC was implemented for DOS as BBCBASIC, which aimed for maximum compatibility with the BBC Micro, and BBasic, which concentrated on the BASIC language, with its own enhancements based on BASIC II.

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Version of BBC BASIC integrated with the Microsoft Windows graphical user interface, BBC BASIC for Windows created by Richard Russell, developer of the Z80 and x86 versions, was released in 2001.

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