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BASIC at 50: Bad Trip or Bad Rap?

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Kevin Neilson
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Applesoft
Kevin Neilson   5/8/2014 11:41:52 AM
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I had a pretty good experience writing Applesoft BASIC.  It didn't encourage writing great code, though.  There were no labels, just line numbers.  If you ran out of line numbers in one spot, you had to GOTO a differect section.  (There was no real text editor and no cut-and-paste; one could only edit a line of code at a time, so renumbering code was too difficult.)  There were a lot of GOTOs in general.  I don't think you could pass variables to subroutines, so everything was global.  Only the first two characters of variables were recognized.  Comments were sparse because they ate up too much precious RAM.  Anything requiring speed had to be written in assembly, POKEd in by the BASIC program, and called from there.

-Kevin Neilson

antedeluvian
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Re: Pro Basic
antedeluvian   5/8/2014 11:19:49 AM
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Martin

It seemed like a lot of work for little money

From my experience, you're not wrong. And then there was the piracy that made it even worse.

 

Measurement.Blues
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Re: Pro Basic
Measurement.Blues   5/8/2014 11:15:59 AM
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Someone once asked me to co-author a book on VB for scientists and engineers. It seemed like a lot of work for little money at the time.

antedeluvian
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Re: Pro Basic
antedeluvian   5/8/2014 11:10:05 AM
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martin

Here is the link to Out of the dark With Visual Basic.

Thanks I will get to it later. There is a book called "Visual Basic for Electronics Engineering Applications" by Vincent Himpe. The second edition is availabale as a free download. There is a newer edition although it is probably easier to get through Elektor.

 

Measurement.Blues
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Re: Pro Basic
Measurement.Blues   5/8/2014 10:53:47 AM
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Antedeluvian,

Here is the link to Out of the dark With Visual Basic.

antedeluvian
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Re: Pro Basic
antedeluvian   5/8/2014 10:22:00 AM
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Martin

Your articles and those of Mr Hausssman provided much motivation and inspiration for me.  I have copies of some of them in the binder of my source material for the book. I used that inspiration in 3 of the chapters of my book on Excel for Electrical Engineeers where I described interfacing to a DVM, a signal generator and a vernier caliper all within Excel. There was a lot more VBA programming in the other chapters.

I wrote an article in 1993 called "Out of the Dark With Visual Basis where I borrowed a few data-acquisition boards and wrote some code.

I would be interested in reading that.

 

Measurement.Blues
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Re: Pro Basic
Measurement.Blues   5/8/2014 10:02:34 AM
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Antedeluvian,

You would enjoy this interview I did with Werner Haussmann in 2006. Werner wrote all the VB code in his article. It has links to all of his VB-related articles as well. I should feature his articles in a newsletter.

I wrote an article in 1993 called "Out of the Dark With Visual Basis where I borrowed a few data-acquisition boards and wrote some code. The article isn't online but I have the print version and can scan the pages.

antedeluvian
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Re: Pro Basic
antedeluvian   5/8/2014 9:53:18 AM
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Martin

Thanks for reminding me. How could I forget what with my book and all? There is all that VBA programming in Excel and Word.

Measurement.Blues
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Re: Pro Basic
Measurement.Blues   5/8/2014 9:31:16 AM
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EDN has a bunch of article--that I either wrote or edited--on using Visual Basic for Controlling instruments.

 

Thermistor and DMM Measure Temperature

Make a Strip-Chart Recorder in Excel

ActiveX Control Simplifies Instrument Programming


Some of these have code in the article and some have links, which suprisingly still work. I still have some of the original code used in these articles.

antedeluvian
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Pro Basic
antedeluvian   5/8/2014 8:32:25 AM
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I have always been partial to BASIC when deveoping on a PC (or early PC like the PET). It has always worked well with minimal learning curve. I made the transition to Visual Basic and then on into the NET approach. Even though Visual Basic looks a lot like Visual C nowadays, I always will opt for Basic in the hope that the examples that I follow will be less obscure than C (or C++) code. This is especially important to me because I only program in this environment every 2-3 years and so by the time I come back the whole environment has changed and I have to re-learn everything.

I recently worked on a project for an Android tablet using the full Google environment, programming in Java. The whole experience was so disheartening that the next time I am working with Basic 4 Android.

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