Good article why BASIC was and is a useful tool

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Good article why BASIC was and is a useful tool

Postby simonsunnyboy » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:49 pm

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Re: Good article why BASIC was and is a useful tool

Postby exxos » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:26 pm

VB6 was/is cool, I still use it for doing daunting tasks :) I remember the first program I wrote in VB6 was to reconnect the PC to the internet when the line dropped (remember those 56K days of line dropping every 2 hours ?) All the programs I tried back in the day never worked, so I wrote my own. Sold a few copies, got a C-net award, think it was in 2002 for it. Even a couple people wrote a letter to me thanking me for writing a program which actually worked 8) Less than 10 copies sold in the end, but same thing still applies now, people would rather use free stuff or cheap stuff and suffer rather than pay a for quid for something which works right.

I was always a STOS fan on the ST, I tried ST BASIC once, couldn't figure it out, I dabble in ASM, but mostly for PIC micros rather than 68K code (which I only ever spent a few hours with).

IMHO, BASIC can be a lot of work, especially VB6 on windows, I gave up with it pretty much, as I spent 95% of the time debugging problems in windows controls and buggy dll's than actually debugging my own code :roll: Last series program I wrote was a cheat program for Mobsters, it reminded me how buggy everything was in windows and was a project which got very complicated due to me having to constantly bodge bits of code to get it to run right. Was a cool project, as people who were cheating in the game, were trying to cheat my registration system all the time to get free trials :lol: Learned a lot in "security" so it was good. One guy resorted to reinstalling windows every 2 days to keep getting free trials, until i blocked all his email accounts so even if he got a free trial, he couldn't use the software. Turned into a complex mash up between VB6 and PHP scripts in the end.

So anyway, BASIC is as complex as you want it to be. I guess its one reason I like ASM, its clean and you know exactly where you are, and no "3rd party" stuff involved which you generally have no control over.
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Re: Good article why BASIC was and is a useful tool

Postby BoNuS » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:48 pm

Still do a lot in GFA basic, esp. if I want a quick solution. VB6 or VBA still love and use it for that same reason.
Why people always look down on basic I don't know ? Because it slow ? It does the task and most of the time
to make it work is very easy. But it is probably the same as with cars. Mercedes drives also think they are better
then you in your Ford which still brings you from A to B. Might take a little longer but does the same think in the end.
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Re: Good article why BASIC was and is a useful tool

Postby Mug UK » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:42 pm

I'm more than happy muddling around in BASIC - still need it with my current job as there's always a bit of VBA code that needs knocking up to make the job a little bit easier.

Currently I've got to 'drag kicking and screaming' aka upgrade a few thousand documents from old styles into the current corporate style. I could do this by hand by opening up each document and fixing it one-by-one, or I can use a mini suite of VBA macros to do most of the donkey work for me.

a) One piece of code "catalogues" all the files and extracts all the current styles (inc. the unused / custom ones), tells me what the fonts are that are used in the Headings, Footer, Headers, TOCs and much more and then dumps it into a CSV file.

b) Other VBA code helps with the bulk fixing of the problems found in the above documents, from forcing the company standard footer to contain a table which holds the page numbers, filename, subject and date last saved. Other code forces every section to be using English spell-checking and grammar (the amount of errors that "pop up" after this is run due to previous authors using "don't spell or grammar check" options .. tsk tsk!) and other routines beside.

OK, I could port the whole thing to VB .NET purely to boost the speed, but I'm more than happy with what I've coded in Word's olde worlde BASIC (even if it's "BASIC on steroids" compared to the original language) :)
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Re: Good article why BASIC was and is a useful tool

Postby joska » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:57 pm

My first job as a professional programmer was to prepare one of Norway's major banks' transaction system for year 2000. That system was written in VAX BASIC, and to my knowledge it's still the backbone in their business system.
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Re: Good article why BASIC was and is a useful tool

Postby christos » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:54 pm

I am not sure VB should be called BASIC... Anyway I do some stuff on X11-BASIC on my linux PC.

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Re: Good article why BASIC was and is a useful tool

Postby lp » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:28 pm

Nice read. I see GFA got a mention at least :wink:

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Re: Good article why BASIC was and is a useful tool

Postby bod/STAX » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:16 pm

Nice article.

I started with BASIC on the Commodore +4 and then the C64. When I upgraded to an ST I preferred STOS although
I dabbled a bit in GFA BASIC (as it was easy to write stuff that used drop-down menu's in GEM).

These days though everything I write is in ASM and I only use STOS to calculate data tables.
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Re: Good article why BASIC was and is a useful tool

Postby exxos » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:33 pm

ASM + STOS is Hardcore with style ;)
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http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.
http://ataristeven.exxoshost.co.uk/Steem.htm Latest Steem Emulator

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Re: Good article why BASIC was and is a useful tool

Postby DarkLord » Thu May 01, 2014 11:18 am

I use a scripting language with the BBS software that runs my BBS to this day.

It's very BASIC like. Wouldn't have been able to do nearly as much over the
years without it, giving much flexibility and adaptability to the original
package.
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Re: Good article why BASIC was and is a useful tool

Postby dhedberg » Thu May 01, 2014 11:46 am

I was 10 years old when I took a programming course in C64 Basic for kids. After that I convinced my parents to buy me an Atari ST for Christmas (wasn't easy as they were pretty expensive at that time), and for my birthday I got GFA Basic. Programmed in GFA Basic (and really enjoyed it) a couple of years and appreciated its editor and great documentation. Due to my fascination for demos I was destined to learn assembler and I'm sure that my experiences with basic definitely made that transition easier.
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Re: Good article why BASIC was and is a useful tool

Postby nativ » Thu May 01, 2014 12:37 pm

dhedberg wrote:I was 10 years old when I took a programming course in C64 Basic for kids. After that I convinced my parents to buy me an Atari ST for Christmas (wasn't easy as they were pretty expensive at that time), and for my birthday I got GFA Basic. Programmed in GFA Basic (and really enjoyed it) a couple of years and appreciated its editor and great documentation. Due to my fascination for demos I was destined to learn assembler and I'm sure that my experiences with basic definitely made that transition easier.


You couldn't do much better than GFA Basic, I started on Spectrum Basic which was capable but nowhere near as flexible as GFA. only when I learned Pascal and some C and ASM at college did I really appreciate what a great tool it was. the INLINE ability, labels and all those nice things you get from lower level languages while still you can use all the basicness of BASIC :)
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