Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 30th Apr 2014 18:16 UTC, submitted by KLU9
General Development

I find the "everybody should learn to code" movement laudable. And yet it also leaves me wistful, even melancholy. Once upon a time, knowing how to use a computer was virtually synonymous with knowing how to program one. And the thing that made it possible was a programming language called BASIC.

Invented by John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, BASIC was first successfully used to run programs on the school's General Electric computer system 50 years ago this week - at 4 a.m. on May 1, 1964, to be precise.

It's the only programming language I was ever somewhat proficient in (when I was about six years old). I never moved beyond it, and now, I know nothing about programming. BASIC has played a huge role in the history of computing, and its birthday deserves to be a thing.

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RE: ZX Spectrum 48K Basic...
by thulfram on Wed 30th Apr 2014 23:58 UTC in reply to "ZX Spectrum 48K Basic..."
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I enjoyed writing assembly on the Timex-Sinclair computer as well as its BASIC, but I'd moved on to other BASICs by the time the Spectrum came along.

Sinclair BASIC was actually written in a TIL (threaded interpreted language - FORTH is one). Most BASICs were written in a variation of a TIL because that was the most efficient thing going at the time.

My very first BASIC was on the SOL-20 in about 1977. Really fun! Before that, it was Fortran, COBOL, assembler, machine language, etc. But BASIC was the first one that was actually fun.

Many BASICs followed, too many to list or remember. Takes me back. Too bad it can't leave me there.

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