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[2]: Comment by drcouzelis
by moondevil on Thu 1st May 2014 06:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by drcouzelis"
Member since:

For kids around 6 - 10 years old, yes it is complicated.

This is the age many of us started coding back in the golden BASIC days.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:


How simple is it do simple things?

hello world




print "Hello World"

Console i/o


10 PRINT "What is your name?"
20 READ $A


name = raw_input("What is your name?\n");
print "Hello " + name

I don't think python is more difficult for simple things.

Reply Parent Score: 2

oskeladden Member since:

When I was around nine, I had written a simple tune composer for the IBM PC speaker (my plan then was to become a famous composer), and a graphics program that would let you draw pictures in 16 colours on a CGA (using the not-really-graphics 160x100 mode). All this was really easy to do on BASIC. Python adds much more complexity, and would've put stuff like this out of my reach at that age.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by drcouzelis
by moondevil on Fri 2nd May 2014 07:08 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by drcouzelis"
moondevil Member since:

That is a very simplistic example.

The problem is when you start touching files, graphics, a little bit of data structures and so on.

The original BASIC systems are still quite comprehensive for such tasks, while Python requires learning about packages, classes, exceptions and quite a few other concepts.

Reply Parent Score: 4