BASIC Turns Fifty
First created on May 1, 1964, the Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Set (BASIC) turned fifty years old yesterday. Originally created as a simple programming language on the Dartmouth Time-Sharing System for students at Dartmouth College, BASIC tried to be simple, using English words to take certain actions with a computer instead of mathematical functions. It also aimed to break free from the punched card era by allowing students to type in the commands at a terminal – although the initial version didn't have a REPL, and took the whole program in one go.
Although many variants of Basic would exist, the original authors created True BASIC, to standardise the language and to provide compatibility. By the time that took off, more powerful home computers were being created that could handle more serious languages, like Pascal and C. But for many, BASIC was the first steps towards a lifelong love of computing.
These days, computer clubs like CodeClub, Hour of Code and Codecademy have started to try and foster interest in children young and old. Low-cost and easily accessible computing such as the Raspberry Pi have founded digital magazines like The MagPi, bringing write-your-own games to a new generation.
Did you learn to program with BASIC? What was your first experience?
Love at First Sight!
Much later , couldn't come to terms with the fact for quite a while that using GOTO was bad.
I'm teaching my 6 yr old kid programming now and wondering if I should use BASIC..
Stephanie Davis (nee Stewart) Dec 21, 2014