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Old 20 June 2006, 22:01   #50
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,251
Originally Posted by DrBong
As an aside, AmigaBASIC was a licensed part of WB, which wasn't was built into the price of Amigas that people purchased new. As you said, it wasn't perfect (IMHO it was slow and buggy) and looking back should have been absolutely free for this very reason alone.
Originally Posted by HCF
Well, I guess that is splitting hairs. Everything that is supplied costs the consumer in the end. If I remember correctly (I could be wrong) Atari did not include any software with the Atari ST which did cost about the same as an Amiga 500.
The Atari ST was quite a bit cheaper than the A500 for quite a long time. I think it was 1989 when C= finally slashed the price of the A500 to match that of the Atari ST, but by then Atari had finetuned the art of bundling software with the ST (I remember the ST ads that appeared in mags in 1988 crowing about the stack of games bundled with it that no other rival could match for value).

Anyway, I wasn't trying to split hairs. Often people didn't realise that they were paying for WB including any licensed parts like AmigaBASIC when they purchased the Amiga brand new back in the day. In the early 16 bit days companies like C= were inclined to pass on the cost of WB and other licensed software bundled with new machines to the consumer. Being only a hardware manufacturer, they didn't use business models like the one adopted by Ninetendo and other console manufacturers in later days, where they could subsidise purchasers of the hardware and make it back 10 times over on the software side.

It was slow but not really that buggy ?! Absoft had a compiler out so if speed was an issue that could have been resolved. The intention was to teach basic programming concepts as well as allowing easy access to many of the Amiga's features. At the time it was the best unless you remember a better implementation ?
It sure was buggy at times. I remember on several occasions running commercial and PD games written in AmigaBASIC and getting errors the first or second time and then inexplicably running them again without problem. Such erratic behaviour had nothing to do with a lack of memory or anything like that either.

Was there a better alternative at the time to AmigaBASIC? Yeh, there were potentially a couple. True Basic, developed by the originators of BASIC, had a lot more commands, greater power (esp. maths functions + a lot of extensions via add-on packages), and better GUI elements. The downside was that it was a bit slow and the funky add-on packages added significantly to cost. Another decent BASIC available on the Amiga at the time was Absoft's AC/Basic.

I don't want to risk Woody's wrath by filling your request! Anyway, you're better off using ACE, which is fundamentally AmigaBASIC with a lot more thrown in for your bandwidth, or HiSoft Basic (runs AmigaBASIC proggies also). I've shoved the music demo (+ others) you wanted to look at again in the Zone, though.
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