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Old 16 June 2006, 12:04   #41
Parsec
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It all depends on the version of BASIC we're talking about. I've been doing some work with VB.NET recently and it's excellent. It is powerful, flexible and structured.

Also, the fact that it compiles into MSIL means it should run at the same speed as C# in the .NET environment.
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Old 16 June 2006, 22:41   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCF
Compared to ABasic, AmigaBASIC was far superior. It was not perfect but never intended to and free. BASIC is not intended as a development platform but rather to introduce programming concepts.
Probably true. ABasiC was more like the BASIC found on 8-bit platforms.....so no GUI elements like those found in AmigaBASIC. Hence ABasiC was geared towards coding (text) apps (explains its early popularity in coding stuff that appeared in Fred Fish), while AmigaBASIC was geared more towards games programming (explains why a fair few early commercial games used it).

As an aside, AmigaBASIC was a licensed part of WB, which wasn't free....it 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.

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Originally Posted by Dexther
HEY!!! FOLK'S
BASIC IS A MICROSOFT CREATION !!
we forget ?
Can't remember something that never happened BASIC was conceived in 1963 in the U.S. by John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz, some 12 years before Micro$oft was established. Check out the Wiki entry for a bit of history on Basic:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC_programming_language

Interesting to learn that Fortran was conceived before BASIC......never knew that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckles
Pascal has going for it the fact that one of the primary goals the language was intended for was teaching people to program, that's true. The language was also intentionally designed to teach "good" structured programming practices while discouraging "bad" ones, such as the use of the "go to". Having worked with a few complete novices to programming in the past, I've found that for some of those, the added complication of learning structured programming slowed the rate at which they learned to program at all. For that reason, I still think BASIC is a pretty decent language to use to teach the absolute fundamentals of logic. Once a beginner learns the basics of programming logic, then you can always teach them why some ways of coding are much better than others, and what advantages other languages offer. Personally, I've never been all that impressed by Pascal, but that's just me. C++ is more to my liking, though I've used it only sparingly. To each their own, of course.
Have to agree with most of what you said. I learnt BASIC first (self-taught), then moved on to Pascal (picked it up in a snap in early high school probably because I'd learnt BASIC first), and then moved on to 6502 assembly language (self-taught and bloody difficult, but I was motivated to learn enough of it to do raster interrupts on the C64). Have to say that Pascal was a very good language in its day and IMHO is still very useful as a stepping stone to learning more complex coding languages.

@DDNI
This is turning out to be a great thread that you started!
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Old 16 June 2006, 23:13   #43
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lol BASIC memories ...
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Old 17 June 2006, 00:54   #44
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lol BASIC memories ...
Take care, basic memory is pre-senilia
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Old 17 June 2006, 01:01   #45
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"Alzheimers"? doesn't he play on left wing for Ukraine?
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Old 17 June 2006, 02:40   #46
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First I was shocked of the AmigaBasic because it didn't depend on line numbers. Before the Amiga I had some experiences in several BASIC-dialects.
(TI-99/4a, ZX-81, VC-20, VC-64, Commodore Plus4)
In the second, I was surprised by the SLOOWWWNESSS of AmigaBasic.
Even my TI-99/4a was faster in interpreting the code.
(And the TI-Basic-Interpreter was the slowest of all pre-Amigas!)

Cheers,

Rick
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Old 17 June 2006, 03:44   #47
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I had a 99/4a and it was god awful, slow, combersome, and to write decent basic progs you had to get an extra cartridge for "extended" basic so you could directly poke and peek the hardware......and the games where sh*t too.
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Old 18 June 2006, 19:29   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBong
As an aside, AmigaBASIC was a licensed part of WB, which wasn't free....it 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.
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.
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 ?
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Old 19 June 2006, 11:07   #49
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er can some one please upload Microsoft Basic to the zone please, wouldn't mind running that Music demo again.
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Old 20 June 2006, 23:01   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBong
As an aside, AmigaBASIC was a licensed part of WB, which wasn't free....it 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.
Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

@redblade
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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Old 21 June 2006, 01:23   #51
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Don't remember the Atari ST to be cheaper (at least the 1040 which was comparable to the Amiga 500). The cheaper ST models had no disk drive and required the purchase of an external drive. You were also limited with the monitors versus the TV set that was supported by the Amiga. Maybe I should look for some old magazines since memory might be failing me...
And I honestly don't remember Atari ST software bundles but I was never really interested in the ST so I must have just missed those...

And even in the early days, Commodore was licensing Microsoft BASIC as part of the operating system in earlier 6502 based machines. At that particular time Microsoft BASIC was the defacto standard.
If they released the Amiga without a BASIC interpreter, they might alienate the C64 users converting to the Amiga. It also served as an educational tool for the novice user. If you spent a lot of money on a computer, you at least want to be able to "play around" a little without having to buy something else.

You say AmigaBASIC is buggy because some programs didn't run correctly but that doesn't mean the interpreter was at fault. Commercial games did not use AmigaBASIC since they most certainly were compiled using Absoft's compiler. Was not aware that Absoft itself also created a BASIC interpreter since as far as I knew, the compiler was intended to compile AmigaBASIC programs.
Never heard of True BASIC, not even on the PC. Must have been one of those obscure languages like Modula-2 or Draco.
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Old 21 June 2006, 02:57   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redblade
I liked Microsoft Basic because of that 'Music' example ...
That was so brilliant. If I remember correctly, the AmigaBasic disk was a dodgy white one, and that wonderful display of Amiga 'multimedia' was the famous melody from Bach's cantata 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring'.
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Old 21 June 2006, 06:22   #53
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Personally, I found the multitasking demo much better, you know with the four windows (on 512K) that operate simultaneously. I usually do play the music demo around the holidays, kinda sentimental (*sniff*)
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Old 21 June 2006, 08:27   #54
DrBong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCF
Don't remember the Atari ST to be cheaper (at least the 1040 which was comparable to the Amiga 500). The cheaper ST models had no disk drive and required the purchase of an external drive. You were also limited with the monitors versus the TV set that was supported by the Amiga. Maybe I should look for some old magazines since memory might be failing me...
And I honestly don't remember Atari ST software bundles but I was never really interested in the ST so I must have just missed those...
??? The first models of the Atari 520ST were as you said, but they then included an internal drive (and built-in RF IIRC) in response to criticism. It was directly in competition and comparable to the A500. The 1040ST came out later and notably had 1Mb ram as standard compared to the 512k still present in A500s at the time. I suggest you look at ads in some old mags for yourself. Off-hand I remember ACE carrying the ST ads I was talking about in 1988. Think The Games Machine and maybe even Commodore User ran the same ads too.

Quote:
And even in the early days, Commodore was licensing Microsoft BASIC as part of the operating system in earlier 6502 based machines. At that particular time Microsoft BASIC was the defacto standard.
If they released the Amiga without a BASIC interpreter, they might alienate the C64 users converting to the Amiga. It also served as an educational tool for the novice user. If you spent a lot of money on a computer, you at least want to be able to "play around" a little without having to buy something else.
??? I'm not sure what your point is. What is popular and sells well (or in this case is bundled with a new computer) isn't necessarily better. C= did start out with Metacomco's ABasiC (which was more like 8-bit versions of BASIC) and then decided to license Microsoft's AmigaBASIC for WB 1.2/1.3. They then dropped it (and BASIC) altogether from WB 2.x/3.x, I imagine partly to save a bit of money with licensing and perhaps because there were much better versions of BASIC around commercially and on PD.

Quote:
You say AmigaBASIC is buggy because some programs didn't run correctly but that doesn't mean the interpreter was at fault. Commercial games did not use AmigaBASIC since they most certainly were compiled using Absoft's compiler. Was not aware that Absoft itself also created a BASIC interpreter since as far as I knew, the compiler was intended to compile AmigaBASIC programs.
Being a HOL team member, working out what languages commercial Amiga games were coded in is of interest. Some early ones actually included all the AmigaBASIC files on the disk and used it to interpret and compile the game. Others like Computer Baseball actually instructed users to copy AmigaBASIC on to the game disk to do the same thing.

Quote:
Never heard of True BASIC, not even on the PC. Must have been one of those obscure languages like Modula-2 or Draco.
Yep, so obscure that it was released on 6-7 platforms back in the day and is still being developed and sold today:

http://truebasic.com/

The forum on the website looks to be quite active too......
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Old 22 June 2006, 03:36   #55
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Well, went downstairs and found my 520 had no internal disk drive while the 1040 was equipped with one, guess I have the older model...Unfortunately the magazines are harder to reach than the computers..lol

ABasic was bundled because Microsoft BASIC was not ready to ship I believe. Unfortunately, Commodore decided to drop BASIC but then again, they were heading in the wrong direction when compatibility went out the window and the Workbench began to look like something, just not the Amiga. Even with a hard disk the boot time increased compared to a vanilla Workbench disk. Also, at the point in time when the new systems were released (except for the 3000), computers began more mainstream and people realized that not everybody is able to program great software.

Again, at no point did I claim AmigaBASIC is the best BUT it was fulfilling its purpose as a BASIC interpreter for novice users who just bought the Amiga and wanted to play around.

I did find it interesting that some games actually use the interpreter to run. Thought they'd at least compile the program though I guess you could argue it was fast enough for the game.

Last but not least I was curious and even more surprised that I have True BASIC on some disk images. So I fired up WinUAE and what happens ? It crashes...lol
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Old 22 June 2006, 05:30   #56
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Commodore screwed MS on the orginal contract for the pet basic vic20 and c64. Which all used the same basic. MS was only paid for the pet basic by a loop hole in the contract commodore was allowed reused and change the basic used by these computers without additional payment.
 
Old 22 June 2006, 21:01   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCF
ABasic was bundled because Microsoft BASIC was not ready to ship I believe.
That vaguely rings a bell. Might have read something to that effect in one of the early U.S. Ami mags, either Amiga World or Amazing Computing/Amiga.

Quote:
Again, at no point did I claim AmigaBASIC is the best BUT it was fulfilling its purpose as a BASIC interpreter for novice users who just bought the Amiga and wanted to play around.
Didn't say you did As you said, AmigaBASIC served its purpose. I still reckon it was slow and buggy for its time and there were better alternatives available to fulfill the same purpose and more.

Quote:
I did find it interesting that some games actually use the interpreter to run. Thought they'd at least compile the program though I guess you could argue it was fast enough for the game.
Most of the commercial games coded in AmigaBASIC were quite rudimentary and appalling (e.g. some of the games by King Size and Courbois), with most being on par with PD. I doubt the developers/publishers were concerned about compiling times when some of the games were as bad as this.

Quote:
Last but not least I was curious and even more surprised that I have True BASIC on some disk images. So I fired up WinUAE and what happens ? It crashes...lol
Haha....throw andreas or one of the other WinUAE wizards here a copy! I'm halfway sure they'll figure out some way of tricking it into working!!
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Old 23 June 2006, 06:29   #58
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With regard to buggy, did you try True Basic under WinUAE ? I ran it under Workbench 1.2, should suffice if it was available at the time. Tried different memory configurations but no luck, just comes up with a software failure. AmigaBASIC on the other hand runs on my 1200 and WinUAE as well as any other system I tried it on. So I would be careful to say it is buggy. I still would like to try it, maybe you can test it and upload a working version ?!

The only commercial game I know that was written in AmigaBASIC was Arazok's Tomb (could be wrong). Was a decent adventure game I think and not PD quality. I have seen commercial games that are worse than PD games though not written in BASIC.
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Old 23 June 2006, 07:06   #59
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found a copy of Extras1.3 on the net, so don't bother about the upload.
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Old 24 June 2006, 21:01   #60
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@redblade
Good one mate.....would have upped it, but the mods might have got twitchy about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HCF
With regard to buggy, did you try True Basic under WinUAE ? I ran it under Workbench 1.2, should suffice if it was available at the time. Tried different memory configurations but no luck, just comes up with a software failure. AmigaBASIC on the other hand runs on my 1200 and WinUAE as well as any other system I tried it on. So I would be careful to say it is buggy.
Just means that AmigaBASIC was programmed according to Commodore's guidelines, which makes sense since it was licensed specifically for Workbench 1.2/1.3. Doesn't change my experiences of it being somewhat buggy and quite slow on real Amiga hardware that it was released for. Others here and Ami guys I know share my experiences.

Lots of games made in the days of Kickstart 1.x won't run under Kickstart 2.x/3.x because they didn't follow the guidelines. It doesn't mean that they're buggy since they stll run fine on the machines for which they were released for (like DOS games that won't run under Windows but will on old PC spec machines they were made for). Same goes for stuff that doesn't run under emulation. I'm sure TrueBASIC runs fine on real Amiga hardware with the approriate specs.....it did for me back in the day when I dabbled with it.

Quote:
The only commercial game I know that was written in AmigaBASIC was Arazok's Tomb (could be wrong).
Yep.....written using AmigaBASIC V1.2 if you run the main exec through a hex/text editor.

Quote:
Was a decent adventure game I think and not PD quality. I have seen commercial games that are worse than PD games though not written in BASIC.
Not a bad game for 1987, but one of the few commercial quality Ami games coded in AmigaBASIC. You can find lots of commercial games on older platforms written in many diverse languages that are PD quality or worse. Sometimes it was down to the skill of the developers, other times the limitations of the coding languages/tools used was the major factor. There are some brilliant Ami games written using souped up versions of BASIC like Blitz Basic and AMOS (e.g. Skidmarks, Super Tennis Champs), but also some ordinary ones (e.g. Center Court Tennis, Blitz Tennis).

Anyway, I think that's my take on AmigaBASIC covered......I'm off to watch the World Cup!
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